For as long as I can remember I’ve always yearned for the exotic, something less familiar. As a kid I never dug domestic cats and dogs, I wanted a white tiger as a pet. When all of my friends went to schoolies on the Gold Coast, I chose to live with a family in rural Vietnam for a few months instead. And when it comes to fruit, apples and pears bore the pants off me. I’ll take lychees, jackfruit and juicy mangoes over the humble orange any day of the week. So when I found myself in Thailand surrounded in fresh, tropical, exotic, men, ah-hem I mean, fruit! It is safe to conclude that I had found paradise.
I remember tasting my first bite of mango with sticky rice in Chang Mai, it was hot and humid and for some reason that kind of weather makes me crave something sweet. I wondered why there was a crowd of men on bicycles, crouching women and tethered goats gathered around this particular street vendor selling something out of white polystyrene containers. As it turned out, for a mere 20 cents, the contents of that container changed my palate forever. The tender flesh of the mango, peppered with sesame seeds together with mouthfuls of sticky coconut rice was oh so delightful, and still is. Every mango season it is mandatory to make this dish at least once. Glutinous or sticky rice can be found at any Asian grocer, you can buy white or black glutinous rice, both kinds will work well for this recipe but make sure that you soak it overnight before you cook it so that it’s lovely and sticky. Share this dessert with your friends and family, it will seem far more exotic then their sticky date pud’. Enjoy x
Photography by the lovely Ewen Bell
Black Sticky Rice Pudding with Mango
What’s in it:
500g black sticky / glutinous rice, rinsed and left to soak in water overnight
1 pandan leaf or vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 cup dark palm sugar / jaggery, grated
2 cups coconut milk
2 mangoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup white sesame seeds, toasted
How you make it:
- Place large saucepan over high heat, add rice, pandan leaf or vanilla bean and 1.5 liters of water. Bring water to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer until almost all the water has been absorbed. Cover saucepan with lid, turn off heat and allow rice to steam for 30 minutes.
- Place small saucepan over medium – high heat, add palm sugar and 2 cups of water and stir until sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to the boil, then remove from heat.
- Return saucepan of rice to a low heat, add coconut milk and palm sugar syrup and stir until pudding is warm.
- To serve, divide the rice into bowls, top with fresh mango, coconut cream and sesame seeds.
- This dessert can also be made with white sticky/glutinous rice
- You can also use other seasonal fruits instead of mango, but mango is the bomb!