Coconut Brown Rice Pudding

You know how we feel over here about desserts that are pareve on purpose – that is, without fake dairy in them. This rice pudding is just that! Just mix some rice and coconut milk, a little bit of sugar and spices, and you have yourself a dessert in a couple of hours!

That’s right, it takes a while to cook, but it’s all unattended cooking time; all you have to do is stir once every 40 minutes or so. I’d imagine that this works well in the slow cooker, too. I’ll have to try that out!

I flavored mine with a vanilla bean, because that’s what I had in my pantry, but next time I think I want to try a cinnamon stick. I also sprinkled it with this sugar-chocolate-coffee bean grinder that I bought at Trader Joe’s. It’s actually a perfect accompaniment, though I bought it as an impulse – I saw the hashkacha and had to have it!

Before cooking, it’s hard to believe that this mixture will turn into a delicious dessert. Also, I waited until everyone tasted and loved this before I told them it was made with brown rice!!

Coconut and Brown Rice Pudding
4 servings. About 2 1⁄2 hours, largely unattended


  • 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 cup long-grain brown rice
  • Two 14-ounce cans coconut milk
  • 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • A cinnamon stick, a few cardamom pods, a split vanilla bean, a pinch of saffron, or other flavoring, optional


1. Heat the oven to 300°F. Put the rice in a food processor and pulse a few times to break the grains up a bit and scratch their hulls; don’t overdo it, or you’ll pulverize them.

2. Put all the ingredients in a 2-quart ovenproof pot or Dutch oven. Stir a couple of times and put the pan in the oven, uncovered. Cook for 45 minutes, then stir. Cook for 45 minutes more, and stir again. At this point the milk will have darkened a bit and should be bubbling, and the rice will have begun to swell.

3. Cook for 30 minutes more. The milk will be even darker, and the pudding will start to look more like rice than milk. It’s almost done. Return the mixture to the oven and check every 10 minutes, stirring gently each time you check.

4. It might (but probably won’t) take as long as 30 minutes more for the pudding to be ready. Just trust your instincts and remove the pudding from the oven when it is still soupy; it will thicken a lot as it cools. (If you overcook the pudding, it will become fairly hard though still quite good to eat.) Remove the whole spices if you used them. Serve the pudding warm, at room temperature, or cold, alone or with your favorite topping.