I was pondering on what to prepare as a nice vegan dessert yet again and then my mom mentioned to me about this mango sticky rice pudding she made and that it was vegan too! Living in South Asia I have the advantage of getting fresh coconut milk and also many varieties of rice, so I was very happy to give this a try. I really did enjoy it and hope you will try it too. I have stuck to the traditional glutinous rice used in this dessert, but you can try other varieties
- Coconut milk – one can or 2 cups if you can get fresh
- Sugar half cup
- Coconut cream – one packet
- Glutinous rice – 1 cup
- Mango – one whole any variety
Glutinous rice is identified from its white colour instead of the usual semi transparent rice we are used to. This indicates it’s rich in gluten. If you are not used to using glutinous rice then you may find its texture too sticky. But just follow the recipe and you will be able to prepare this dessert very easily.
Soak rice in water for an hour and then place in a steamer to cook. As this is a South Asian dish, the traditional steamer used is a bamboo one that looks really cool with its wide mouth shape and narrow bottom that goes into a steaming pot. However, any regular steamer will do. Put the washed soaked rice into a muslin cloth and place in steamerclosing the edges of the cloth over the rice. Then let this cook for about 10-15 minutes. Do check once in between if you have never done this before. Take care as you open the steamer top and the muslin cloth as the hot steam can burn your hands. Use tongs for this purpose and with a spoon just fluff the rice a bit to see how it’s looking. As this is glutinous rice it will feel very gummy and sticky. Fluff it up a bit and you can take a small clump out to taste. If it’s not fluffy and soft then it’s not done. You may also need to flip this rice over once and then let it steam for some more time. After flipping, let cook some more and on the side you can prepare the coconut milk.
Coconut milk sauce
Heat about two cups of milk in a pan (if you are using canned coconut milk then you can use a full can). Here I used fresh coconut milk in packets with pandan leaf flavour. For this quantity of rice you can add up to half a cup of sugar but do add more if you like. Taste your sauce and adjust sugar to taste. Once the sugar is dissolved and the sauce bubbles up a bit, remove from the flame and set aside.
Once the rice is cooked, remove carefully into a dish. Fluff with a fork toseparate the rice and remove some steam. Then add the coconut milk sauce you prepared and let the rice soak in all the milk. Let this sit while you prepare the mango. As you can see from the pic, I have cut the mango and served it in a very traditional way. Feel free however to experiment new styles and ways of presentation.
To serve, place the rice into the serving dish and keep the mangoes to one side. Top the rice with coconut cream. I used ready to use coconut cream for this purpose. Although, you can also just keep aside some of the sauce you prepared earlier and then just thicken it with some corn starch mixed in water. This can be used to spread on the top. Then there are two traditional garnishes for this pudding – either you can use toasted sesame seeds like I used or you can use roasted moong dal. If using dal make sure it is well roasted else you will get hard bits while eating your dessert.
Hope you enjoy this lovely vegan dessert.
Ms Aditi Pathak Is based in Singapore. Widely travelled and from a Services background, cooking is one of her many passions.