Pulut hitam is easily one of the most popular dessert in the Southeast Asian region. Having so many names in local languages such as bubur ketan (Indonesian) or bee koh moy (Hokkien), this black glutinous rice dessert is a big favourite among many. Using unpolished black glutinous rice instead of whole grain white glutinous rice makes this dessert more interesting due to its colour. Once cooked, it is rather purplish black, thus adding a mysterious feel to it.
Black glutinous rice is naturally dark purple coloured rice which is almost black. It is said that black glutinous rice is rich in antioxidant and higher in fiber as compared to white rice. Usually, this ingredient is used in dessert in the Southeast Asian region. Do note that black glutinous rice is not black rice, also known as forbidden rice.
In this recipe, I combined the usage of both the palm sugar and rock sugar. Both types of sugar are milder in sweetness compared to caster sugar. Nevertheless, it may also be used in this recipe. The usage of the combination of the palm and rock sugar makes this dessert less sweet. It has a very light undertone of sweetness due to the rock sugar. The light nutty sweetness is contributed by the palm sugar.
While we are on the topic of palm sugar, try to get your hands on the Malaysian palm sugar which is much darker. Thai palm sugar which is lighter in colour is less intense in flavour.
It would be ideal to soak black glutinous rice for 4 hours or overnight as they take a long time to cook. However, you can still make pulut hitam without soaking the rice beforehand. Simply ensure that the cooking time is longer. Hence, more water will be needed to cook the black glutinous rice until soft.
Pulut hitam dessert can be cooked in a rice cooker using the ‘porridge’ function. Do stir the dessert every now and then to stop it from sticking to the pot.
Using a pressure cooker, you can cook pulut hitam over high heat for 10 minutes.
Pulut hitam can be cooked until liquid is reduced to have a thicker consistency. Leaving it aside for 4-5 hours will also release the starch from the glutinous rice to thicken the dessert. You may also thicken the dessert with a corn starch slurry which is made by mixing corn starch with water and then added into boiling dessert.
Pulut hitam can be served warm or chilled. Coconut milk is served on the side, allowing guests to add them into the dessert as desired. I would normally serve pulut hitam chilled. My guests were definitely intrigued especially when it was served together with Vanilla ice-cream with coconut milk drizzled on it.
Pulut Hitam (Black Glutinous Rice Sweet Soup) is also known as: Black Glutinous Rice with Coconut MilkBlack Rice DessertBubur Ketan HitamBee Koh Moy黑糯米
Soak black glutinous rice for at least 5 hours. Boil water with black glutinous rice at high heat. Add pandan leaves. Once it boils, reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes until the black glutinous rice puffs up.
Add rock sugar and palm sugar to sweeten the dessert. White sugar may be added, if necessary. Optionally, mix corn flour with water to add into the pot to thicken the dessert. Serve warm or chilled with a drizzle of coconut milk.