Bring rice, 1/2 cup of the milk, water and salt to a boil then turn down to low and cover tightly with foil. Cook until all the moisture is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let sit turned off with foil still on for 5 more minutes. In a small bowl soak the powdered gelatin with the 2 tablespoons of water. In a saucepan bring the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk to a boil with the vanilla bean. Let sit 15 minutes to infuse. Whisk the yolks with the sugar then temper with the hot milk mixture. Return to the heat and cook gently to thicken. Meanwhile, sponge the gelatin in cold water. Remove thickened anglaise from the heat and add the sponged gelatin. Stir to melt the gelatin then strain into a bowl and stir in the rice. Place over ice water and stir to cool and thicken. As it starts to thicken but before it's too set, fold in the whipped cream and toasted coconut and pour into small dishes. Chill.
In a small saucepan, over medium heat, stir sugar and water until sugar is completely dissolved. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and cool. Whisk passion fruit puree, lime juice and 1/3 cup of sugar water in a bowl until thoroughly mixed. Store remainder of sugar water (simple syrup) in a bottle in the refrigerator. Drizzle passion fruit sauce over rice pudding.
Recipe courtesy of Gale Gand