chilled coconut milk rice pudding with mango and pineapple

I’m sure most of us at one time or another have looked forward to tucking into a bowl of rice pudding. For me it’s a childhood favourite – fresh out the oven with a lovely skin baked on top and served with fruit and cream. My late great uncle used to serve his with homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream, an absolute treat and the memory of that and long sunny Dorset days always makes me smile.

This week however I’ve broken with tradition and I’m making a chilled rice pudding – turning this rib-sticking dessert into something altogether lighter and fresher. Cooking Arborio rice in almost the same way as I would prepare a risotto, although using coconut milk as opposed to stock means that I can add liquid as the rice needs it, giving me more control to the final texture of the dish.

When making this to be chilled I cook the rice more than I would do if it were to be finished in the oven as the added starch holds the final pudding in place. The cool rice is perfect served after a spicy Thai curry – soothing the palate after all the hot and sour flavours. The mango puree and pineapple bring a really refreshing sweetness and the toasted coconut gives a well needed bit of crunch and texture. Enjoy.

words – Justin Maule

The Method

Serves 4


150g Arborio rice
200ml water
1 can coconut milk
20g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 slice pineapple, diced
½ mango, pureed
20g desiccated coconut, toasted

1. Just cover rice with water and bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the time till most of the water is absorbed. Continue to stir whilst adding coconut milk bit by bit until the rice has absorbed most of the milk.
2. Add vanilla and sugar to sweeten stirring well to combine, remove from heat and leave to rest. Chill until required.
3. Sautee pineapple with a knob of butter till slightly browned, remove from heat and chill.
4. Serve rice pudding chilled topped with pineapple, a swirl of mango puree and a sprinkle of coconut.