Black glutinous rice is an unpolished grain that’s of a short grain variety. The colour is actually dark purple; and the colour is more noticeable when the rice is cooked. Before that, when you wash the rice, you’ll notice the colour of the water turn into a bluish purple hue!
Black glutinous rice is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, as well as contains a high amount of fibre. It also contains the antioxidant anthocyanins, which can be found in blue and purple fruits. Anthocyanins can protect the body against free radical cells that might lead to cancer, aging and diseases. Some research has also shown that black glutinous rice offers more health benefits than white rice. It is also considered a tonic in Chinese medicine, thus strengthening the body. Health benefits aside, black glutinous rice offers a nutty flavour that makes it great for dessert or even adding to your daily rice.
If you love desserts, consider a healthier alternative to cakes, often made with refined flour. The traditional Malay dessert bubur hitam (black glutinous rice dessert) is an easy one to make. Commonly found in the Southeast Asian region of Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, each key ingredient of bubur hitam could be nourishing to the body. Of course, it is still ultimately a sweet dessert, so be mindful of the amount you consume too.
Ingredients you’ll need:
250g black glutinous rice
120g coconut palm sugar or Gula Melaka
2 litres of water
2 pandan leaves (screwpine leaves)
Pinch of salt
150ml coconut milk
5 to 10 dried longan (optional)
1. Before washing the glutinous rice, toast it in a frying pain to bring out the aroma of the rice. Then wash and rinse the rice.
2. Tie the long pandan leaves into a bunch, then place the rice, pandan leaves, dried longan and water in a pot and let boil. After that, turn down the fire for it to simmer for 1.5 hours. Make sure to stir the pot every 10 to 15 minutes so the rice won’t burn at the bottom of the pot.
3. Add palm sugar and a pinch of salt into the pot.
4. Add a dash of coconut milk into each bowl before serving.
This can serve 6 to 8 persons.
Note that coconut milk can contribute to the body’s cholesterol count, so eat in moderation. Coconut palm sugar is touted as a healthier alternative to granulated sugar because of its low glycemic index. This means that glucose is released to the body slowly and steadily, preventing a spike in your sugar levels. As for pandan leaves, they offer anti-inflammatory benefits, among other things. We say, that’s a sweet treat you won’t resist.