The summer mango season is always a time when we try to purchase a case or two of mangos. We eat them fresh for a snack, chopped into a fruit salad or salsa, or blended into a lassi or smoothie. One of our favourites is the Ataulfo variety, which has a small pit, and very smooth, non-fibrous texture. For a different treat this week, I tried making this classic Thai dessert for the first time.
The recipe is from The Sweet Spot by Pichet Ong. I happened to have a bag of glutinous rice already, so the only special ingredient we needed was palm sugar; my wife found it at an Asian grocer. In the morning before work, I soaked the raw grains in water. When I came home, I rinsed and drained the rice, then put it directly in the steamer insert of a pot, as I didn't have any cheesecloth. While the rice was cooking, I took the palm sugar, and broke down the discs into small chunks using a sharp knife. The rest of the coconut milk mixture was easy to put together, and the rich, fragrant mixture was soaked up by the warm, cooked rice. One thing to note is that the rice dries out very quickly, so make sure to keep any leftover portions covered tightly.
It's hard to describe how coconut, palm sugar and vanilla smell and taste together, but it's an absolutely divine combination with sticky rice and mango. There's lots of contrasts in this dessert too: warm and cool, chewy and smooth, and sweet and tart. The leftovers even made an appearance at my breakfast table the next day.