I’m writing to you from the middle of summer in subtropical Queensland. So, if you’re somewhere cold right now, sorry if this Coconut Rice Porridge with Passionfruit seems somewhat jarring. But I’m doing a new thing this year! Usually I can’t stand the heat – the constant sweat down your spine, thighs sticking to everything, hair a disaster of epic, wiry proportions – but this year I’m trying to play it cool. Instead of kvetching about the awful weather, I’m trying to trick my brain into forgetting it hates being hot, and just…enjoy it?
Does that sound crazy? I’m not trying to convince myself I’ on a tropical island, or on holiday. But I am telling my brain that the heat, although ever-present, is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s very relaxing, I will say that. And as long as you have cold drinks, and are taking advantage of the awesome fruit-bounty of the season, then dealing with hot weather pretty much boils down to controlling your crankiness.
When everything itches because it’s so hot? Just be fine with it. When you’re drinking so much water that you’re peeing 5000 times a day, but you still feel dehydrated? Just have another drink of water, it’s fine. And then when you’ve managed to keep it chill (there’s a reason those words are ‘chill’ and ‘cool’) then reward yourself with this to look forward to – either as dessert, a cheeky breakfast, or even an afternoon snack.
Creamy, vegan coconut rice, long-simmered in water and flavoured with nothing but coconut milk, and then smothered in the fluorescent pulp of as many passionfruits as you like. The bright spiky-sweetness of the passionfruit cutting through the rich aroma of the coconut rice like a knife through hot butter makes each mouthful of this more addictive than the last. And you can eat it out of a jar, which is super hipster and fun.
If you’re in Brisbane this weekend you’ll see me throwing a few of these into an esky (aka cooler, chilly bin, ice box, cool box) and heading to the beach first thing on Saturday morning. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the summer, can you?
- ½ cup short grain rice (arborio or pudding rice)
- 2 cups (500ml) water
- 1x 14oz can (440ml) coconut milk
- caster sugar, to taste
- passionfruit, to serve
- Place the rice and water into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over a high heat.
- Turn the heat down as low as it will go, and cook the rice, stirring frequently, for about 20-30 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is almost cooked through.
- Add the coconut milk and continue cooking until the rice cooks through, and the rice porridge has the texture of custard - it should be more soupy than thick, as it will thicken as it cools.
- Taste the mixture and add sugar to sweeten, if desired. I think less is more here, so I only add 1-2tbsp usually.
- Cool the rice pudding and then serve with plenty of fresh passionfruit pulp over the top.