Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mangoes and Sticky Rice... the real deal!

This is from a friend from college Amber Flake

When we were in India, the 2nd graders at our international school had a mela (sort of a shopping fair) to learn about economics. The kids were selling all sorts of things, and were giving the money to charity. A cute little Thai girl was selling dishes of my favorite dessert (Mangoes and Sticky Rice) for the equivalent of 50 cents. I bought one, and it was so good I offered her about 5$ (all the money I had with me) if she could get her mom to write down the recipe. After tinkering with it, I think I have FINALLY nailed it!

This is the recipe I got from the Thai girl at AES.  The only thing I had to "tinker" with was how to cook the rice in my rice cooker.  The ratio of rice to water in a standard (cheap costco variety) rice cooker, was 1 1/2 C rice to 2 C of water.  Only cook the rice till it is about 3/4ths done.  It needs to be semi un-done so the coconut syrup can soak into it without making it into mush.
Her mother also said to use fresh coconut milk, which is delightful, but unnecessary.  It would take like 10 coconuts to get enough anyway!  I use the heaviest coconut milk I can find.  Shake the can, and if it feels like it is all liquid, try another brand.  It should feels somewhat solid, and have a high fat content.  Try the "lite" if you want, but I like my desserts to be genuinely dessert-like.  This is a treat, afterall!  Stir the coconut milk up before you measure it out, so that the water and solids are homogenized.
The recipe calls for sticky rice.  This is sometimes labeled as glutinous rice, or more likely, as sushi rice.  There were 3 different brands of sushi rice in the Asian section of my grocery store....I just bought the cheapest one.
The mangoes need to be ripe, or you might as well not bother.  There are many different varieties.  Just be sure that the flesh is very soft, and the skin has gone from green to whatever color your variety is when it ripens (usually orangey yellow to red).
Here is the recipe.  I double this to make a ton for my big family.
1 C. coconut milk
1/2 t. salt
1 C. sugar (I've seen, and tried, recipes that call for palm sugar, but the plain white sugar does the trick, and it is what the Thai girl's mom said to use!)
Boil these together, and keep it warm.
Now you need to cook the rice.  Mix 1 1/2 C of sticky rice with 2 cups of water in your cooker, close the cooker, and start it up.  Check on it every once in a while, and once it is close to done, but not quite, unplug it.  Then mix the boiled mixture quickly into the rice.  Close the lid, and let it sit for at least 20 minutes.
For the topping, mix the following in a bowl... you don't need to cook this, or even warm it. 
1 C. coconut milk
1 t. rice flour (you can find this pretty easily... I buy the cheap Goya brand stuff they have in the Mexican section.)
2 T. sugar
dash of salt
Now just slice up the mangoes in your preferred fashion, arrange around the rice, and drizzle the whole concoction with the sauce.  It is an easy dessert that makes people think you are some sort of a chef!  Give it a try!

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