North African Spiced Coconut Rice Pudding

My Danish great-grandpa was a notorious sweet tooth. A gentle giant at 6’2″, he acted like a kid by having chocolate bars and such stashed all over his room. The man knew what he liked, even if modern medicine was telling him to quit it. I myself grew up with a similarly gnarly sweet tooth. I vividly remember learning how to jump up on the kitchen counter and taking at least 60 seconds to ever-so-delicately remove the audibly scratchy lid from my mother’s earthenware cookie jar. Dang that thing could be loud! Now that I look back, that may have been some crazy mommy super-power, knowing that her cookie jar needed to be scratchy earthen clay that would be amplified by the cavernous belly of it’s cookie holding reservoir. Man, I sure do remember my heart racing as I would lift that lid and then discern how many cookies I could steal before she would sense the lose and begin accusations. Holy cow, I never got caught! Man oh man did I think I was the best sugar sleuth known to man! I wasn’t a horribly naughty child, but you have to understand that if the cookie jar was loaded, it usually meant homemade cookies in my household. Can you blame me for being a cookie thief?

Snap to today, and I fully recognize at the ripe old age of 41, that my sugar addiction cannot be maintained. I must leave it behind before I become like my great-grandpa with chocolate stashed under my bed and inside my bedside drawer.
I am not about to leave sugar high and dry, but beautiful food can surely lessen the sugar addiction. This is one of those dishes that is a balance: a little naughty and a little nice. Inspired by my great-grandpa’s favorite Danish breakfast of rice porridge, I decided to create a little coconut sticky rice pudding of sorts, that plays well as breakfast or dessert. It’s naughty in the sense that I use white rice and a touch of raw sugar, but you can easily adjust this to brown rice and be even more of a nutritional goddess!

Start with a medium sized pot with a decently heavy bottom so as not to burn your rice. Add in a cup of your Calrose rice, which is a fat, plump, and deliciously sticky rice. Do not rinse it of it’s starch.

Here you can make your sweetener adjustments. I used two tablespoons of raw sugar, but you can easily bust this out with agave, maple syrup, or even stevia if you wanted, without compromising the results.

Then add in a 1/4 cup of raisins and two cups of coconut cream. You will now have a luscious pot of creaminess ready for the heat of the stove. Get it up to a boiling simmer and then turn the heat way down to a simmer before covering your pot. You may even want to check on this about 7-10 minutes in, to make sure that it is not scorching. If for some reason the moisture seems to be evaporating too quickly, you can always add a touch of water to the mix, loosening it up.

For some of you who are used to rice pudding, you probably scratched your head a bit. You were like, “Raisins, check. Rice, check. But where is the cinnamon?” I actually omitted cinnamon because I knew that I would get it and a whole lot of other yummy flavors by topping this with Egyptian Dukkah, a wonderful warming spice and nut mixture. You can get the recipe here if you are interested. Or you can just opt for cinnamon and some shredded coconut for crunch.

Man this is just as beautiful as it is delicious. I adore the slightly exotic yumminess of the Dukkah combined with the creamy coconut sweetness. This is definitely perfect for breakfast, but snazzy enough for the finish of a dinner party!
TRUE CONFESSIONS TIME:
Holy cow! It just hit me! Last night my 16 year old and I were up watching a comedy and I craved something sweet. I literally went up to my beside drawer and busted out some MnM’s for us to share. AHHHHH, I am my great-grandfather’s granddaughter! Oh boy, I think I need an extra helping of kale or buckwheat or bee pollen or something super granola-y to wash that reality away. Ugh. Balance, right? A little yin and yang and I’ll be ok! Hahaha.
Love you lovelies!
xoxo
Chanda

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