Here’s a great dessert to end a Thai feast. You’ll need a visit to an Asian supermarket to source the sticky rice, lime leaves and papaya – and plenty of time for soaking the rice. Well worth it.
200g/7oz Thai sticky rice
1 x 400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk
¼ tsp salt
50g/1¾oz palm sugar, roughly chopped if from a block
5 kaffir lime leaves
1 ripe medium papaya, seeds removed, peeled, cut into 5mm/¼in neat slices
2 limes, zest and juice only
4 sprigs mint, for garnish (optional)
Soak the rice in 300ml/10fl oz of water for at least 30 minutes, but for up to four hours before using.
Drain the rice and wash thoroughly.
Line a bamboo steamer (with a lid) with either greaseproof paper, a banana leaf or a clean sheet of muslin. If using greaseproof paper or a banana leaf, pierce some holes using a skewer (don’t make the holes too large, but you do want them to allow the steam through).
Place about 425ml/¾ pint of water (5cm/2in depth) into a saucepan or a wok and place the rice in the steamer. Put on the lid, bring the water to the boil and then reduce the heat to low-medium and steam for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime, add the coconut milk, salt, palm sugar and kaffir lime leaves to a saucepan. Warm through over a medium heat – do not boil.
Stir frequently for a good 5-7 minutes to infuse the flavours. Once infused, remove from the heat.
Arrange the prepared papaya onto four plates or a suitable serving dish and pour over the zest and juice of the limes.
Once the rice is cooked, put it into a mixing bowl and gradually add three-quarters of the infused coconut milk. Reserve the remaining quarter.
Mix well and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. Transfer the rice into individual serving bowls or a suitable dish and drizzle over the remaining infused coconut milk. Serve the papaya salad along with the rice. Garnish with a sprig of mint if liked.
Source: BBC FOODS