Chai Rice Pudding

The classic, remade to be fit for breakfast or dessert.


Photo by Leah Lizarondo
 

Well, hello there, winter. As someone who grew up using Celsius (and the metric scale, as with most industrialized nations!), “14 degrees” is a more adequate expression of how cold it feels for me! Somehow, “7 degrees” does not have the same gravity. A negative number, for me, conjures images of the tundra. Hyperbolic, maybe, but it might as well be for this tropical fish! So while the naysayers say, “it’s not that cold,” I live defiantly huddled in my full-length polar-grade down jacket.



When it gets this cold, I try to camp out in my kitchen – where my big hulk of an industrial stove provides added warmth. As I click through pictures of white sand beaches, I seek comfort in a bowl of this warming, fragrant, sweet, velvety rice pudding. Evoking the flavor of chai tea, this double duty breakfast/dessert uses spices that are considered to be “warming” – cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and pepper. The red adzuki beans punctuate each bite offering not only a nice break in texture and flavor but also a host of healthful benefits.

Adzuki beans are often used in both sweet and savory dishes in Asia. Adzuki beans add fiber and protein to dishes. These sweet red beans are packed with folate, potassium and magnesium – all three of which we can all use more of, as most of us are deficient in these nutrients.

If you haven’t tried sweet beans before, this is a wonderful way to introduce yourself to it!

  Chai Rice Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Arborio rice , sushi rice or short grain brown rice (preferred)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2-3 cups coconut milk or So Delicious Coconut Milk - Unsweetened
  • 1-2 cups cooked adzuki beans
  • ¼ -1/2 cup maple syrup
  • pinch of salt

 

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anise
  • 3-4 thin slices fresh ginger

In a loose spice bag:
Note: I don’t do this but some people do not like biting into these spices.

Make one with cheesecloth.
Or apparently, a coffee filter.

  • 6-8 green cardamom pods
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 6 whole allspice berries
  • Cinnamon for garnish
  • Sliced almonds for garnish

Directions:

1. Over medium heat, place rice and water in a heavy-bottomed pan, along with all the spices
2. Cover and bring water to a boil
3. Remove cover, add adzuki beans and stir
4. When water is absorbed, lower the heat and add the coconut milk gradually, ½ cup at a time, stirring from time to time until the milk is all absorbed
5. Add maple syrup, give it a good stir
6. Remove spice bag and large spices
7. Serve with a dusting of cinnamon and chopped almonds

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