Today was one of those days when i really wanted to unwind after weekend after weekend of work to finish, things to do, places to go etc, this was a weekend i wanted to resist any of those external forces that would make me to things i might not enjoy one hundred percent. Time with the self has become such a rarity these days that one has to make an effort to just be, once in a while. I doubt this was as complicated a couple of decades back when life wasn’t such a rush and when means were fewer.
I don’t know about others but when i crave for such inner peace, all i am looking for is conscious ways to uncomplicate things, simplify everything in front of me, watch for example, silly movies or mindless action; talk less listen more or zone out with an easy flowing book; go for a walk with ears plugged to instrumental music without any lyrics to decipher.
Today being one of those days, i spent most of my time reading and when it was time for dinner i hardly had an appetite for the chinese fare we brought home from a rather good restaurant as takeaway. Craving for simplicity as i was, i decided to make me something simple, something sweet and comforting in bed.
A rice pudding that has minimal ingredients seemed like an enticing option. It helped to have a stash of black rice from an earlier visit to an organic store, and the fact that i had picked up coconut milk earlier this week with the feeble intention of making a khousuey. And i did not have palm sugar but so what, my mom had left me a jar of nolen gur (fresh jaggery) which beats any form of sweetner hands down.
The black rice takes a while to cook, especially if it hasn’t been soaked overnight, since the bran needs to breakdown and soften up. I microwaved the rice for about half an hour, and further simmered it on stovetop with slightly diluted coconut milk, jaggery and pinch of salt, for about 15 more minutes, stirring it frequently till it reached a creamy consistency. Kept it covered for a while before pouring it out and topping it with some more jaggery and thick coconut milk to make it richer. Snuggled in bed with a cupful of this, scooping spoonfuls of warm comforting pudding, marveling at the privilege of enjoying this luxury and wondering the next time I’ll get to do something like this for myself.
Black rice: 1/2 cup
Water: 3 cups or more as necessary
Coconut milk: 1 cup
Jaggery or sugar: 2 tbsp
Salt: a pinch
Wash and soak black rice overnight or as long as possible
Boil with sufficient water for about 45 mins until soft
Add coconut milk and seasoning and let simmer till creamy consistency
Serve warm topped with thick coconut milk.