announcement DESSERT

Sticky Vanilla and Coconut Rice

May 20, 2013

Sticky Vanilla and Coconut Rice

It’s been a crazy week ten days. Totally crazy.

Jennie and I are working hard on our dream project, and we’ve been off to a good start. Working on your dream project means you do everything: the fun things like tasting 4 different strawberries, eating at different places in the name of “research” as well as the not-so-fun-things like cleaning the floors, carrying 18 kilos of pork belly on the Métro (strong Jennie!) and standing on our feet for 23 hours straight making batches of dough until the KitchenAid motor begins to hop about the table. We did all this as a part of our pilot project for Europe’s biggest B-school sports tournament and we did pretty darn well, selling over 400 pork buns! After this, I think I can safely add steamed bun-maker to my CV.


I have wanted to go to Le Cordon Bleu, because studying Basic Cuisine was an amazing experience (Day 1). I learned so much about French food, honed my skills and learned techniques from the best chefs in the business that will stay with me forever. Basic Cuisine was a huge learning curve for me – knife skills, rosé ducks, perfectly risen soufflés, scoring a perfect 100 in my theory exam, the great French sauces and so much more. Those 3 months went by like a breeze and left me wanting to go back to school as soon as I got the opportunity. A few months ago, I applied for The Culinary Trust scholarship to take on the Intermediate level in French cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu. I wrote my essay, filled out the forms, submitted them and then waited (the hardest part).

Soon enough, I had my telephone interview – and even though I’d done it before for the scholarships I won in 2011, I was still so nervous: butterflies and deep breathing pretty much sums it up. A few days later my interviewer emailed asking to schedule another call. All sorts of things went through my head: is there a second competitor I’m head-to-head with? Am I not good enough? Did they find someone else and they are calling to turn me down? But (and a big, big but) why would anyone call someone with bad news on a Friday? Maybe, they’e got something positive to say instead?

At the scheduled time, I got myself into a comfy spot and stared at my phone screen, waiting for it to light up. And it did; on the dot, turning out to be the best 3 minute Skype call of the year. I won. I keep going back to the The Culinary Trust website to see my name up there.

It’s time to sharpen my knives, bring out my whites from the cellar and buy some stationery because in less than a month, I’ll be back at Le Cordon Bleu. (!!!!!!!!!)


I recently discovered the work of a pastry chef and writer and Paris, and I’ve been reading her blog every night. You should read it. Also, I watched all the videos on La Pâtisserie des Rêves (and then was immediately off to the pastry shop to get my sweet fix) – and now I need to make their tarte tatin. I’m off to Amsterdam later this week – if you have any suggestions/recommendations please send them my way!


I still haven’t got enough of coconut-flavoured-anything. High on my list of things to make with coconut was the famous Thai sticky coconut rice – the sticky, sweet, unctuous coconut milk soaked rice that I gave a little twist of my own with a bit of vanilla bean added in to the warm coconut milk and left it to infuse for about 20 minutes which elevated the sweet fragrance and made the blob-looking sticky coconut rice slightly prettier. And even then, visual appeal isn’t one of its strong suits – so while it looks like a goopy mass in a plate, it’s best to serve these in cups or glasses. I topped it with fresh mango because that’s the only way to go with Aphonso mangoes around, but I’d think I’d love them with strawberries and raspberries as well. Maybe even some grilled pineapple.

Sticky Vanilla and Coconut Rice

Sticky Vanilla and Coconut Rice with Mangoes

Adapted from: She Simmers Serves: 2-3 I changed a whole bunch of things: increased the coconut milk - yielding a more pudding like consistency, infused the coconut milk with vanilla, reduced the sugar because I don't like overtly sweet things and used coconut sugar instead. Result? Amazing enough to skip lunch an eat an entire cup of sticky coconut rice.


  • 3/4th cup good coconut milk
  • 1 inch vanilla, split and scraped
  • ½ cup sticky rice, soaked overnight
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar (or caster sugar if you don't have this)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • One mango - Alphonso!


  1. In a pan, whisk together the vanilla and coconut milk and bring it to a gentle simmer. Turn off the heat and let the vanilla infuse into the coconut milk.
  2. Put the rice in a heatproof bowl and steam in a steamer, over medium heat, for about 20 minutes. The rice should be cooked through with no hard, raw bits in the middle of the grains.
  3. Bring the coconut milk back to a simmer - add the sugar and salt and mix until the sugar has dissolved
  4. Transfer the sticky coconut rice into a bowl and pour the hot coconut mixture over it. Stir gently until the coconut milk is evenly distributed. Cover. Let it stand for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, you'll notice that the rice has absorbed all the coconut milk.
  5. Serve immediately with mangoes.
  6. Note: Try and make it just when you want to eat it - reheated sticky coconut rice doesn't have a very enjoyable texture.


  • Reply sam May 20, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Hey thank god u r back.
    I really missed u
    N ya congratulations for d second round at le cordon bleu.
    I m very happy for u n wish dat all your wishes come true

  • Reply Nivedita paghdiwalla May 20, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Congratulations !!!all the best , learn more and more and teach and feed when you come back

  • Reply noelle May 20, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Bravo, Shaheen! And thx for taking us along on your cooking adventures!

