Thai Sticky Rice and Mango

I grew up, an Armed Forces kid, in sleepy little cantonment towns all over India. We usually lived in rambling old houses, which more often that not, were old POW barracks or accommodation for the British army. Gardens, a luxury today, were also huge and overgrown, teeming with snakes and mongooses (mongeese?). Inevitably the gardens had a host of fruit trees- guava, gooseberry, papaya and mango.

The April-May holidays were spent climbing trees, harvesting mangoes, lolling on the sit out in the summer heat, reading books and playing inane games. Aah, those innocent times- with no TV and no Internet!

Mangoes were the high point of our summer holidays, with my mom (the worst cook in the world) reaching heights of culinary perfection with her myriad mango masterpieces!

From the humble mango panna and the mango pachadi to a multitude of mango chutneys, jams and pickles to mango juice and mango ice cream. From these unknown varieties of mangoes, she would extract pulp and cook it to a purée that she’d store in the fridge. And she’d whip up kulfis and confections through the year, amazing our frequent guests. In India, the mango season is a fleeting one, with poets writing paeans of praise to that beloved King of fruit.

We probably bought a mango only years later. And that’s when one learned of the huge variety of Indian mangoes –the Totapuri, the Chousa, the Langda, the Badaami, the Kesar, the Neelam, the Banganpalli and the world renowned Alphonso!

Here in Singapore we have an almost perennial mango season. With mangoes from all parts of South and Southeast Asia.

This is a quick and delicious dessert for all you Mango lovers. This is not from my mom’s collection though. Those, I’ll post, someday– like the unexpected goodies she’d produce, magically, when mangoes weren’t in season!

A delightful staple in most Thai restaurants, this dessert is simple to make, plus, you can make this as light or as calorific as you wish.

The one vital ingredient, is the glutinous rice. While I’m sure in a cinch you can make it with any rice you have at home, you won’t get that delectable, sticky texture that makes this dish stand apart from the ubiquitous rice puddings. The sticky rice, delicious by itself, plays the perfect foil to the mango. A delicate counterpoint to the bold taste of the mango.

While the Thai Honey mango is what most restaurants in Singapore serve the sticky rice with, use any sweet mango that you can lay your hands on.


For the sticky rice:

Glutinous rice : 1 cup, soaked for an hour
Water : 1 3/4 cups
Coconut milk powder : 1 50g sachet
Brown sugar or grated Gula Melaka : 1/2 cup
Salt : 1/4 tsp

For the sauce:
Coconut milk : 1x 200ml can or tetra pack
Tapioca starch : 1 tbsp
Brown sugar : 2-3 tbsps

The mango:

Choose firm, sweet mangoes. Chill in the fridge, then peel and cut into slices.


Drain the rice. Mix in the water the coconut milk powder, sugar and salt and simmer over gentle heat until the rice is fully cooked and water completely absorbed.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the sauce. Mix the tapioca starch in 2 tbsps water and stir until lump free. Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan and add the sugar and tapioca starch.

Simmer over a gentle heat until it comes to a boil. Turn off the heat.

To serve, place a scoop of rice on a dish with the mango slices and pour the sauce over.

The glutinous rice.

The coconut cream powder.

Sugar and salt.

Drained rice, sugar and salt. Add the water mixed with the coconut powder.

Simmer, until done.

Sticky rice, ready for a makeover.


Serve with mangoes and a dribble of coconut sauce.


Do you have a favourite mango? Or a memory of the mango season from your childhood?

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Geni says:

    Oh my gosh. This looks HEAVENLY. I would be so happy if I was at your table sharing some of this. Just simple and perfect.

    1. radhika25 says:

      Hahaha! You are welcome! Do come visit Singapore sometime- though it does not sound as exotic as Maui, for a holiday 🙂

  2. acakediva says:

    I’ve never heard of coconut cream powder. I’m going to have to look for it at my Asian grocery. Have you tried baking with it in a cake? I’m thinking the flavor might be quite good.

    1. radhika25 says:

      I’ve never tried it in cakes…..but that’s because I’ve not made coconut cake in decades. We make so many sweet dishes with coconuts, that I normally steer clear from it in cakes. But it’s an interesting thought.
      I usually have packets of that stuff, to add to pulaos (rice dishes) rather than open a tetra pack of coconut milk. This is not the same as desiccated coconut, as its a powder that dissolves in warm water to make coconut milk.
      If you do bake a cake with it let me know 🙂

      1. acakediva says:

        I guess I have coconut on the brain today, since I’m making a coconut pound cake. 🙂 I love the flavor of coconut, but I don’t like to use desiccated coconut in the cake batter, because it sometimes has a chewy texture and doesn’t seem to provide a good strong coconut flavor. Maybe the coconut cream powder might give a good flavor, instead of using coconut milk or pure extract in the batter. I’ll add it to my list of things I want to experiment and let you know how it turns out.

      2. radhika25 says:

        Oh yes! Please tell me how it turns out!

      3. radhika25 says:

        Please let me know!

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