Sticky Mango Rice

Translated by Aditi Deodhar

You need

  • 1 cup rice (you can use Indrayani or Basmati rice)
  • 2 Alphonso mangoes
  • 2 cups water (to cook the rice)
  • 2 coconuts (to make coconut milk)
  • ½ to ¾ cup sugar
  • A pinch of rock salt
  • 1 tbsp cornflour or cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp ghee (for the tempering)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 4-5 curry leaves

How to make

  1. Rinse the rice properly and soak it in water for 1-2 hours.
  2. To make the coconut milk, shred the coconuts and soak the shredded coconut in 1 cup of warm water for an hour. Blend the water and the freshly shredded coconut in a blender. Now strain the mixture properly using a strainer. Take the coconut pulp left behind in the strainer and blend again in the blender with just enough water for it to blend. You need to blend this for a total of three times and then put the coconut pulp onto a clean muslin cloth and squeeze out all the milk. This help to make the coconut milk nice and thick. You will get about 1½ cup coconut milk. You can also use store-bought coconut milk (e.g. Dabur coconut milk) to save time and effort.
  3. Drain the soaked rice using a sieve and leave it to drain completely. Heat 2 cups of water (1 cup rice : 2 cups water). Add in the rice once the water starts boiling and add a pinch of rock salt to the rice. Stir the rice and cover with a lid and leave to cook on low flame. It generally takes about 20 minutes for the rice to cook.
  4. Take out 2 tbsp from the coconut milk and keep aside. Add 1 tbsp cornstarch to it and stir till uniform. Heat the remaining coconut milk in a separate saucepan. Add in ½ cup sugar (you can vary the proportion if you want it sweeter). Stir the milk till it boils and the sugar dissolves. Then add the coconut milk-cornstarch mixture to it and stir. This mixture will thicken once the milk boils. Turn off the flame immediately.
  5. Take 3 tsp coconut milk from the saucepan and keep aside to garnish later. Add the remaining milk to the rice after it is cooked. Let the rice steep in the coconut milk for about 15-20 minutes. After about 15 minutes, the rice will have absorbed all the coconut milk and puffed up significantly.
  6. Traditional Thai sticky rice has no tempering and the rice has a simple peppering of roasted sesame seeds. I have a soft spot for temperings and adding it in this recipe is my twist to the classic version. Heat the ghee in a wok. Add the sesame seeds and once they start popping, add in the dry red chillies and curry leaves.
  7. Peel the mangoes and slice them vertically.
  8. Now place the rice in a dish and add a spoonful of tempering to it. Arrange the vertically sliced mango pieces on the side. Top off the rice with a spoonful of the thick coconut milk sauce and savour and relish this delightful dessert.

Secret tips

  • If you want the rice to be extra sticky, you can add 4 pearls of sago when you soak the rice and cook them with the rice.
  • You can also add a pinch of rock salt to the coconut milk when you add the sugar for a more balanced flavour.