Coconut Rice Pudding

I was going to write that Bali cured me of my life-long aversion to breakfast, but then I thought about it some more. It is not so much that I’ve been ‘cured,’ but more that my greedy side got the better of my averse side while standing in front of the incredible pick-and-mix tropical fruit combinations offered by the resort buffet! By the end of the trip, I had established my very favourite combination – hot porridge at the bottom of the bowl, bircher on top, added nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, passion fruit, and a dollop of yogurt just to the side (blueberry if possible), then milk on top. Delicious!

This warm coconut-y rice pudding has the texture of porridge, but the nuts and shredded coconut give a muesli-like crunch. Cinnamon and vanilla are comforting and dessert-y, while the variety of colourful fruit replicates some of the fun of the pick-and-mix. Adapt according to what you would like to see in your dream bowl of tropical muesli!


(Serves 4)

  • 100g short grain rice
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 250ml milk
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 200ml double cream
  • 1 mango – peeled and sliced
  • 2 jackfruit – peeled and sliced
  • ½ a dragon fruit – peeled and chopped into cubes
  • Handful of longan – peeled, seeds removed
  • 2 passion fruit
  • Handful of almonds – lightly roasted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut to scatter – lightly toasted

Combine the rice, sugar, coconut milk, regular milk, vanilla pod, and ground cinnamon in a saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat. As soon as the mixture has boiled, reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer and blip along for 40 minutes, or until the rice is completely cooked and all the liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally while cooking to help things on their way.

Once cooked, leave the rice to cool for 10 minutes…

Allowing you time to get on with the busy business of chopping fruit.

When you’re ready to serve, extract the vanilla pod from the rice. Place the pod on a chopping board, chop off one of its ends, and run a knife along the length to force the vanilla pods from the cut end. The seeds will come out as a little squiggle of blackness. Add the squiggle to the rice and stir through to distribute luxurious little vanilla specks through the whole pudding.

Next, add the cream to the rice and stir this through as well. The pudding should have a porridge-y texture, so top up with further cream if necessary.

Now, spoon into serving bowls and top with as much tropical fruit, toasted nuts, and coconut as you can manage!