Say “good morning” to Congee, the traditional Asian rice porridge. This new version finds its sweeter side with a mashup of red rice, pearl barley, sweet-tart cranberries and warm spices – cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves. Cooked until creamy, it’s the perfect base for a toasted coconut topping, mango chunks and a dollop of cool, refreshing yoghurt and pomegranate molasses drizzle.
Bring the rice, barley, cranberries, water and pomegranate juice to the boil in a saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover, simmering for 1½ - 1¾ hours or until the desired creamy consistency is reached, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, mix all of the spices in a small bowl. Divide the spice mixture in half and reserve.
Melt half of the butter in a small frying pan on a medium heat. Add the almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut and half of the spice mixture, cook and stir for 3-5 minutes until fragrant and golden brown, (this will take about 3-5 minutes) then reserve for later.
Stir remaining spice mixture and butter into the cooked rice congee.
To serve, spoon the congee into serving bowls. Top each with the toasted coconut-nut mixture, mango and yoghurt. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses.
Congee can be prepared a day ahead up to Step 1. Cover and refrigerate congee in saucepan. Reheat, uncovered, on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally and adding additional water to reach desired consistency, if needed. Continue as directed in Steps 2 through Step 5.