Sweet Glutinous Rice in Banana Leaf

A delicious banana and rice dessert, taken from Thailand: The Cookbook

Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus soaking time
Cooking time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Makes 20


2 1/2 cups (1 lb 2 oz/500 g) glutinous (sticky) rice
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz/100 g) dried black beans
2 cups (18 oz/500 ml) coconut milk
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz/100 g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
10 ripe small bananas
banana leaves, cut into 7–8-inch/18–20-cm-wide strips


Soak the rice in a bowl of water overnight or for at least 3 hours, then drain, rinse under cold running water, and drain again. Soak the beans in another bowl of water for 2 hours, then drain, rinse, and put into a pan.

Pour in enough water to cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 50–60 minutes or until softened. Meanwhile, mix the coconut milk, sugar, and salt together in a bowl, then strain through cheesecloth (muslin) into a clean bowl.

Combine the rice and sweetened coconut milk in a wok over medium heat and stir continuously for about 10 minutes until the rice starts to cook. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Peel the bananas and cut in half lengthwise. Lay a banana leaf on a flat work surface.

Place a tablespoon of rice and 10 black beans in the center of the leaf. Cover with 2 halves of banana and top with a final spoonful of rice. Cover the filling with the sides of the leaf, fold over the ends, and secure with string to form a package. Repeat until all the filling has been used.

Steam the packages in a steamer for 40-45 minutes, then serve.

Thailand: The Cookbook

The food of Thailand is renowned the world over for its distinctive blend of hot, sour, sweet, and salty flavors, and Thailand: The Cookbook is the definitive guide to this much-loved cuisine.

Containing 500 recipes ranging from simple snacks and drinks to curries, stir-fries, and elaborate desserts, Thailand: The Cookbook shares the familiar - Massaman Curry, Phat Thai - as well as the less familiar - Pandan Pudding, Dragon Fruit Frappe - dishes of this vibrant and diverse country.