Khao niao mamuang, or mango sticky rice, is a Thai dessert typically made with glutinous rice—a short grain rice that doesn't contain gluten at all, but gets its name from the sticky, glue-like texture it gets when cooked. While the dessert is made up of fairly simple ingredients (glutinous rice, fresh mangos, sugar, coconut milk, salt) it requires a whole lot of foresight to soak the rice hours and hours before cooking, having a special steamer to cook the rice, plus time for the rice to soak up the sauce before serving.
This recipe is a total cheater version that skips all of those parts entirely, resulting in something that is similar to the beloved Thai dessert, but also has its own decadent vibe from sweetened condensed milk. Cooking regular ol' jasmine rice in coconut milk gives this version its sticky texture and a subtle coconut flavor.
coconut milk, shaken or stirred
sweetened condensed milk, plus extra for serving
dried butterfly pea flower tea (optional)
To make the tea, steep your butterfly pea flowers in 1 1/2 cups of hot water for at least 15 minutes. You will only use 1 cup for this recipe, but I've allocated a buffer because some of the water will be absorbed and discarded when you discard the dried flowers. Alternatively, you could use less flowers and steep for longer or use more for a quicker steep or richer color. Enjoy drinking the rest; if you combine it with lemonade it will turn bright purple!
Thoroughly wash and drain your rice and place it in your rice cooker pot. Add 1 cup of blue tea (if using, or 1 cup water). Be sure to give your coconut milk a good shake or stir before measuring it out because the thick cream and the coconut water separate when stored.
Add your coconut milk and salt to the rice cooker. Stir thoroughly, and then turn on your rice cooker to whatever setting you normally use for making regular steamed jasmine rice.
While your rice is cooking, prep your mango. Once you feel confident in your mango selection, determine how you want to present your mango in your finished dessert and execute on that plan.
When your rice cooker tells you it's done doing its thing, quickly remove the pot from the heat and add your condensed milk.
Mix gently (I use a rice paddle for this) so as to not mush up the rice, but make sure the condensed milk is well incorporated, tasting along the way to sweeten the rice to your liking. Leave the rice covered to keep it from drying out.
To serve, plate the rice together with the mango. Drizzle with some additional condensed milk over everything to bring the whole dish together and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top if you'd like a little extra texture.