Uzma Sharif is a Chicago-based chocolatier and owner of Chocolat Uzma, both an online shop and a brick and mortar one  in Chicago. I just love supporting women in business, and those running a specialty food business at that. Her chocolates are infused with the exotic aromas of South Asia and made so beautiful you need some time to enjoy them as eye candy before actually eating them. In this article Uzma shares her unique recipe for a family favorite rice and offers something special at the end for MHK readers to take advantage of…

Chocolat Uzma

the gift boxes by Chocolat Uzma are just as beautiful as the chocolates themselves, masha’allah 

Creamy rice pudding on a bowl by iStock_000017729964XS

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world observe one of the five pillars of Islam – fasting. Although this is a global event, each geographic area has its own take on the food they eat during this time period. The Pakistani food culture is known for its spicy and warm twist on different types of foods. Desserts are part of breaking the fast because it’s a nice little reward after a whole day of going without food. As a chocolatier with a very colorful and cultural background, I like to put my own spin on numerous dishes. At my house we love to eat “kheer”, an aromatic rice pudding.  

As a health conscious person, I have updated some ingredients to lower the guilty feeling of eating certain foods; instead I use raw cacao nibs, chopped dates (the little ones are filled with natural oils, calcium, iron and potassium), Ceylon cinnamon (good for colds and improving energy, vitality and circulation), almonds, pistachios, brown organic sugar, or honey finished with dark cocoa powder.

Forbidden rice, also known as Chinese black rice, is packaged by Lotus Foods and sold at Whole Foods and many gourmet grocers. It becomes purple when cooked.


Serves 2-4

  • 1/4cupJasmine rice
  • 1/4cup Chinese Black Rice
  • 1½ cup water
  •  ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 green cardamom pod seeds
  • 1 ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • ¼ cup brown Sugar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
  • a pinch of raw cacao nibs on each serving
  • 2-3 Medjool dates, finely chopped


Wash jasmine rice until the water runs clear. Combine with black rice, water and salt in medium saucepan

Bring to boil then reduce the heat.  Cover and simmer until all the water is absorbed (about 35 minutes).

Lightly toast the cardamom seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Remove from heat and grind in a spice mill- measure out 1/8  teaspoon.

Add the milk, coconut milk and honey to the rice, and stir together. Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, for five to 10 minutes, until creamy. Add the vanilla and dates, and continue to simmer for another five minutes.

Scrape into a bowl or into individual serving dishes. Cover and chill for at least two hours then sprinkle with raw cacao nibs before serving.


About the Giveaway

As a gift for My Halal Kitchen readers, Chocolat Uzma is offering a 2 person semi-private class in her kitchen, taught by Uzma personally. One person will win and have the option of bringing a companion to the class. 

To enter, leave a relevant comment at the end of this post. Please read the Official Giveaway Guidelines before entering. Entering indicates you have read them. Giveaway ends at 12:01 am on August 13, 2012.

2 piece favor box by Chocolat Uzma



Chocolat UzmaAlthough Chocolat Uzma Sharif has been thriving for the past two years, she just recently opened up shop in Pilsen, an arts district in Chicago, Illinois, in June 2012. They offer a full range of Chocolat’s retail products in the front end of the store, with the kitchen in the back. The kitchen doubles as a space to craft delicious chocolates as well as to teach classes to intrigued chocolate eaters.

If you’d like more information on Uzma’s chocolate classes and any other specific details, please check out her website.


  1. It’s so refreshing to see someone who’s muslim and such a creative entrepreneur in the food industry. This recipe looks fantastic. How is the cinnamon and dark cocoa powder used in the recipe?

  2. I love kheer, its one of my favorite desserts. i cant wait to try this recipe and see the difference in regards to taste, from the traditional recipe and this one.
    ever since i read about uzma sharif chocolates on your website ive been itching to go to her store/kitchen and try some, i hope i can get the chance!

  3. Oh goodness I would love to be in the same kitchen with this woman and watch her make her magical candies but alas I am not in the Chicago area so I wish someone else well and hope to see more of her creations and pictures online soon.

    Thank you so much for this wonderful website and recipes!

  4. I love the fact that Uzma Sharif is taking the world of chocolate to such sublime heights. Would absolutely love to take a class and get an in depth look at the genius behind these works of art.

  5. I made kheer today but I wish I had read this before I started cooking….I would love to take a private class with Uzma and get some cooking skills

  6. OMG!!! Yvonne this is the best giveaway EVER!!! As an amateur chocolatier, I would love to learn from a professional. I have tasted Uzma’s chocolates before and they are AH-mazing…. So good to see a Muslim woman getting her hands “brown” in this trade ;).. All the best uzma….

  7. I think this is such a neat giveaway. It’s not every day you can learn to make one of your favorite guilty pleasures. I love trying any type of chocolate and love trying to make my own.

Comments are closed.