Several years ago, I did a Vegan on a Budget challenge. The purpose of the series was to examine if it’s possible to eat on a specialty diet and save money. (My conclusion: yes, it’s possible.) While I no longer follow a vegan diet, the experiment left me with some tasty new recipes and methods of cooking that I still incorporate into my meals.
I wanted to share one of my very favorite, go-to vegan recipes for those moments you’re craving something sweet. This recipe is dairy-free, easy to make, and only requires a few ingredients, making it easy on the budget, too. You can also alter the recipe to suit your tastes and what you have in the pantry, too. It’s also inspired by one of my very favorite desserts, Indian rice pudding! I always have to have a bowl whenever I eat at an Indian restaurant. For the record, I am not claiming that today’s recipe is authentic by any stretch. The flavors and ingredients are simply “inspired by” it.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cups cooked Basmati rice (I’ll share how to do this!)
- 1 can coconut milk (I used “lite” today, but regular works great, too)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp vanilla
Again, there are variations that can be done to this recipe. One of them, particularly if you’re short on time, is to just use instant rice. However, I really think basmati makes this recipe and I encourage you to take the extra 30 minutes’ time to make it! I made a huge batch that I can also freeze, or use in stir fries.
It’s taken me a lot of trial and error to learn to cook rice over the years, but I have finally figured out the trick. The secret? Rinse, rinse, rinse your rice! It will help make the final texture perfect and fluffy and not that dreaded glue-y, mushy stuff. I rinsed mine in small batches using a fine sieve.
Now I just followed the instructions on the bag of my rice (and I recommend you do the same). It called for 4 cups of water and 1 tbsp. of butter to bring to a boil.
Next, add the rinsed rice, bring back to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 3 minutes.
Ah! Is there anything better than a batch of perfectly cooked, fluffy rice? I think not. Again, I followed the instructions on my bag of Basmati, and I encourage you to do the same, or cook your rice to your preference. I should also mention that this yielded a LOT of rice, way more than my recipe calls for. But I’m planning on just having mine for lunches or freezing in small batches for later.
Here comes the fun and super quick part: making the pudding! Into a small pan, dump in the can of coconut milk, 2 cups of the cooked rice, the raisins, and the sugar. Heat on medium high for about 5-10 minutes. I don’t even bother bringing it to a boil, just heating it. Then, add the cardamom and vanilla. That’s it!
This recipe makes 4 small servings, or if you’re like me and my son – 2 big servings! Guys, it’s sooo good. It’s good hot out of the pot, but I think it tastes even better chilled the next morning. I’ve been known to even have it for breakfast.
Other ideas: top it with fresh sliced strawberries, mangos, or bananas. You can also enjoy it with slivered almonds, chopped pistachios or shaved coconut. I hope you enjoy this tasty little recipe as much as we do!
Looking for another delicious, healthy recipe recipe? Try this: