“Black Sticky Rice Dessert/Pulut Hitam” is a dessert made of Black Glutinous(sticky) Rice and Coconut Milk, mildly sweetened with Palm Sugar/Rock Sugar. This Southeast Asian dessert is cooked to the consistency of rice porridge, with a rich and creamy flavour. A note of Pandan from freshly knotted Pandan Leaves gives this dessert an authentic touch. Black Sticky Rice Dessert/Pulut Hitam is one of the most popular desserts in the Southeast Asian region. It has different names throughout the region, ‘Bubur Ketan’ in Indonesia, ‘Bee Koh Moy’ in Hokkien, ‘Bubur Pulut Hitam’ in Malay and so on. This black sticky rice dessert is a local favourite. It is one of the most popular & common desserts in Nyonya & Peranakan families. The first time, I tasted this Pulut Hitam was at our friend’s brother’s place in Melaka. His wife asked me whether I have tasted Pulut before and to me, I had no idea what it was. She immediately arranged to buy Pulut, freshly grated coconuts, etc., and when we went back to her house in the evening there she had this beautiful dessert ready for me. Mysteriously coloured, chewy Rice in a rich and creamy Coconut Milk base & the dessert was mildly sweet. It was she who introduced to me this Dessert & the recipe. Sticky Rice is one common variety of Rice available in South East Asian Region and you can find a wide range of desserts and dishes prepared out of it. This dessert is prepared with Black Sticky(Glutinous) Rice which has a dark purple colour that is almost black. It is rich in antioxidants and has a high fibre content in it. This Black Sticky(Glutinous) Rice is usually used in desserts in the Southeast Asian region. This rice is also known as “Forbidden Rice”. Once cooked this Black Sticky(Glutinous) Rice makes this dessert beautiful with its colour. It turns into a bright purplish burgundy colour adding uniqueness to the dessert. I usually add Palm Sugar/ Rock Sugar which yields a mild sweetness to Pulut Hitam. Adding Palm Sugar or the Malaysian Gula Melaka adds a nutty sweetness and goes hand in hand with the colour of the Black Sticky Rice Dessert. Above all the dessert is mildly sweetened, it is commonly termed as Bubur Pulut Hitam – Porridge(Bubur) masqueraded as a Dessert. I usually soak the Black Sticky(Glutinous) Rice overnight or at least for 6-8 hours before cooking. But it can also be cooked without soaking the rice beforehand, but it takes a longer time and an extra amount of water to cook. And the cooked rice doesn’t yield a perfect texture. The Rice should be cooked until soft. Pulut Hitam/Black Sticky Rice can be cooked in a rice cooker or in a Pressure Cooker. It can also be cooked in a steamer/saucepan. Pulut Hitam/Black Sticky Rice can be cooked until liquid is reduced to a thicker consistency. Leaving the cooked rice for 4-5 hours will also allow the starch to be released from the glutinous rice and thicken the dessert.
- 1 cup Black Sticky(Glutinous) Rice
- 5-6 cups Water
- 2 Pandan Leaves
- 1/4 cup Palm Sugar/Rock Sugar
- 1 1/2 cups Coconut Milk
- Salt To Taste
- Clean, Wash the Black Sticky Rice 2-3 times or until water runs clear. Soak the Black Sticky Rice in water for about 8-10 hours/Overnight. Once soaked, drain and discard the water used for soaking.
- Add 5-6 Cups of Water, knotted Pandan Leaves and cook the Black Sticky Rice until the rice turns soft.
- Once the Black Sticky Rice is cooked, add Palm Sugar/Rock Sugar to it along with a cup of Water. Cook this on a low flame until the Palm Sugar/Rock Sugar melts.
- Pour in the Coconut Milk and cook this on a low flame for a few minutes. Stir the ingredients while cooking.
- Cook until it reaches the desired consistency. If time permits, leave the Dessert aside for at least 20-30 minutes before serving. This will enable the sticky rice to absorb the sweetness and flavour.
- Serve Pulut Hitam/Bee Koh Moy in small bowls topped with reserved Thick Coconut Milk.