Goldilocks & the black sticky rice pudding

Not enough warmth in my bones. Not enough photons hitting my eyeballs. March is making it easy to pretend I’m a winter-sedated bear nesting in my flannel sheets each night.

Here’s a little something Goldilocks would find steaming on the table if she broke into this bear’s house. I have no doubt she would lick the bowl of black sticky rice pudding clean. I wouldn’t blame her, because I did the same as a wee cub in Indonesia (where it’s called bubur ketan hitam)! It’s warming, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food, and it’s remarkably good for you too…

bubur ketan hitam

Black sticky rice is actually a very deep purple, alerting us to high levels of anthocyanin — the same antioxidant which has bumped blueberries to superfood status in recent years. And it’s a whole grain, meaning its bran is intact and chockablock full of fibre. Take that, berries!

black sticky rice
In this simple recipe, a small amount of unrefined palm sugar enhances the darkly sweet flavours already present in the  rice, and coconut cream is an extra dollop of unctuousness on top. To sum it up: these are a few of my favorite things.

palm sugar



200 g (1 cup) black glutinous rice

1 liter (about 4.5 cups) water

pinch salt

palm sugar to taste

coconut cream


Bring the rice and water to a boil, then let it simmer uncovered on low heat for about an hour. The liquid will slowly reduce and the grains will soften, but not disintegrate.  I prefer the rice to still have a bit of a chewy bite but if you like yours softer, add more water and let the pot burble away a bit longer. Bref, you’re looking for a glossy purple porridge-like consistency. Add palm sugar to taste and swirl in some coconut cream before smacking your lips and eating it all up à la Goldilocks.

PS. Are you still in hibernation too? Aside from bowls of rice pudding, warm slippers and afternoon coffees are getting me through…