This treat is nothing more than rice, coconut milk, a bit of sugar, and some mango, but trust me when I tell you that it’s more than the sum of its parts. I am completely enamored with its subtle yet clean taste, its creamy and luxurious texture, and generally the way the flavours and textures work together as they swirl around your mouth. I know enamored is a strong word, it’s usually reserved for immense feelings about a person or maybe even something as big as a whole city, but I believe it's the small things in life that we need to embrace more often.
In case you haven’t been able to tell, food is a deep pleasure for me; and why shouldn’t it be, we not only need it for survival and it tastes wonderful, but cooking food for others can be an act of both love and defiance. The act of cooking for others has, over the course of human history, always been an incredible gift of love. It takes a lot of time and care to prepare a meal for someone, to use the skills that have been passed down from generation to generation, to produce something that can both nourish and heal.
Speaking of the time and energy that goes into preparing food, it’s something that a lot of us don’t make time for anymore; myself included. I think a number of us have stopped taking time each day to cook, cutting corners and saving minutes here and there by purchasing our meals out, or by purchasing premade food – be it that frozen pizza or a can of soup. The rhythm if our weekday lives has become a marathon, in which we zoom around trying desperately to cram as much as humanly possible into those precious awake moments, and cooking food has gotten lost in the shuffle. We’re moving further and further away from a tradition that has been part of every single culture since the beginning, we’re moving away from an act that has been crucial to our survival, and most likely still is. Eating food that isn’t really food is causing a plethora of issues, from diabetes to cancer, and it is wreaking havoc on bodies and our minds. When I tell you that cooking can be an act of defiance, I mean that each time you cook a meal you’re voting for the kind of future you want, you’re saying that you want to live in a society where we slow down, take the time, share a meal with someone, and not only nourish our bodies but also the minds of the next generation.
Phew, that was really heavy, I know. I didn’t mean to get so deep in a blog post about sticky rice but there you have it. If you’ve been reading my other blog posts you’ll have read that I’m currently participating in a 200 hr yoga teacher training. It’s intense to say the least and has forced me to come to terms with a lot of my emotions, the way I act and the way I want to live my life. All that to say, that lately I have been going off into deeply emotional rants that tangentially have something to do with the subject matter at hand. Bringing us back on course, coconut sticky rice with mango is a lovely treat. Ideally I would eat it every day.
Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango
3 cups sticky rice
2 cups canned or fresh coconut milk (1 can)
3/4 cup palm sugar, or substitute brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 ripe mangoes
Cook the sticky rice according to the package instructions.
Meanwhile, heat the coconut milk in a pot over medium until hot but not boiling. Add the sugar and salt and stir to dissolve completely.
When the sticky rice is done, give it a stir and and pour 1 cup of the hot coconut milk over; reserve the rest. Stir again and let stand for 20 minutes to an hour to allow the flavors to blend.
Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the mangoes.
To serve, scoop some rice into a cup or nice glass, arrange mango on top and serve the remaining coconut milk alongside.