“We needed to think of a dish that was vegan, dairy free and gluten free,” says Nedin Rahmanovic, the chef behind Twenty & Six’s most popular dish. “I’m a huge fan of rice pudding in general, and I was looking to put it on the menu in a way that was more nourishing than its dessert counterpart.”
Traditionally an English dish made with white rice and a sprinkling of cinnamon, Rahmanovic has given his rice pudding a South-East Asian spin, serving it with black rice, mango, passionfruit pulp and, occasionally, edible flowers. Rahmanovic says you can pick wild edible flowers if you know where to look, or gourmet grocers should stock them.
In lieu of blooms, puffed rice or toasted coconut flakes can add a wonderful textural element. Grilled pineapple or papaya can also replace the mango, but it’s important to use a thick coconut cream to avoid a watery texture and bleeding from the black rice. Try Kara coconut cream for best results.
300g black glutinous rice
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
1 ripe banana, sliced
100g white sugar
600mL coconut cream
3 ripe mangoes, peeled, cheeks sliced off
100g fresh passionfruit pulp (about 10–12 fresh passionfruit)
100g puffed wild rice (raw wild rice quickly fried at 190–200°C and drained on paper towel) or toasted coconut flakes
In a medium saucepan, bring 1 litre of water to the boil. Add the black rice and vanilla pod and cook, uncovered, for 30–35 minutes on a very low heat, stirring only occasionally, until soft and sticky. Drain, remove the vanilla pod and tip the rice into a large bowl.
Add the banana and sugar to the bowl with the rice and mix until combined.
Divide the coconut cream between the serving bowls and add the rice. Top the rice with the mango (either as whole cheeks wedged into the rice, or sliced into three pieces each and crisscrossed on top) and passionfruit pulp and sprinkle over the puffed rice and coconut flakes.
This is an extract from The Broadsheet Melbourne Cookbook, which contains 80 recipes from the city’s best restaurants, cafes and bars.