This time of year mangoes are in season.
But more importantly, Pakistani Mangoes are in season!
Why are Pakistani mangoes the best?
There is nothing better than a Pakistani mango! Nothing compares to the sweetness and fragrance of a Pakistani mango!
Ok so I may be a little bit biased since I only grew up eating Pakistani mangoes, but they really are in a league of their own! Pretty much anyone who grew up eating them will agree. The fragrance and flavour of them just takes me back to childhood. Sometimes even if a food is not that good, you love it just because of the memories associated with that flavour.
For me, and many that have moved away from Pakistan, that is a Pakistani mango.
It reminds me of summers spent visiting the family in Pakistan. Hanging out with all the cousins. Eating copious amounts of mango and rice, or mango, paratha and malai (essentially a thick clotted cream), or just eating the mangoes straight up. We even had a mango tree at my nani’s (maternal grandmother) house.
I learnt all the different varieties of mangoes. I know sindhri is my favourite for the smell and flavour. But anwar ratol is the one that is prized for its flavour but the season is so short (right at the begging of summer) it is almost impossible to get it here in Canada. Chaunsa is the tiny ridicuiously sweet one that you don’t event cut to eat. Just gently squeeze it a few times all over. Chop the top off and suck the pulp out! Like an instant mango shake! We call it naram garam style – which means soft and warm. Kids love eating it that way!
The best memories I have of mangoes is when we had our wedding in Canada. We had loads of family come to visit us from the USA. Many of whom had not had a Pakistani mango in years since they had been living in the US, and the FDA has very strict rules about importing fruit (as I’m sure most immigrant families will know). As it so happened, Canada has just started importing them a few years earlier (they are still not permitted to be imported in the US). All our American relatives came over to my moms for breakfast one day and the only thing on the menu was mangoes!
My dad literally bought 20 boxes of mangoes (each box has about 5 mangoes in it) – so we had about 100 mangoes. And they just kept cutting them, and the people kept eating them! Everyone still remembers the mango party day! It is such a fun memory. Im pretty sure they were more excited to come to our wedding because it was in the middle of mango season!
How to make an easy Mango Sticky Rice
While you absolutely do not need to fancy up a mango. It is plenty fancy by itself, mango sticky rice is just another fabulous way to eat a mango. Especially when the mango is sweet like candy!
This is traditionally a Thai recipe and is super easy to make. It only takes a few ingredients and about the amount of time it takes to cook rice.
You will need to get the special glutinous rice for this (essentially it is a short grain asian rice that has a lot of rice starch in it (basmati just wont work for this recipe if you want a true sticky rice). Just make sure to soak your rice a few hours beforehand so the end result will be nice and sticky/chewy.
You need to steam the rice while you make the sauce and cut the mangoes. I love the warm rice served with the warm sauce all topped with the chilled mango cubes! YUM!
What to do if your mangoes are not sweet enough?
This recipe is also a great way to use up any mangoes that are not quite sweet enough. Because the sweet coconut sauce that goes on the rice can be adjusted to your desired level of sweetness, if your mangoes are not sweet enough, make your sauce sweeter. If the mangoes are very sweet (like the Pakistani kind), make the sauce a little less sweet!
It is a great way to use up mangoes either way!
Easy Mango Sticky Rice (Vegan)
- 1 cup glutinous rice
- 1 can full fat coconut milk (400ml)
- 1/4 tsp brown sugar (or white sugar – also feel free to adjust sweetness to your liking. This is more of a subtle sweetness)
- pinch salt
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1-2 tbsp water
- 1-2 ripe mangoes
- sesame seeds for garnish
Soak the Rice
- For the rice to get nice and chewy/sticky you will need to soak them overnight, or at least for 4 hours. Fill a bowl with 1 cup glutinous rice and enough water to cover them by about 1 inch. Let soak at room temperature.
Steam the Rice
- Prepare your steamer pan. Fill with enough water to not touch the steamer basket. Bring to a boil.
- Drain the rice and add to the steamer basket. Place in the pan and cover. Allow to simmer and steam for about 10-15 minutes until the rice is softened and no longer firm in the centre.
Make the Coconut Sauce
- While the rice cooks, make the sweet coconut sauce. In a small sauce pan add the whole can of coconut milk, 1/4 cup sugar and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Once the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is bubbling, taste and adjust for your desired sweetness. Turn the heat down and in a separate small bowl mix the 1 tbsp cornstarch with a splash of water to make a slurry. When the corn starch has dissolved in the water, pour it over the simmering sauce, stir well to combine.
- The sauce will thicken up almost immediately. Bring to a boil to cook off the cornstarch flavour. You will know the sauce is done when a spoon dipped into the sauce comes out well coated in sauce, and if you run a finger down the middle of the coated spoon the sauce will not run back together.
- Turn of the heat and set the sauce aside. By now your rice will be ready as well. Slice up your mango and plate.
Plate the Mango Sticky Rice
- In a small bowl or plate, scoop out some rice. Pour the sauce over to coat the rice. Add the mango slices and sprinkle with sesame seeds.