The charming, Far Eastern country of Cambodia is all too often remembered for its bloody history, but modern Cambodians love to celebrate life through a myriad of community-based festivals. From the colorful Khmer New Year in April to November’s water festival, Cambodia’s government is keen to promote the joyfulness of its people and the nation’s culinary excellence. Practically every part of the coconut palm is used by Cambodian people, according to the Cambodian Trade Promotion Department, but one of its most delicious uses has to be coconut rice pudding.
A very simple baked rice custard with numerous variations. All ingredients are found in the average pantry and frig. Great for a dessert, side dish or even breakfast.
- 90g3oz scant 1 cup short or sround-grain pudding rice
- 600ml/1 pint/2.5 cups coconut milk
- 300ml cups milk
- 1 large strip lime rind
- 60g/2oz cup caster sugar
- stick of butter (40z)
- pinch of ground star anise
- fresh or stewed fruit
Mix the rice with the coconut milk, milk, lime rind and sugar.
Pour the rice mixture into a lightly-greased 1.4 litre shollow ovenproff dish and dot the surface with a little butter. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
Remove and discard the strip of lime. Stir the pudding well, add the pinch of ground star anise, if using, return to the oven and cook for a further 1-2 hours or until almost all the milk has been absorbed and a golden brown skin has baked on the top of the pudding. Cover the top of the pudding with foil if it starts to brown too much to wards the end of the cooking time.
Serve the pudding warm or chilled with fresh or stewed fruit.