Welcome to adobo-down-under!

Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Black sticky rice

Fast. Slow. Buzzing. Quiet.  Day. Night. Yin. Yang. Winter. Spring.  Cold. Warm.  This is how our days have been so far, for the past couple of weeks.  Buzzing during the day, calm and settled at night.  My sister in law is leaving back for the PI tomorrow, and its just going to be different settling back in to our old routine. We'll miss Ann for sure.  She's added that extra jolt of excitement in our home for the past 4 weeks plus her contagious laugh just fills the house with energy.  I'm sure she's had the time of her life and has gotten to know the girls even more.   I've never seen anyone take retail therapy to the extreme, plus the girls will surely miss their Tita (aunt).  We maximised the last few days with her with a trip to the Central Coast and last weekend was not like any other.  

We had a full on weekend with some Friday night school disco, lunacy at Luna Park on Saturday and a lovely end with a Sunday barbeque dinner at our friend's place, the Luther's.  Lovely folks.  Apart from the dinner, the kids had a nice time in the pool while I was in the kitchen performing some tricks with D.  While she made some chicken arroz valenciana (a dish almost like the Peruvian chicken rice pilaf and something that deserves a post in the future), I made a sweet Vietnamese dessert/dish - black sticky rice.

Black glutinous rice, toasted sesame seeds, coconut cream

I have never tasted this sweet dish before until recently.  Specifically during the recipe book launch where this nice lady brought the dish for the recipe she shared in the book.  I had a taste and it was uniquely and utterly good.  Hang on.  It was a not just good, it was great!  Simple and yet filling.  Sweet and yet not too tempting.  It was a welcome surprise.  So while browsing around the Ryde Library during the launch, I had a look at her recipe and concocted a plan to replicate the dish.

So despite the lack of the main equipment to make the dish (a pressure cooker), I completed all the ingredients when I did last weekend's shopping, and secretly browsing online for a sturdy pressure cooker.   It was a spontaneous invitation that D actually owned a pressure cooker and had offered to host a weekend barbie get-together, and why not do another masterclass?    So here it is.  The Yin and Yang of all the Asian sweets that I've ever tasted.  The black rice in harmony with the coconut cream, and the toasted sesame seeds adds that perfect balance of nuttiness to this simple and yet filling dish!

3 cups black glutinous rice
3 pandan leaves, tied in a knot
1 tsp salt
375g palm sugar (3/4 of a 500g block)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds

Wash and rinse the rice until water is almost clear.  The water will still be a little bit dark but clean.  This took about 5-6 wash-and-rinse.

Place in a 6L or 8L pressure cooker.  Add water to cover the rice, 6cm above the rice level.

Add salt and pandan leaves.  Close pressure cooker lid tightly and bring to boil on high heat, approximately 5 minutes.

Once boiling (pressure cooker hissing loudly), reduce heat to low (hissing gently) and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool/decompress for another 15 minutes. 

While rice is resting/cooling/decrompressing, toast the sesame seeds - using a non stick pan.  On medium heat, fry the sesame seeds until golden.  No oil needed.  Transfer to a bowl and stand till cool.

Dissolve the palm sugar in a sauce pan with 1/2 cup water. (Best way to do this fast is to shave the palm sugar using a triangle grater)

Once pressure cooker lid can be opened, remove pandan leaves.  Stir in dissolved palm sugar. 

Serve warm in small dessert bowls - pour one scoop/spoonfull of the black sticky rice in a bowl, top with 1/2 tsp coconut cream and sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds.

PS - Remember that pressure cookers once lid has been locked, should not be opened at any time, unless the hissing has completely stopped and the safety red button (differs in various brands and models) has completely sunk.

The owner of the recipe mentioned that you can also prepare this using conventional pots and sauce pans, but may take 4-6 hours to prepare and cook.  The rice needs to be soaked for 4-6 hours or overnight and then cooked in conventional pots/sauce pans.   The pressure cooker took a total of 30 minutes cooking time, plus 10-15 minutes more cooling time.   So besides the DSLR that I was talking about,  I might just have to get a proper pressure cooker.  It does amazing job with any dish, or so I heard.  The thought of making another round of this dish just might be the ticket to getting that pressure cooker! 

I must say though that while this sweet dish is yummy, it is quite heavy.  Eat it for dessert after a light dinner or lunch, or serve as a sweet dish for afternoon tea. 

1 comment:

  1. Anna, this dessert look just as alluring in B/W as color. I've been wanting to make several South East Asian sweets, but pandam leaves are very hard to come by here. Will have to hunt down a natural extract.

    Thank you for your BWW photo.



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