Sweet Steamed Sticky Rice Parcels

Last year while watching a food show/Lao cuisine on Food Safari, I loved seeing some of the similarities that we had in our cuisine. I promptly made one with bamboo shoots and posted it. Another recipe of sticky rice remained in my mind and I never really got to actually cooking it. And finally I made it today.

There are many varieties of sticky rice available in our region. We Dimasas love to have it as a breakfast dish with naphlam/dried fish chutney and scrambled eggs or with fried fish or meat as accompaniments. Occasionally we also make it into dessert but that isn’t often done. With the Lao dish I love the fact it is steamed with the addition of coconut milk, cooked red kidney beans, and a piece of cooked taro or a piece of banana. Since I had most of the ingredients, I gave it a try. The steaming process shown in the collage below is the traditional way we steam sticky rice. The pot at the bottom is usually shaped (almost) like a pitcher. But this one works well too. To prevent the steam from escaping, a strip of wet cloth is wrapped at the point where the colander meets the pan.

Top: the mix and before the wrapping Bottom: Ready for the steamer  & steaming going on

4 cups sticky rice, cooked
1 cup cooked red kidney beans
Sugar to taste
Banana (I used one)
Coconut milk 200ml
Banana leaves, 12 pieces

The recipe starts by soaking the rice overnight. But I used the pressure cooker so that part was omitted. The beans were also soaked overnight and cooked in the morning. Instead of using fresh coconut milk I used the packaged one, Dabur’s.

In a large bowl, mix the rice, the beans, sugar and the coconut milk.
Cut the banana leaves into regular sizes.
Hold them over the flame for a minute or so. This will make it easy to fold them.
Cut the banana into diagonal pieces.
Take a banana leaf and place a heaped tablespoonful of the mix.
Place a banana slice on top of the mixture.
Fold the parcel neatly. Repeat till all the mix is used up.
Steam the parcels in a colander for about 20 minutes.
Remove from the colander and transfer on to a serving dish.
Unwrap and enjoy!
The Laotian name for this recipe is Khao tom.

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