Tropical Coconut Rice Pudding


 Tropical Coconut Rice Pudding with Mangoes & Roasted Cashews

Rice Pudding is a very easy dessert to fix for a quick solution to sweet cravings. In fact, it is also a preferred dessert during many Indian festivals. But what I love about Rice Pudding is the fact that it can take up the challenge of holding onto any cuisine with a little flavor variation. Like this lovely Tropical version that Susan cooked up to satisfy her quest for comfort food. It has a rich and creamy texture that is heightened by the addition of Coconut, and to top it off, we add a generous topping of Mangoes and roasted cashews, which will make you want to go and grab the bowl for second helpings! Recipe & photo courtesy of FoodBlogga.

Arborio Rice is always a preferred choice to make traditional rice puddings – the short thick grain makes for a thick and creamy pudding. But if you can’t find Arborio, you can substitute with a local rice grain variety, short-grained, if possible. The coconut milk adds a delicate flavor as well as adds to the richness. But the topping is indeed the best part – juicy mangoes paired with lightly roasted cashew-nuts and sweetened coconut shreds give it the crunchy feeling in each bite. And just to take things up a notch, we add a bit of lime zest, to balance all the sweet flavors and bring them all together!

Tropical Rice Pudding with Coconut Mangoes and Cashews

Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup Arborio rice
2 cups water
2 cups coconut milk (regular or light)
1/3 cup sugar
zest of 1/2 lime
4 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

1 small, ripe mango, diced
2 tablespoons sweetened coconut shreds, toasted
2 tablespoons unsalted cashew nuts, chopped
a pinch of lime zest

Place 4 tablespoons shredded coconut in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Shake the pan handle gently in a back-and-forth motion for 2-3 minutes to ensure even toasting, or until coconut is golden and aromatic. Set aside.

Add rice, water, coconut milk, and sugar to a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir well, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, letting the rice bubble gently for 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. When done, the rice will be plump, and the pudding will be thick and creamy. Give it a taste–the rice should be fully cooked yet maintain a slight firmness.

Remove from heat, and stir in the lime zest and toasted coconut. Allow to cool slightly before placing in individual serving dishes. Garnish each dish with fresh diced mango, toasted coconut, chopped cashews, and finely grated lime zest.

You don’t have to travel to the tropics to get a taste of summer, just try a helping of this wonderfully delicious rice pudding and you can indulge in tropical flavors without flying out of home, unless you already live there! I love how thick and creamy the pudding turns out, coconut milk lends it both, flavor and texture, without using any high-fat ingredients like cream or condensed milk. But not only that, this also makes this a delicious Vegan Rice Pudding, perfect for those who can’t take dairy either. Try it for your next Hawaiian party, and you’ll have your guests licking it right out of the bowls!


  1. An absolutely great recipe i had some coconut rice in Columbia and have been trying to find a good recipe ever since, now, i think my search is over! Nice work

  2. Priya – I think you can use unsweetened coconut too, without really affecting th3e taste. Just add more sugar to the pudding if you like. You can try to make sweetened coconut at home. Here are a few pointers:

    But I would not go to that trouble as this recipe should turn out just as fine even if you use unsweetened dried shredded coconut:)

    Sowmya – glad you liked it! the flavors are indeed refreshing:)

  3. lovely bookmarking it to make it sometime..

  4. Wow !!! I so want to have it like right now. I have bookmarked it. Have a question though (please email me the answer), if I have regular shredded coconut, do you think I can add sugar and make it sweet or do I have hunt for sweetened coconut?

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