Coconut Rice in Banana Leaves with Banana and Mango

A delicious combination of coconut rice and steamed banana leaves makes an excellent accompaniment to any barbecue as individual portions are wrapped in banana leaves. They taste and look great. This recipe usually calls for glutinous rice but as many of us often have difficult in getting this I have used Italian risotto rice instead in this version of the dish.

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Rice

  • 300g risotto rice
  • 600ml coconut milk
  • 100ml water
  • 3 tbsp palm sugar
  • pandan leaf or vanilla pod

Banana and Mango Filling:

  • 4 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1 mango, sliced into pieces (similar size to banana slices)
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1tsp ginger, ground
  • 1 tsp cinnamon ground

Banana leaves

  • 6 rectangles 18x12 banana leaves or greaseproof paper or foil (if you wish to serve them hot from the barbecue use foil or banana leaves)

Method

  1. Rice: Place the rice in a saucepan with the coconut milk, sugar and pandan leaf or vanilla pod. Bring the milk to the boil and then reduce it to a lower simmer. Leave the rice to cook for 30-40 minutes stirring it regularly until the milk has absorbed into the rice and it is tender. If the milk has absorbed and the rice is still not tender stir in some water and continue to cook. Remove the rice from the heat and allow it ot cool slightly.
  2. Banana leaves: Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and blanch the banana leaves in it so that they are pliable (around 30 seconds). refresh them in a little cold water, dry them and set them aside.
  3. Filling: Lay the banana leaves out on a work top. Distribute the rice over just under 3/4 of the leaf spreading it out evenly, leave a space of 3-5 cm at the top and bottom for tying (if using greaseproof paper or foil do the same). Place 3-4 banana or mango slices in the centre of the rice length wise. Drizzle over half a tablespoon of golden syrup and sprinkle over a little cinnamon and ginger. Wrap the banana leaves into a cylinder so that the rice covers the banana. Tie or use skewers to seal in the rice and banana at the top and bottom. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. To Serve: The Coconut Rice with Banana and Mango are good hot or cold. To Serve Hot: Bring some water to the boil in the base of a large steamer. When it is boiling place the coconut rice bundles in the top half of the steamer and cook them for 10 minutes so that the rice and filling is hot. You can also reheat them on a barbecue or under a grill if you have prepared them in banana leaves or foil and you will need to seal them with tooth picks rather than string.