No Frills Dessert: Black Glutinous Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk Drizzle

Despite the title no-frills dessert, I can’t say that I make this rice pudding all the time. In fact, the last time I had this dessert was when I still called myself a teenager.

As I often move around places where there’s no Chinatown or Asian groceries are scarce (not by choice, of course), black glutinous rice is precious in my eyes. When my friend brought this dessert over to my potluck  party a couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled to reconnect with my teenhood favourite.

Anyway, since my friend knows how much I wish to recreate this dessert,  he gave me his remaining stash to me. Happiness. 🙂

There are many ways you can go about making this. If you like it a bit fancy, you can add palm sugar and knotted pandan leaves to flavour it up.  If this is still too plain for you, banana fritters and grilled mango make wonderful accompaniments.

Since this is a rice pudding à la fuss free, only sugar and water is used. You’ll be surprised to find that the rice itself exudes sweet aroma likened to vanilla and pandan when boiling in water and my favourite part of the cooking process is watching the rice stains the water into Ribena-like colour.

Black Glutinous Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk Drizzles

Serves 4  people


1 cup black glutinous rice ( can be found in Asian grocery stores)

5  2/3 cups water

1/2 cup sugar

about 1 cup coconut milk to drizzle


1. In a medium sized pot, add water and black rice.  Simmer uncovered under low to medium heat for 70 minutes (the reason I say uncovered is so that I can walk away without worrying the mixture will boil over and caramelised on my stovetop – this’d spell disaster). To shorten the cooking time, you can soak the rice a day before.

2. Stir in sugar in the last 15 minutes of the cooking time. The rice mixture will be mushy and thickened around this time, so stir  gently to make sure it doesn’t stick at the bottom.

3. Drizzle coconut milk just before serving. My personal preference is to serve while it’s piping hot but it is equally good at room temperature or cold.

Emily’s note: You can vary its consistency at the end of the cooking time. If you like it congee style (my dad for one), add more water and sugar to taste.

Asian Dessert, Sugary Treats. permalink.

36 thoughts on “No Frills Dessert: Black Glutinous Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk Drizzle

  1. I love this dessert!! It’s easy to make but flavorful! I agreed only water and suagr can make a great dessert out of this black rice!

    love your photos. they make me mouth water!

  2. I have just discovered your blog, and I love it! I live in London now, but grew up in Australia having been born in Hong Kong. The thing I miss most (apart from family and friends, of course) is the great Asian food in Australia. You say nothing like what is in Malaysia, but SO MUCH better than what is here in London!

    Anyway, found your blog and loved it, and loved it even more once I realised it was written from Australia! Keep up the good work.

  3. Sounds delicious – definitely going to try making it if I can find that type of rice here in Europe.

    Just wanted to make sure about one thing though, is it really 5 cups of water? Sounds like alot for just 1 cup of rice…?

    • Hi Christina,

      Yes, you need 5 cups of water for this instead of the usual 1:2 ratio of white rice to water.

      Black glutinous rice is a bit different from white rice because it is quite fibrous (like brown rice)and husky. Also the correct texture of this dessert is mushy and not to forget, since I’m cooking uncovered, you lost a lot of moisture there. Say if you prefer to cook it covered, then you can reduce the amount of water.

      If you still not certain, you can start with three cups and add more later (but you got to watch it more closely from getting burnt). I added 5 cups and so that I can walk away without worrying about it from getting burnt.

      Hope this helps. 🙂

  4. I remember eating black rice pudding as an offering at the Hindu was soo good.I am very sure it had baby bananas and jaggery or palm sugar in it. This recipe reminded me of that a lot. thank you 🙂

  5. That is a deliciously looking dessert. I would love to this at home and serve it to my family. It only does not give the yummy taste but also the benefits it gives to people. Black rice had been known to contain higher level of antioxidants than blueberries thus making it the super food of the 21st century. Glad to have found your site for this recipe with the detailed instructions I truly can follow.

  6. Is it 5 lots of 2/3 cups of water for the black sticky rice to simmer in?
    Receipe looks so easy-very keen to give it a go.
    Thanks Shona

  7. Loved this recipe! I added a little bit of vanilla essence though to give it a bit more flavour (my boyfriend was looking for cinnamon but couldn’t find it so we went with the vanilla). Tasted great!

    I’m so glad I discovered this web site! Thanks for all the good tips, I may become a master chef after all ;).

  8. This is spot on. My wife is from HK and we are living in Australia. Every time we go back to HK for holidays we eat this dessert and this recipe is as close to the HK style as you can get. Excellent and many thanks for sharing.

    P.S. Goes great with fresh mango, forget about the canned stuff though.

  9. Loved making it and eating it too. So did my 2.5yr old who didn’t want any dinner just dessert! Even though I added the 5 cups of water mine stuck a bit as I was busy doing too many things that I almost forgot it altogether but could hear it bubbling away. Thanks for the recipe, it was easy to make.

  10. If you live in Ontario, Canada, you can buy black rice in the ethnic section of Food Basics. It is very reasonably priced.

  11. Hello:

    I found the black sweet rice but I read that much of it is dyed (or GMO stuff) and may not be legitimate “black” rice or even safe to eat? How does one know if the rice is safe and has not been dyed?

    I can’t read most of what’s printed on the package, and there are very few English words on the package. For what it’s worth, the five-pound sack of rice cost me six dollars — is that too cheap to be safe?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Greg,

      I didn’t realise that black rice could have a “dyed version”. I think for me, it’s a matter of going to a reliable supplier to get the black rice…sometimes, you can find them in health stores which perhaps be a little safer?

  12. To me this is “comfort food”. everything about this dish is homely, simplisticly honest flavour & so yeah good! I had this in Bali Feb 2012 & @ approx. $1.50 AUD very yummy :)I also have the pandan leaves in the freezer ready to go for each batch, makes a real difference inc. the palm sugar .

  13. Thank you for your wonderful blog. All of your recipes look great. I’ve just made, and eaten, this black sticky rice recipe. I was fortunate enough to have some tasty Balinese palm sugar which I brought back with me from Bali last year so I used some of that (yes I declared it at Customs with no problems) along with some coconut milk that comes in little long life packets which are now available in Woolworths Supermarkets, it’s much nicer than the canned stuff. I bought the black glutinous rice in Clayton, Vic. Australia.

  14. thanks for the recipe I am going to give it a go, I do have some palm sugar, do I replace the regular sugar with 1/2 cup of palm sugar?

  15. Hi! I am having to be on a sugar free diet…so I was wondering if it would mess things up to omit the sugar in this recipe? If it’s just used to sweeten things could I use a bit of honey instead? Thanks p..can’t wait to try it

    • Hi Shelby,

      Yes, you can omit the sugar in the recipe because it is just for taste. I can’t see why not for drizzling a little honey before serving. I hope you’ll like the recipe. 🙂

      x Emily

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