Black rice Pudding

During dynasty rule in China, the royals consumed black rice for tremendous health benefits particularly for greater longevity. Hence the ancient Chinese literature mentioned it as the Emperor’s Rice or the Fortune Rice. In those days black rice was forbidden to the general public. It was even considered an offence to consume black rice or grow their crops without royal permission. So black rice was widely known as the Forbidden Rice. At the dawn of communism in China people were granted to grow Forbidden Rice crops. Soon Emperor’s Rice reached the hands of ordinary people, and in due course black rice cultivation was spread to different parts of world. Black rice was brought to South India by the affluent business community in Chettinad. They still take pride in including an exotic kavuni arisi sweet (black rice pudding) in their lavish wedding banquets even today.

ka1 Black rice Pudding
Black rice pudding

Health Benefits of Black Rice:

Since black rice is gluten-free and also has a low glycemic index (GI), we can consider it as a healthier alternate to wheat and rice. Black rice has exceptionally high amounts of anti-oxidants called anthocyanins which play a vital role to prevent cancer, heart diseases, and also obesity. All the purple, blue or pink fruits & vegetables like purple cabbage, purple brinjal, purple berries (nava pazham/ jamun), blue berries, plums, prunes, grapes, pomegranates, pink radish, beet roots, rajma beans, black rice, red rice, etc. are the rich sources of anthocyanins.

kavuni-arisi Black rice Pudding
Black rice (Kavuni arisi)

Black Kavuni Arisi Recipes:

Chinese use black rice for making soups, salads, and desserts. Generally black rice requires over-night soaking to reduce the cooking time and also to minimize the loss of nutrients. Hard black rice grains turn sticky, chewy & purple when cooked, so it is ideal for making desserts like payasam, kheer, sakkarai pongal, etc. Besides we can grind black rice into batter for making south Indian specialties like idli, dosa, adai, or paniyaram. Also we can use black rice flour to prepare gluten-free chappathi, idiyappam, puttu, kozhukattai, modhagam, murukku, adhirasam, chocolate cake, etc.

kavuni-arisi-recipes Black rice Pudding
Black rice (kavuni arisi) recipes

Chettinad-style kavuni arisi pongal:

Chinese prepare sticky black rice pudding by adding coconut milk & sugar and serve with fresh seasonal fruits. Here in Chettinad, they prepare kavuni arisi sweet by adding grated coconut and jaggery into the cooked rice. Now I have prepared Chettinad style black rice pongal and garnished it like a Chinese pudding with fresh mango slices.

ka4 Black rice Pudding
Chettinad kavuni arisi sweet

How to cook kavuni arisi:

First, we need to wash & soak the black rice in plain water for at least 5 hours. Then we can pressure cook the rice by simmering for 20 minutes after reaching the high pressure. The cooked black rice turns sticky and glutinous after a while, so we can use the water in the ratio of 1:5 to prevent it from forming into a large lump.

how-to-cook-kavuni-arisi Black rice Pudding
How to cook kavuni arisi


  • Cooked black rice (karuppu kavuni arisi)
  • Jaggery (vellam)
  • Grated coconut
  • Ghee-roasted cashewnuts
  • Cardamom powder
kavuni-arisi-ingredients Black rice Pudding

Black rice pudding preparation:

  • Heat a cooking pan with cooked black rice in medium flame.
  • Add powdered jaggery and stir in until incorporated.
  • Add cardamom powder, grated coconut and roasted cashew nuts.
  • Mix well and remove from flame.
  • Serve kavuni arisi warm or chilled garnished with mango slices.
chettinad-kavuni-arisi Black rice Pudding
Chettinad Kavuni arisi sweet recipe

101 comments on “Black rice PuddingAdd yours →

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  1. Megala, I just love your recipes. It brings back beautiful memories of my Dad who made Ketan Hitam, black rice cooked and served hot with coconut milk. Us children were very fond of it.

  2. While reading the health benefits I thought it will be very difficult to cook, you made it so simple. I have a doubt, is it okay to drain the water we are soaking it for hours. Normally I won’t drain the water from rice and orid dhal we are soaking.

    1. Hi, how have you been? Glad to see you back here. πŸ™‚
      I also don’t drain the soaking water especially from such nutritious grains, but we can discard the soaking water from legumes/lentils to ease the digestion.
      I hope you could try this recipe and enjoy the benefits. Thank you!

  3. My husband’s favourite is rice pudding but the English version is quite plain. I’ve never made it with black rice but the flavours in this sound delicious so I am definitely trying this.

  4. Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I have seen this black rice in supermarkets but could never muster the courage to buy it. Now, armed with your detailed instructions, I am ready to try this exotic dish.

  5. Quite a nice info✌️and such a delightful treat ? looks damn tempting, feel like eating this ?

  6. Interesting read about this piece of history.. want to try black rice since a long time as not sure whether kids will like it or not.. your recipe looks good.. thinking of giving a try.

    1. I think kids may prefer the liquid kheer over sticky pudding because black rice kheer (payasam) would turn beautiful purple when cooked in milk (you can get the desired color, dork or bright purple, by adding enough milk).
      Thank you so much.

  7. Thank you so much for widening our knowledge regarding black rice. Till now I have not even seen this variety. Your post is very inspiring to try it.

  8. i mix some black rice with white rice and white glutinous rice everyday.
    interesting history on black rice

    1. Yes, it was! I wish you could get a chance to try this delicious pudding.
      Thank you so much.

    1. Thank you! It has a mildly sweet & nutty flavor, hope you could try this sometime.

    1. Thanks much for your constant support & encouragement.
      Hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

    1. Oh, it sounds delicious! Thanks much for sharing your mother’s recipe using black rice.

  9. I am not familiar with black rice. Here in Canada we have a dark long grain rice called wild rice that looks similar and is usually mixed in with white rice for cooking. I wonder if they are related.

    1. Oh! But black rice grains are not so long, and I vaguely remember that wild rice is not classified under food grains, if so they both may not share the same nutrients. Anyways, I will check this out and let you know.
      Thank you so much for sharing your account.

  10. Love this recipe!
    I do have some black rice in the kitchen. Great reminder — can’t wait to use it again in the cooking. ^0^

    1. Yes, India & China are the largest producers and also consumers of rice, both the countries boast a breathtaking collection of traditional wholesome rice varieties that are gluten free & has low GI.
      This is my small attempt to explore such traditional rice varieties, and I’m glad you liked this. πŸ™‚
      Thank you!

  11. (EN) So interesting Megala! I didn’t know that idli, dosai, sakkarai pongal and so on could also be prepared with black rice. Thanks a lot for sharing ?
    (IT) Davvero interessante Megala! Non sapevo che idli, dosa, sakkarai pongal e così via si potessero preparare anche col riso nero. Grazie molte per la condivisione ?

    1. Yes, it is very much possible to replace white rice with black rice. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much.

    1. Yes! πŸ™‚ This is a similar recipe with black rice, and black rice also has a nutty smoky flavor like red rice.
      Thank you.

    1. Yes, it is really delicious and also easy to prepare with few readily available ingredients. I’m sure you will like this. πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  12. Nice recipe…I love black rice but haven’t used it for a dessert maybe it is time to try yours sounds delicious , Megla πŸ™‚

    1. Then you will definitely like this dessert, thank you so much! πŸ™‚

  13. It’s always a pleasure to read your post. Thanks to share your knowledge and recipes with us. This rice looks so yummy. I’ll try to find the ingredients and try it at home. I’ll let you know πŸ˜‰

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