Saturday, October 10, 2015

Forbidden Rice / Black Rice Pudding

Forbidden Rice? Yes, Forbidden! Black Rice is also called as Forbidden Rice or Emperor's Rice. The rice is said to be majorly cultivated in China and eaten exclusively by the emperors of China to ensure their good health and longevity. The uncooked grains have a smooth texture with deep purple-blackish colored bran. When cooked they turn chewy and taste nutty. Rich in fiber, they contain powerful antioxidants.

Black rice is a type of heirloom rice, meaning it is grown in limited quantities in small family farms. 

One source, ( says that "Forbidden rice may have gotten its name because only emperors in ancient China were allowed to eat it, due to its rarity and high nutritional value. Another possibility for the origin of its name is the possibility that the Greeks banned the rice when they conquered the Middle East. They may have done this believing that the rice somehow helped their enemies in battle."

Serves: 6 to 8


Black Rice - 1 1/2 cups
Water - 4 cups
White/Brown Sugar - 1 cup (add more if required)
Coconut Milk (thick extract) - 500 ml 
Cardamom Powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt - 1/8 teaspoon 
Cashew nuts, chopped - 1/2 cup
Almond slivered - 1/4 cup


  1. Wash the black rice thoroughly in water and soak in water for about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile bring 4 cups of water to rolling boil in a thick bottomed pot, add the rice grains.
  3. Cover the pot and let the rice cook until it soft. The rice will not be as soft as the regular polished/basmati/sona masoori rice. On the outside the grains might seem to be hard but as you press the grain, you will feel that they are soft inside. This rice is very chewy!
  4. Add sugar. Let it cook until the sugar melts and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes. Please note the grains do not cook or get softer after adding sugar. So make sure the grains are cooked before adding sugar.
  5. Pour coconut milk.
  6. Add cardamom powder. Let it simmer until it thickens. The pudding should not have a lot of milk remaining. The pudding will get a little thicker on cooling too. So adjust the consistency accordingly.
  7. Add salt, mix well.
  8. Add cashew nuts, mix well.
  9. Serve topped with slivered almonds. Remember, the grains are chewy!
  10. The pudding tastes great when served chilled too.