Sticky coconut rice with fresh mango (Khao Niaow Na Muan)
( SERVES 4 )
Desserts in Thailand and most of Asia can seem too sweet for Western palates. My favourite combines sweetened sticky rice with the tart aromatic flavour of mango. This dessert can be made with long-grained rice, but the stickiness of glutinous rice produces a more authentic result. Pandanus leaves give a distinct flavour to the rice, and can be bought frozen from an Asian specialty store.
- Rinse the rice well. Place in a bowl and cover with water up to 6cm above the rice. Leave to soak overnight.
- Drain the rice and place in a muslin-lined steamer (or a conical Thai rice steamer if you have one).
- Cover with a lid, then allow the rice to steam over boiling water for 30 minutes until it is translucent, softened and chewy.
- While the rice is steaming, tip the coconut cream into a separate saucepan and stir in the sugar, salt and pandanus leaves.
- Simmer for about 10 minutes over a very gentle heat. Remove from the heat, allowing the leaves to flavour the sauce.
- When the rice is cooked, remove the leaves from the sauce and pour most of it over the rice, keeping a little for drizzling over the completed dish.
- The rice should be wet, but not swimming in sauce.
- When ready to serve, spoon the rice onto individual plates, arrange mango slices or cubes beside it and garnish with a little extra sauce and sesame seeds.