Black rice with mango and coconut cream

Although black glutinous rice was a staple of Scully’s childhood breakfasts, it was Yotam who got hooked on the rice during his travels in Malaysia. The rice is, contrary to what its name suggests, a very deep burgundy colour and gluten-free. It tastes nutty, looks striking and has a texture which is both starchy and slightly al dente at the same time, with each grain retaining its identity when cooked. For the best results, soak the rice overnight and stir often while it’s cooking to help release the starch and increase its creamy softness. The widely available Nerone Italian black rice works fine but, really, it’s the South-east Asian black glutinous variety you should be seeking out. Pandan leaves are used widely in both sweet and savoury Southeast Asian cooking, infusing dishes with a coconutty, almost grassy, fragrance. You’ll have to go to a specialist Asian food shop to find them, but if you do, you’ll be rewarded with a big bunch which you can freeze for future use. They can be substituted with a vanilla pod – slit open and seeds scraped.

Recipe from NOPI the cookbook by Ebury Press. Photography by Jonathan Lovekin.

Serving size

6 people


400g black glutinous rice, soaked in plenty of water overnight
100g pandan leaf (10 large leaves), tied in a knot (or 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways and seeds scraped)
1 medium mango, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes (200g)
2 medium bananas, peeled and sliced into 1cm thick pieces (150g)
120ml coconut cream
coarse sea salt

Palm sugar syrup:
200g palm sugar, coarsely grated if starting with a block
80g pandan leaf (8 large leaves) (or 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways and seeds scraped)


1. Drain and rinse the rice and place it in a large saucepan with the pandan leaves, 1.2 litres of water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to the boil, then cook on a medium heat for 30–35 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the rice is cooked through but still retains a bite and has the consistency of thick wet porridge. Discard the pandan leaves and keep the rice somewhere warm until ready to serve.

2. While the rice is cooking, make the syrup. Place the palm sugar and pandan leaves in a small saucepan with 150ml of water. Bring to the boil, then cook on a medium-high heat for 20 minutes, until it has the consistency of maple syrup and has reduced by half. Remove and discard the pandan leaves and add 50ml of the syrup to the rice. Stir through, then divide the rice between the bowls. Top with the mango and banana and drizzle over the coconut cream. You want the cream to have a pouring consistency, so thin it down with a little bit of water, if needed. Serve at once, with the remaining palm sugar syrup drizzled on top.


NOPI, The Cookbook