Every spring, I hold my breath for the arrival of mangoes. Those silvery-sweet, complex and inherently exotic fruits offer a taste unlike anything else in this world. And as far as I'm concerned, the world's best dessert is sweet coconut rice with fresh mango, a Thai tradition. Nutty, sweet and chewy, it's an excellent homemade treat even if your budget is tight. Make extra; you'll want to eat it every day.
Sweet rice is also known as sticky rice, pearl rice or glutinous rice (though it contains no gluten). You can find it at Asian markets or a good grocery store. Cooked with coconut milk and sugar, it becomes a sweet and sticky treat that, when paired with fresh mango, becomes a gourmet delicacy.
1 cup of organic sweet rice (white, black
1/2 cup + 1/2 tablespoon of raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 to 2 ripe organic mangoes, cut into thick slices
1 to 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon of tapioca starch (optional)
Rinse the rice well, then place it in a medium bowl and fill the bowl with water to an inch or two above the level of the rice. Let it stand for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
If you have cheesecloth, wrap the rice. Place the rice in a steamer and steam it for about 45 minutes, until it's tender. If you don't have a steamer, cook the rice in 1 3/4 cups of water.
While the rice is cooking, mix together 3/4 cup of coconut milk, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then let it cool.
When the rice is cooked and still hot, add the coconut sauce and stir it well. Cover the rice, and let it cool for up to an hour.
Mix 1/4 cup of coconut milk, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and the tapioca starch in the same saucepan. Bring it to a boil and let it cool slightly.
When the rice is cool, place a small rice ball in each bowl and add mango slices. Sprinkle the dessert with sesame seeds and drizzle it with coconut sauce.
For more exotic, gourmet tasty treats, try making sweet sesame balls or a brown rice and beet risotto with coconut milk.
H/T Import Food's Thai Kitchen
image: Dennis Wong
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