4 cups chocolate soymilk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup (packed) brown sugar, or a bit more, to taste
1 1/4 cups Kalijira rice
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 1/2 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/2 ounce finely chopped unsweetened chocolate
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Optional garnishes: Creme fraiche or 1/2 cup grated bittersweet chocolate
Rice pudding is always conforming, but especially so in cool weather. This unusual version uses Kalijira, a special small-grained aromatic rice grown in Bangladesh. The small grains cook more quickly than large-grained rice. Chocolate soymilk adds extra flavor and nutritional value. The rice pudding may be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated; it will keep for a week.
In a small heavy saucepan, combine the soymilk, cocoa powder, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring from time to time. Meanwhile, rinse and drain the rice in a fine strainer. Put the rice, water, and slat in a medium heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, then add the soymilk mixture to the rice. Reduce the heat and cook uncovered at a gentle simmer, stirring frequently (to keep the rice firm sticking to the bottom of the pan), until the rice is very tender and the consistency of a thick porridge, about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates and stir until completely dissolved. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then stir in the vanilla. Taste and add more sugar and/or salt if needed. Transfer to a serving dish or divide among individual dishes. Serve warm, at room temperature, or lightly chilled. If desired, drizzle with crème fraiche and sprinkle with grated chocolate.
- Cinnamon-Chocolate Kalijira Rice Pudding:
Add 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon to the soymilk mixture and cook together with the other ingredients. (Alternatively, add the cinnamon at the end with the chocolate.)
- Chocolate-Espresso Kalijira Rice Pudding:
Add 1/4 cup espresso or strong coffee or 2 tablespoons espresso powder to the soymilk mixture.