Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wrapped Bananas


1 1/2 cups raw glutinous rice
1 large or 1 1/2 pounds grated coconut
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
15, 6-inch square banana leaves OR squares of foil
4 to 8 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons sesame seeds


Wash and soak glutinous rice in water overnight.

Continue on following day: keeping 1/2 grated coconut aside, extract coconut cream from the other 1/2. Keep pure cream separately from milk.

Dissolve sugar and 1/2 the salt in diluted coconut milk. Drain rice and soak it in this.

Heat banana leaves to make them pliable. After cutting into squares keep small bits of leaf to reinforce inside. OR prepare foil in squares.

Peel bananas and cut and slice to get short finger-size pieces. On each leaf or piece of foil, spoon 2 teaspoons rice, together with coconut milk that comes with it.

Lay a piece of banana on this with 1 tablespoon of pure coconut cream. Cover with another 2 teaspoons of rice and coconut milk.

Wrap into a neat oblong package. Stack oblongs in a steamer. Cover and steam 45 minutes if banana leaves are used and 1 hour if foil is used.

Top packet should be opened carefully. The rice should be done (no hard core) and just cling together without being gooey; though Burmese prefer it cooked longer and sticky.

Heat sesame seeds in dry pan till fragrant and brush or pound them slightly. Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt in rest of grated coconut.

Just before serving, unwrap each packet. Lay on a plate. Sprinkle with grated coconut and sesame seeds.

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