Porridge. Yeah. That probably conjures up grim, Dickensian images of thin, gray gruel seasoned with—at best—tears and soot. But not in Louis Tikaram's world. At his restaurant and bar—E.P. and L.P., respectively—in Los Angeles, the Aussie-Fijian chef is known for bold, bright flavors with a visual punch. At home, he won't mute that sensibility, but he doesn't go in for a lot of morning fuss, either. While dramatic, black rice steams on the stove and almond milk warms, Tikaram takes the time to chill out with his recently adopted—and frequently Instagrammed—dog, P., and plan his day.
Once that's ready to go, a little salt, sugar, and bright fruit slices (use whatever's in season) make this pretty porridge a simple, clean, colorful way to meet the morning—and it's delicious as the dickens.
Black Sticky Rice Porridge with Fresh Mango and Papaya
Soak rice in cold water for three hours or overnight for best results.
Drain and rinse rice twice or until the water runs clear. Transfer the rice into a small, heavy-based saucepan. Add cold water to 1 inch above the rice and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, peel and slice the mango and papaya into bite-sized pieces and set aside for serving.
Check the rice, and once most of the water has been absorbed, remove from the heat and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Warm almond milk slightly in a separate small pot and let stand ready for serving.
Scrape the rice into a medium mixing bowl. Fold in palm sugar and salt with a wooden spoon or spatula until all ingredients are dissolved into the rice, being careful not to mash the grains. It should taste nutty and sweet, with a light undertone of salt.
To serve, spoon rice into the center of a bowl, pour warm almond milk around it, and arrange fruit on top. Eat warm.