The easiest rice pudding ever!

I love rice pudding but I always felt the amount of effort was not worth it (I must have a rubbish recipe).

Recently, we were having friends over for dinner, one of who was dairy and gluten intolerant. This caused my brain to ache slightly. Our brief was to stick to vegetables and rice (I forgot to mention they were both vegetarian). My first instinct was rice pudding but then I realised it was full of cream, butter and milk which were off the menu!

One evening Mr Mac and I had a thai curry for dinner. I always misjudge the amount of sticky rice to make (the instructions on the side of the packet are in cups – I think I use mugs!) and we end up with enough to eliminate third world famine. The other annoying thing is we only ever use half a tin of coconut milk. The other half goes in the fridge and then gets thrown out after a month when I find it again!

Can you see where I’m going with this? Mr Mac suggested trying to make a rice pudding using the leftover rice and coconut milk.  It took us a while to get it right but we impressed our friends and now feel smug about not wasting food.

It is worth playing around with it to suit your own taste but this is what we do:

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • Rice – whatever the packet suggests for a portion per person. We have used pudding rice and also leftover thai sticky rice and both work equally well.
  • 200ml (or half a tin) of coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 3 or 4 cardomams
  • sliced mango for a garnish


  1. Cook the rice as per instructions on the packet, drain and leave in a bowl.
  2. Put the coconut milk, sugar, cardomams (I bash them to get the seeds out but put the whole lot in the pan ) and vanilla pod (slice it open to release the seeds but put the whole lot in the pan) in a pan and warm through gently until all the flavours have infused into the milk.
  3. Once you are happy with the taste of the milk, strain it through a sieve over the rice. WARNING do not do what I once did and strain the milk over the sink only realising what a prize idiot I was when the last of the milk disappeared down the plughole!
  4. Mix the rice and milk together and eat straight away or leave until later and warm it up in the oven. Some sliced mango over the top finishes it off nicely.

You can mess around with other spices like cinammon or add nuts, and orange and lemon zest.

The beauty of this dish is it can be eaten straight away, eaten cold or made well in advance of guests coming leaving you time to be an attentive host.

It is also naturally free from dairy, eggs, soy and gluten so can be eaten by virtually everyone (unless you don’t like rice or coconut).


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