Sticky rice is enjoyed in the east as in the west. Although treated differently, they are usually made into comforting desserts.
This dish, although well known as a Thai dessert is also resonant of a Filipino sticky rice snack called suman. The same glutinous rice grains are cooked in a tube made with young coconut fronds. Although it can be eaten on its own, dipped in sugar, it is usually served with ripe mangoes.
Mangoes are at its peak in the summer and it is the best time to serve it with a sticky rice subtly scented with pandan leaves and coconut milk. The puddle of sweet coconut milk gives this simple dish that extra creamy touch that brings the two components together.
Although the original recipe calls for a more traditional steaming method, I went the short and easy route. I cooked the rice in a rice cooker and microwaved the sauce. The hardest part of this dish is slicing the mangoes. Really.
Recipe adapted from About.com's recipe for Classic Thai Mango Sticky Rice Dessert.
1 c. uncooked glutinous rice
1 3/4 c. water
1 400 gm. tin of coconut milk (400 mls.)
5 tbsps. palm sugar or demerara sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 pandan (screwpine) leaves (optional)
2 ripe mangoes
Put the uncooked rice in the rice cooker pot. Add 1 c. of the water and leave to soak for 20-30 minutes (or up to 4 hours).
Add the rest of the water and 100 mls. of the coconut milk. Add 1 tbsp. of the sugar and the salt. Stir then tuck in the pandan (screwpine) leaves into the rice grains. Switch the rice cooker on.
Put the rest of the coconut milk in a jug and stir in the sugar. Leave aside for the sugar to melt.
When the rice is cooked and the cooker automatically switches to warm, stir the rice. There will still be some liquid on top but that will disappear once mixed. Leave on warm setting for 10 minutes.
Divide into 4 portions then mould into cups before transferring to serving plates.
Microwave the sauce on full power for 1 1/2 minutes just until warmed through.
Pour some of the sauce on top of the cooked rice. Serve with mango slices or cubes on the side.
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