Melissa Hemsley's 'Rice' Pudding Three Ways

Melissa Hemsley's fast and simple twist on porridge can be made with rice, quinoa or buckwheat and finished with one of three delicious toppings.

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Breakfast or pudding whenever you like. This is really a sort of special porridge, using up leftover buckwheat, quinoa or rice. And any of these three toppings would be delicious over a simple porridge too. I love full-fat dairy but anything goes here. Use any of your preferred alternative milks and, if you ever have a half or quarter tin of coconut milk leftover, swap that in instead. Coconut milk is very rich though, so make up the rest with water or a mixture of milk and water.

Feeds 4
Cook time: 20 min


180–200g uncooked quinoa/ buckwheat / rice
1 litre any milk, or more if you like it wetter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp maple syrup or raw honey
a little pinch of sea salt
Optional extras:
1 tbsp butter or nut butter (to make it richer)
1 small handful of pistachios or almonds, chopped
1 handful of dried fruit, such as raisins or chopped dates
Fruit poached in leftover tea or wine:
4 ripe plums, apricots or peaches
1 tbsp maple syrup
200ml Earl Grey tea or wine
Cardamom rhubarb:
4 sticks of rhubarb, roughly chopped
seeds of 2 cardamom pods or about ½ tsp ground cardamom
juice and zest of 1 orange
1–2 tbsp maple syrup
Berries and rosewater:
300g any berries (frozen or fresh – if fresh, add ½ mug water)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp rosewater or rose extract (added at the end, once cooled)


Put all the ingredients for the rice pudding in a saucepan and simmer away briskly on a medium heat for 15–20 minutes to let it reduce and thicken up.

Meanwhile, make your chosen topping. Add your fruit to a second pan, cover with the other ingredients, put the lid on and let it simmer over a low heat. The stone fruit will need around 15 minutes, the rhubarb 10 and the berries 5.

Serve each bowl of rice pudding topped with the fruit and its juices and, if you like, with the butter or nut butter stirred in and topped with a few chopped nuts or dried fruit.

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