Royal Blue Coconut Rice Pudding
Last week, I was invited by Blue Elephant NL to join a Thai Fusion Cooking Class with chef Sathit (Joe) and his team at the Blue Elephant restaurant in Brussels (Keep a look out for the post about this experience!). After the cooking class we enjoyed a variety of Royal Thai Cuisine dishes and of course our own creations which we cooked up during the workshop. We received an awesome goodie bag brimming with Blue Elephant products. One of the items was Butterfly Pea Flower tea. I’ve seen many Instagrammers use this tea (powder) for smoothies, nice cream (banana ice cream made with frozen bananas) and lattes. However, I chose to create something more comforting, for the cold winter season, than a bowl of nice cream...
I’m talking about a cosy, creamy rice pudding; because the Thai and I love our starch. This coconut milk rice pudding is commonly made with black rice, but I decided to give the recipe a spin and added the Butterfly Pea Flower Tea and replaced the black rice with white dessert rice.
Butterfly Pea Flower Tea is a caffeine-free herbal tea. This tea has a slightly earthy and woody taste with a floral aroma that comes from the flower: Clitoria Ternatea (a picture speaks a thousand words) or “Butterfly-pea/Blue-pea”. This plant is common to most South-East Asian countries and the blue colour of the plant has made the Butterfly-pea flower quite in demand. It has been used as a dye for centuries. One of the cool things about this tea is that it changes its blue colour to purple when adding a squeeze of lemon juice. Which in turn makes it very popular to be used in cocktails.
I however, used the tea as a flavour and colour enhancing agent to my coconut rice pudding. The combination of the Butterfly Pea Flower Tea with the coconut milk results in an aromatic rice pudding. Perfect to curl up with a blanket and a bowl and your favourite film.
Royal Blue Coconut Rice Pudding
- Prep: 10 min
- Total: 35 min
NOTE: this recipe serves 4 or 6 people
For the Royal Blue Coconut Rice Pudding:
- 1 cup dessert rice (I’ve used Lassie)
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp water
- 1 cup coconut milk (shake well before you use it)
- 2 or 3 sachets of Butterfly Pea Flower Tea (I’ve used Blue Elephant)
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp of full fat milk (you can also use almond/soy milk for a vegan version)
- 3 tbsp white sugar (depends on how sweet you like your rice)
- 1 vanilla bean pod
For garnish and toppings:
- toasted coconut slivers (a must for texture)
- mint leaves (optional)
- blue flowers (optional)
- coconut sugar (optioanal)
- Add 1 cup + 2 tbsp of water to two Butterfly-pea Flower Tea sachets from Blue Elephant. Let this infuse for a good 10 minutes. After 10 minutes squeeze the tea bags to release all the tea and get that intense blue colour.
- Add the rice, blue tea, coconut milk, sugar, vanilla beans to a saucepan and cook the rice on a medium heat until it lightly starts to boil. Then reduce the heat to low and let the rice cook for 10-15 minutes (or until it’s slightly tender) and occasionally stir your rice to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
NOTE: In this recipe I chose for a dessert rice instead of a medium/short grain to cut down on the cooking time. If you use a short/medium grain type of rice then cook the rice for 30-45 minutes on a low heat.
- In the meantime heat up 1 cup + 2 tbsp of milk and soak 1 tea sachet (optional) in it. Squeeze out the tea and set this “blue milk tea” aside.
NOTE: I’ve used an extra tea sachet, as I wanted to have a more aromatic flavour and intense blue colour (obviously also for the Gram). This is definitely not necessary if you find that your rice pudding already has an aromatic scent.
- When the rice is cooked add the blue milk tea (read note no. 3 of the instructions carefully) to the pot and stir well. This blue milk tea will enhance the colour (and aromatic scent), as some of the blue hues fade during the cooking process. The extra milk will also make the rice creamier. If you like a an even more creamier substance feel free to add more milk or coconut milk until you have the desired texture.
- Serve the rice pudding hot and add the garnish and toppings.
- Replace the blueberries with mango or a chunky mango puree
- Instead of a final splash of coconut milk replace by a cheeky drizzle of condensed milk.
- Add more crunch by adding unsalted cashew nuts, almonds or even granola.
If you make my recipes please tag me in them and use #thespicedchickpearecipes. I'd love to see what you've made!