by Niamh Shields
From Beder’s Kitchen: Recipes and reflections to raise awareness around mental health and suicide prevention from foodies all over the world (Meze Publishing)
Preparation time: 5 minutes, plus overnight soaking
Cooking time: 30 minutes
This black rice feels like a real treat for breakfast. I usually have it at weekends when I have more time, but it is perfect at any time, and it is also a superb afternoon treat. Enjoy!
For the black rice
50g black sticky rice
160ml tinned coconut cream
1 tsp honey (or to taste)
1 banana, peeled and sliced (optional)
1 tbsp chopped toasted almonds
First, soak the rice overnight and rinse thoroughly under the cold tap the next day. If you forget to soak it, rinse it a few times and you will be good to go.
Cover the rice with the water in a small pot with a lid, then cook gently over a medium heat in a lidded pot for 15 minutes, adding more water little by little if you need to.
When the rice has absorbed the water and is softening but still has bite, add two tablespoons of the coconut cream and honey to taste.
Put the lid back on the pot and set aside until ready to serve. Heat the remaining coconut cream over a medium heat and reduce it until it is nice and thick.
Serve the black rice warm (don’t let it sit too long or it will get soggy) with the thickened coconut cream, sliced banana and toasted almonds on top.
If you haven’t had black sticky rice before, have a look for it in the Thai section of Asian supermarkets. When cooked like this, it’s a bit like rice pudding but deeper and richer. The adds a feeling of decadence and it is perfect with most fruits so use what is in season, or just slice a banana on top as I’ve done here.
I like to add a sprinkle of chopped toasted nuts after the fruit for texture and flavour.
My favourites are hazelnuts, pistachios and almonds. If I’m making this in autumn, I like to add some plums lightly stewed with a stick of cinnamon to serve on top of the rice. Stewed apple would be lovely too, and rhubarb in season is a joy, but the best thing to have on this rice is your favourite fruit, whatever that is, or even just add your favourite jam.
Cooking for me is an act of self-care. Cooking for one, as I do every day, is not something that I see as a chore, but time out from the daily stresses that I take to make something nourishing and delicious for me to eat. I believe that time to nourish yourself should be a priority, even if it just takes 10 minutes. I know that is so hard to do when depressed and I have been there, but start small, and make and eat simple things. Even a piece of fresh fruit can lift the spirit.