Lightened Up Sweet Coconut Rice
Trianga (Tricolor) Theme Dessert
My first introduction to Sweet Coconut Rice was not very long ago but my love for Sweet Rice is pretty deep rooted. Since childhood, I loved eating rice. Mom says, I pretty much grew-up eating rice crispy and sweet rice treats :)
Rice cooked in milk (Indian Kheer), rice cooked in jaggery (raw sugarcane sugar) or simply rice crispy in cold milk were my most loved breakfasts and desserts and meals... Even today, when I crave to eat sweet rice, I just can't resist for long. I have to cook and eat and cherish my childhood memories....
Coconut Sweet Rice, I tasted recently in a Thai Restaurant and as usual loved'em in first bite. Sweet, sticky and sugary rice were served drenched in sweetened coconut milk and more(!!!) coconut milk to pour on. Even though I don't like too much sweet, I simply loved every spoon of coconut rice I ate. sooo-addictive!! sinfully sweet!
Well, my love for rice and taste of flavorful coconut rice were enough to make me cook sweet rice at home last weekend. And you know me. No matter how much I crave and love sweet rice, I have to, just have to make a lighter version.
Lightened up Sweet Rice - Skip the guilt but not the flavor!
My childhood favorite rice and scrumptious flavor of Thai Sweet Coconut Rice came together in this recipe pretty well. I made FIVE delicious adjustments to lighten up.
1) Used half Coconut Milk and half water for lite Vegan Sweet Rice. Creamy rice yet no milk used.
2) Added some grated coconut to enhance the coconut flavor.
3) Reduced the amount of sugar.
4) Reduced the amount of rice per serving. Portion control is everything!!
5) Layered (lightly sweetened) fresh kiwi fruits and mandarin oranges with coconut rice to make a lite yet so so so satisfying sweet treat.
Even Vishal (sweets fanatic) couldn't make out less sugar part. And adding some grated coconut to rice really, reaaaallllly enhanced the coconut flavor. Only I knew I have used diluted coconut milk to cook the rice. Go figure.
Cherishing 15th August - Indian Independence Day
Not only the flavor combination of fruit and coconut sweet rice were super-delicious but this is also my way to remember:
a) my childhood
b) my eternal love for sweet rice
c) my love for my birth-country (India) in this one dessert!
Indian Independence Day (15th August) and three colors of my sweet coconut rice reminded me of Trianga (Tricolor) Indian Flag, symbol of courage, peace, and faith (as appear from top to bottom). Independence Day is most loved and cherished National Day for any country and its citizens. And so is for me and I bet, so is for you too for your country....
While working on dessert, I immediately connected with colors of Indian Flag and felt to make one rice cup specially dedicated to Trianga (tri-colors). For that special cup of rice, I used two layers of coconut rice, one white and one colored with Green Indian Khas Khas Syrup. And also made small wheel of flag using cloves (not mentioned in recipe ingredients, it is optional)
Impressed with quality of green color, I also added few drops of Khas Syrup on Kiwi Layer in each cup. Use of this syrup is totally optional, just kiwi fruit gives a great taste and nice green color layer to this Rice-Fruit cup. If you still wanna use green color and can't find Khas Syrup, make simple syrup using equal part water and sugar, then add green 5-6 drops green food color to make the green syrup.
Why make Lightened Up Coconut Rice?
Good questions!! Why I will make it - because I love every moment attached to it...
Why should you try this dessert? because... it is
2) Has strong coconut flavor yet very less sugar and starch calories.
3) Great for Kids. Trust me, for kids, you have to triple the recipe. I bet!
4) Party friendly. Assemble in disposable cups, ready up-to 2 DAYS in advance.
What do you say? Sweet Cravings doesn't have to hurt, right? Does this make you eat Sweet Coconut Rich Treat this evening or for your next event?
How about now?? Sweet, creamy coconut-y rice!!!
Plus you can ready'em in no time. Only 20 minutes of cooking and you can assemble in a large one bowl instead of individual cups to save almost all of assemble time.
Lightened Up Sweet Coconut Rice
1. Wash the rice under running water. In a deep pan, combine 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup coconut milk.2. Add rice and sugar. Stir well to combine. Cook at low heat for about 20 minutes.
3. Keep stirring in-between as short grain rice tends to sticks to bottom of pan very quickly. Cook until almost all water has evaporated and rice grains are fully cooked yet not mushy.4. Add 2 tbsp grated coconut into rice. Remove from heat and spread on plate to cool down for at-least 15 minutes.
5. In serving cups, divide kiwi fruit pieces evenly among 6 cups. I also added 1/4 tsp of green khas syrup in each cup to enhance taste and green color. But that is totally optional. Not mentioned in ingredients list.6. Top each cup with equal amount of cooled coconut rice and level with a spoon.
7. Discard syrup from oranges and top with orange slices on each cup.8. Chill in refrigerator before serving. Additional Notes: Rice pudding can made 1-2 day in advance. This dessert is served chilled. So you can make and assemble ahead and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Savita's Notes:Don't forget to stir the coconut rice while cooking as they tend to stick to bottom of pan pretty fast. You can change fruit toppings per your liking. Fresh, ripe and diced mangoes, lichi, pineapple will also go great with Coconut Rice Cups.
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