Balinese Coconut Black Rice Pudding With Banana

Bali has a special place in my heart, as it was the first place in Southeast Asia that I traveled to, which lead me to fall head over heels in love with that part of the world, and propelled me to want to work in global health nutrition.

It also was where I discovered yoga, dragon fruit, learned just how many people can fit on the back of a moped (so far the max I have seen is a family of five!), and this special dessert I am going to share with you all today. 

When people ask my husband and I where our favorite place in the world is that we have traveled, we honestly can never answer. But when people ask us what part of the world is our favorite to travel in, hands down the answer is and most likely will always be Southeast Asia. There is something about the outdoor lifestyle, spiritual culture, food culture, and so much more that just resonates with us on a deep level.

Balinese Coconut Black Rice Pudding With Banana - The Well Essentials

The first time we went to Indonesia we booked a trip to Bali, now this was post Eat Pray Love, but pre instagram so while Bali had started to become more well known, and there definitely was a tourist/ex-pat scene, it wasn't remotely close to as touristy as it has become today. 

A part of me is sad knowing just how much this beautiful island has been changed by the influx of instagram obsessed tourists looking for the perfect photo-op among the rice patties, but at the same time tourists are also bringing a lot of money to Bali and Indonesia, which in many ways is a good thing for the island and nations GDP. 

However, there are many issues with the way tourism has grown in Bali, among the worst being the significant water and land pollution that plagues most of Southeast Asia, but has begun to become a big problem on this special island. 

The problem become so prominent in fact that recently Bali initiated a mass cleanup of the island with hopes to help address the ever surmounting pollution issues, and better educate both the Balinese people, ex-pats, and tourists of how they can work together to reduce pollution in Bali.

While it is honestly horrifying that we as humans, tourists, and general consumers have allowed and participated in the creation of pollution to this scale all around the world, it does give me hope that passionate local communities and more aware travelers and consumers can change the way we protect our natural habitats and environment in the future.

Balinese Coconut Black Rice Pudding With Banana - The Well Essentials

But now why don't we get into this recipe, because it truly is a favorite of mine. 

When we were in Bali I remember sitting down on the floor cushions at a restaurant in Ubud, full from our amazing seasonal and local dinner, but still interested in what options there were for dessert.

I usually never get my hopes up when it comes to dessert because here in the USA most of the time dessert either includes some form of gluten containing grain or diary...neither of which I can eat unfortunately. 

But that is another reason why I love traveling in Southeast Asia so much, especially in Indonesia they virtually never include dairy/wheat in their dishes so for the most part my allergies aren't a problem.

This night though I took a look at the menu and this coconut black rice pudding caught my eye. Now I have never been one to like rice pudding here in the USA...there was something about it that just never appealed to me, but for some reason this was different.

When in Bali right?

Balinese Coconut Black Rice Pudding With Banana - The Well Essentials

So we ordered the coconut black rice pudding, and in came drizzled with coconut milk, and topped with banana and other kinds of local Indonesia fruit. It was heavenly.

I knew immediately that it was something I would have to recreate at home, and the best part is that with a few simple ingredients you really can replicate this native Balinese dish right in your home. 

Did I mention that your entire home will be filled with the most delicious smells of coconut?

Balinese Coconut Black Rice Pudding With Banana - The Well Essentials

tips for making

When making this coconut black rice pudding the key is to be patient. The longer it simmers, the thicker it will become. It also will continue to thicken as it sits so if you aren't planning to serve it right away I would actually remove it from the heat before it thickens up entirely.

I have found that if I am planning on storing this I like to remove it from the heat while it is still a little bit runny, and then will place it in the fridge. Similar to overnight oats, with time it will thicken up and by the morning it will be a thick rice pudding.

Balinese Coconut Black Rice Pudding With Banana - The Well Essentials

balinese coconut black rice pudding with banana

serves ~6 people


  • 1 cup black rice

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar

  • Pinch Salt

  • Toppings: 1 banana, coconut flakes, 1-2 tablespoons coconut cream


  • Place all ingredients in a medium size sauce pan on the stove over medium heat.

  • Stir ingredients until coconut milk is entirely melted into the rice mixture.

  • Allow rice mixture to come to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer.

  • Cover the sauce pan with a lid, and stir occasionally to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom.

  • Cook for roughly 45 minutes or until the rice mixture has developed a pudding like consistency.

  • Once you have the desired consistency remove from the heat and place in bowl.

  • Top with sliced banana, coconut flakes, and a drizzle of coconut cream, or any of your favorite toppings.

  • Note: The rice mixture will thicken with time so if you are planning on waiting to serve next day you may want to remove from the heat while the mixture is still slightly runny. It will thicken more in the refrigerator.