Thai Mango Sticky Rice Pudding (Khao Niaow Ma Muang)

The magic wand of the monsoons is still holding us under its spell. Sometimes it fills me with buoyancy and energy when I see a carpet of green outside my window and at other times I have to will myself to get out of the warm sheets. To add melody to the view little fantails keep flitting in and out of my window grill, teasing me with their short punctuated tweets or long drawn whistles. Sometimes like today, I simply leave everything and sit on the sill admiring the walk of the moorhen which reminds of a hobbling old man and I invariably hum ‘aaya aaya chenuwaali chunni ka baba…’ watching the crows fighting over a piece of mango or the bulbul that does not seem inclined to sing in the rain.

Everyday when I step out I find new flowers blossomed where there were only buds the day before. Trees spring surprises by bringing forth tender new shoots where there were hollows earlier. Rains I realize can never dampen my spirits, in fact I feel a lift all the time and find myself smiling at strangers and friends alike (quite silly but true!). The other day we had a power failure at work and while it took the technicians a little over an hour to set the fault right, the unexpected break gave us precious time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Marine Drive promenade. We had a great time playing antakshari and getting sprayed with sea water every now and then. A sudden downpour had us running for cover thereafter. The rains in Mumbai are like naughty kids – just when you think its all sunny you get caught in heavy shower, and the moment you bring out and pull open your umbrellas, its all gone.



Cooking is a pleasure during the rains, as my kitchen is no longer hot or humid. With the first downpour the hapoos / alphonsos (mango variety) disappeared and the fruit markets were filled with other varieties of mango such as kesar, daseri, totapuri and langda. Out of the four kesar tastes the best. It is also well suited for most desserts as it is less fibrous and has a luscious deep orange colour. Last year while scouting for mango recipes I had come across several recipes for ‘Thai Mango Sticky Rice Pudding’, and I knew I would make it someday. The flavours are very Indian and yet different from anything I had tasted before. One rainy day I made this and took it to office to add variety to my packed lunch. If you have a love for coconut milk, this dish is guaranteed to win your favour. Being vegan makes it perfect for me too. The name is quite a mouthful by itself, isn’t it? This is my version of the Thai dessert, and it is quite different from the original in terms of texture. The original dessert is made with less coconut cream. Mine is smothered.

Recipe: Thai Mango Sticky Rice Pudding (Khao Niaow Ma Muang)
Yield: Serves 5 – 7  
(My version is quite different from the original)

Ripe, firm mangoes chopped into bite sized cubes or sliced thick – 2 cups
Any glutinous rice variety (I used ambemore rice) – 1 cup
Thick coconut milk (I grated and squeezed out fresh milk) – 3 cups + 1 cup for sauce
Flesh of a tender coconut (optional but recommended), chopped
Almond nut milk or any milk of your choice – 1 cup
Cornflour/maize starch – 1.5 tsp.
Vanilla stick – 1
Sugar – 1/2 + 1/4 cup

Soak cleaned rice for at least 3 to 4 hours and drain.

Cook the rice in 2 cups of water till almost done. Now add 3 cups of coconut milk and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir well and cook till the milk is completely absorbed and the rice turns soft. Stir in between to avoid sticking in the bottom of the vessel and burning. Let cool.

Meanwhile stir the cornflour(or vanilla custard powder), almond milk and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Slit the vanilla bean and scrape the powder into the liquid. Heat in a pan to form a thick sauce taking care to stir all the while. Stir the remaining 1 cup coconut milk into this sauce to form the coconut sauce.

To serve pour a thin layer of sauce, top with a layer of the rice and a tablespoon of the sauce, top with chunks of mango and slurp!

I have made this quite a few times and took pictures each time. It is recommended that this pudding should be served warm but I liked it better cold. I just mixed the sauce with the rice and the chunks of mangoes and carried it to office. It was much tastier than topping with the chunks as the flavour of the mangoes had been infused into the pudding by then.


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • deepti

    stumbled upon this after quite a while… but its evoked 2 of the things that i'm a 'fan to the grave for'…. Mumbai and happoos mangoes…. thanks for melanging both of these into the same space…. being a Mumbaikar who has been out o Mumbai for a while, I hold onto every bit I can get of the place… holding on to this recipe is especially fun… am gonna make this, sit by my small little table fountain.. and pretend that am savoring it by MD 🙂 thnx once again!

  • Jude

    The deep color on your mangoes looks fantastic. Need to truck my luck again — I've been 50/50 with getting good and not so good mangoes lately.

  • jayasri

    wow, harini, OMG all the photos are absolutely stunning, lovely snaps too, nice recipe must try them some time…, god knows what all i will try only my BM are increasing

  • Red Chillies

    Beautiful presentation Harini, love all of them.
    Love the rains, but definitely not when driving :-(. IT takes all the happiness away!

  • Jayashree

    I love the pic that goes with the 4th serving suggestion.

  • lissie

    beautiful clicks! variety serving suggestions…! yummy pudding!

  • Curry Leaf

    Stunning.For the first time,rather than reading the post and then the recipe.I devoured the pics first,then came straight to the recipe.Was wondering which rice you had used -any idea whether it is available here.I wanted to do this pudding,but was baffled by the glutinous rice.

    love the rain pics as well.You have a perfect eye for pics.BTW,did you visit the new BWSL (rajiv gandhi sea link).Is it practically good one- has the time to travel really reduced?Or simply overhyped?

  • jayasree

    Loved the different ways of presentation. Lovely rain pics. Enjoying the monsoon here too.

  • Khaugiri

    True Harini, I am missing Marine Drive like anything…… specially in rainy days…. pudding looks termpting…… I like all the serving options…….but black I like the most 🙂

  • Ivy

    Wow so many beautiful presentations and lovely pictures as well.

  • ?peachkins?

    I love mango and sticky rice?! You suggested 4 ways on how to serve them and I love it! very nice presentation and photos..

  • Aparna

    I'm always happy to see anything mango. So this the mango mania you were talking about. 🙂

    I am enjoying the monsoons too. It isn't hot anymore and there's something magical in watching the rain.

  • Shri

    Looks awesome!The pics and the pudding.

  • Navita (Gupta) Hakim

    This is gorgeous ur daughter I love the black one 🙂

  • Sunshinemom

    Thanks all:)

    Yasmeen, in that case maybe I too wouldn't!! Can imagine how it must be – an overdose:)

  • Yasmeen

    Beautiful serving suggestions 😛
    wonder why I don't enjoy the rain as much,may be bcoz it rains(or snows) here throughout the year!.Nice shots of rain 😀

  • Sharmila

    Wow! So many serving options! Just great! 🙂

  • Nithya

    Looks absolutely stunning. Its too tempting and wish I could have all of them right away..

    The pics are phenomenal. Hats off. 🙂

Leave a Reply to Nithya