Last week I went to a fellow Peace Corps Volunteer’s birthday party. Since it was a gringa party, we did it potluck style. My host mom was already making this coconut and rice milk pudding, and told me that if I bought a coconut and 2 liters of milk, she could teach me and I could take some of that along with me. Deal.
The pudding tastes like solidified horchata or Rumchata, thanks to the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg that spice it. It takes a lot of work and time, but it was way better than the instant chocolate pudding I tried to make a few months ago. Actually, if someone sent me some Jell-O brand chocolate pudding mix, that would make my tastebuds really happy.
Hopefully this recipe works. My host mom cooks like my own mom does, just throwing crap in a pan. Nonetheless, I tried to pay close attention and have used a couple actual recipes online to help create what you see below.
Coconut and Rice Milk Pudding
- My host mom commented several times that water is the enemy with this recipe. Be sure to dry all tools well before using them, and even take the time to dry coconut and rice before using it.
- This recipe requires fresh coconut. Don’t be afraid! They’re way easier to open than you think! I’ve even seen people here just throw them on the ground a bunch to break them open. I would recommend combining this method, to easily extract the water before breaking it open (I don’t like packaged coconut water from the stores, but fresh cold coconut water is delicious) and this one, which helps explain how to easily extract the flesh with a paring knife.
- Equipment necessary: screwdriver, hammer or big knife, paring knife, good blender, mesh strainer (or cheesecloth if you want to torture yourself), big pot, 9″x13″ pan
- 1 handful white rice
- 1 large coconut
- 1/2 gallon milk
- 1/2 stick of cinnamon
- 4-5 whole cloves
- 1/2 of a nutmeg
- 1-2 c sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- Some chocolate if you’re feelin’ fancy
- Place the rice in a bowl with plenty of water to soak overnight
- Pour the water out of the rice bowl. Give that rice a real good rinse, then put it in the mesh strainer to sit and dry off while you work on the coconut.
- Crack open your coconut. Throw the water in the freezer (this isn’t for the recipe, just for you to enjoy later), and put the flesh into a bowl as you cut it out.
- Dry that coconut off!
- Blend the coconut with half the milk in batches. Blend for about 2 minutes per batch to ensure the coconut gets really ground up.
- Pour the batches through the mesh strainer, collecting the milk into the large pot.
- Add the spices:
- Take the cinnamon stick, and flake it off into smaller pieces into the pot with the coconut milk.
- Break up the cloves into the pot.
- Grind the nutmeg into the pot.
- Place pot on low heat to get the ball rolling.
- Blend the rice with the remaining milk in batches. Blend for about 2 minutes per batch to ensure the rice gets really blended.
- Repeat step 7, re-blending the rice bits from the strainer with the rice milk. Do this as many times as necessary to get as much of the rice as possible blended into a creamy milk mixture. Note: This is not rice pudding. You don’t want rice chunks. Get that stuff really good and cramy.
- Throw all the rice milk into the big pot.
- Add 1-2 c sugar. Go ahead, taste your milky mixture to adjust the sugar levels as needed.
- Bump the heat up a bit, and babysit that pot, stirring constantly, for a really long time. You’re going to want to get a slight boil on the mixture to reduce it and turn it into the pudding consistency, but need to keep stirring to avoid burning the milk or getting a film on it.
- Once the mixture has come to a nice, creamy, pudding-like consistency, pour it into your pan.
- Let the mixture chill on the counter for a while before placing it in the fridge or freezer to chill. Note: If you put this in the freezer, don’t forget about it! You don’t want frozen pudding, just not-hot pudding.
- If you’re feelin’ fancy, grate some of that chocolate on top of the chilled pudding.