A classic Thai dessert everyone looks forward to in the ( Thai) summer in April when a special type of mango called Nam Dok Mai is in season. It is a real delicacy which requires a special type of mango. It is served with coconut flavoured glutinous rice and topped with sweet and salty coconut cream. I created this dish using ingredients widely available in UK but still kept the authenticity of the taste.
Nam Dok Mai mangos are delicate and aromatic. The name which literally means "nectar of flowers" indicates a perfume-like fragrant of these mangoes. They don't travel well and are in season for a brief period. As a result, they are rarely seen in UK supermarkets. Mark & Spencer had attempted to bring them in many years ago. It was packed individually in a well- protected packaging hence the high price.
As for the glutinous rice, it is a long and slim grain rice called / Kao Neow Keow Ngoo/. It requires a lengthy soaking period before going through a gentle steam in a babmboo cone or a cheese cloth. But once cooked properly, it becomes sheen, whiter and stickier than normal Thai Jasmin rice.
( this rice photo is from www.thairicedb.com)
For most of us outside Thailand, it is not easy or practical to source either the rice or the mango. But it does not mean we can not have a taste of this wonderful much-loved Thai dessert.
In this recipe, I used normal pudding rice you can buy in any supermarket. Instead of baking them for hours with milk and sugar in the oven. You do the reverse process. Steam cook the rice first then dress it in flavoured coconut milk. I cook it in a normal rice cooker without soaking.
As for mango, pick any mango from a supermarket which are mostly imported from Brazil or Peru. Keep them in your fruit basket for a week until it is very ripe. It is not quite the same as the special mango I mentioned above but It does the job of giving the sweetness to the creamy sticky rice.
For the pudding rice
500g pudding rice
Rinse the rice until the water becomes clear.
Put in a rice cooker and let it cook as a normal rice. My rice cooker takes about 45 minutes. Once cooked, pour the hot flavoured coconut cream in and fold gently to mix. Then cover and let it carry on steaming ( off heat ) for 30 minutes.
For the flavoured coconut cream.
400ml coconut cream
Put everything in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat. This will taste sweeter and saltier than your liking at this stage. But it will go into the rice and be more balanced.
For the coconut topping.
200ml coconut cream
1/4 tsp salt.
Prepare the same way as the flavoured coconut cream