  • Reply Ann May 20, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Congrats, Shaheen! This is amazing news and I look forward to seeing your adventures unfold here on this blog!

  • Reply Sheetal May 20, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Congratulations and all the best! I couldn’t help myself from suggesting this lovely lovely b&b to stay in Amsterdam – Garden View B &B (
    Its in a lovely residential area with station close by. But, I am recommending this one because Nessie is a wonderful person and even wonderful baker/cook. I am sure you will love staying at her property.

    • Reply Shaheen May 20, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      4 poster bed? I’m sold! If we weren’t staying at a friend’s friend place I’d totally consider this. Thanks :)

      • Reply Sheetal May 21, 2013 at 10:45 AM

        Oh well! There is always a next time :). Do try the Indonesian Rijsttafel (Rice Table). It was awesome and please please visit the Flower market!

        • Reply arjwiz May 21, 2013 at 12:10 PM

          Thanks Sheetal! Indonesian food in Amsterdam? Wow that sounds amazing, I think Shaheen and I should definitely do that. Any particular restaurant recommendations? Google returns all sorts of recommendations but we’d rather trust a blog reader who has been there.

          Yup, we will definitely visit the flower market.

          – Orangefoodie.

  • Reply Jincy May 20, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Hey Shaheen,
    Gartine is an awesome place for High tea in Amsterdam. They are usually booked up for the weekends so calling ahead would be better. Hope you have a lovely time here in Amsterdam! :)

    PS: I made the Hazelnut loaf today and slathered it with melted dark chocolate. It was the perfect antidote to an otherwise rainy day.

  • Reply HomemadeMother May 21, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    I am on a total coconut kick lately, so I can’t wait to try this!

  • Reply Naiya Desa May 21, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Very Happy for you ! … when you are opening shop in mumbai????

  • Reply Ashimataneja May 21, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Hi shaheen, congratulations …

    If u r here in Amsterdam .. I hope the weather is good this weekend. You can go to Zanse Schans for Dutch village , old windmills n crafts.

  • Reply Rhea May 21, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Was in Ams last year for a few days, and I wholly recommend bicycling around the city (& ofcourse canals!) rather than walking. It was the best part of the trip. My friend and I were lucky enough to be staying with a nice Dutch lady who happily lent us her bikes, so we were the envy of the rest of our group! Have a lovely time!

  • Reply sam May 21, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Hey can u pls post d pizza dough recipe

  • Reply Frances May 21, 2013 at 6:38 PM


    Thanks for the compliment, very much appreciate it! Have been browsing your site, and your beautiful light photos – I have to admit to being a little jealous of your career path so far. Such a range of different experiences! Will be following along with pleasure.

    A plus!


  • Reply Nik@ABrownTable May 22, 2013 at 5:04 AM

    400 Pork Buns, that sounds amazing, so congrats! I love coconut flavorings in anything be it sweet or savory. I just wish we got Alphonso mangoes here in D.C. no other variety of mango, tastes as good.

  • Reply Shawni May 22, 2013 at 5:34 AM

    Beautiful! I have to know where that wonderful cup and spoon come from. I am in LOVE with them.

  • Reply Mahrukh May 23, 2013 at 6:29 AM

    Please please share your recipe for the pork buns. Love them, but they are so hard to get in mumbai.

  • Reply Meenakshi May 28, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Hey a huge CONGRATS! Good luck for the session ahead and may you ace your course this year as well. And this dessert is very do-able especially with our abundance of coconut milk and mangoes and rice!

  • Reply Pooja May 31, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Hi Shaheen,

    Congratulation!!!! I am extremely happy and excited for you.
    Have fun at Le Cordon Bleu.


  • Reply Grace @ Perpetual Nomming June 2, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Congrats for Le Cordon Bleu. You’ll have an amazing time…I would love to go there! I have a similar post like this on my blog. Doesn’t vanilla bean just add the most delicate essence to anything?! xx

  • Reply Puneet K June 13, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    What kind of mango do you use? My fiance really loves mango and coconut and rice pudding so I am excited to try this recipe

  • Reply justagirlfromaamchimumbai June 15, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Wow 400 Pork buns. Well done girl. I am sure we can settle for the sticky coconut rice after od’ing on the bun.

  • Reply Jennie June 25, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    I couldn’t imagine anyone else with whom I’d want to make 400+ pork buns, scrub the floors and haul pork belly across Paris. :)

    I hope you’re enjoying classes and have time to profiter des soldes, you deserve it!! :)

  • Reply Gayatri July 17, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    I love this! Been looking for a recipe to be able to make this! Where in Mumbai can I find sticky rice? Food Hall or Nature’s Basket, do you think?

  • Reply Kaho August 30, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    I came to you through notabilia on the My Asia column. Now I live in Mumbai, India, your information is very helpful! I love Indigo and Fabindia as well!! I couldn’t comment on notabilia, so here is the comment! Congratulations on getting the Culinary Trust scholarship for Le Cordon Bleu. I will check out the blog you mentioned. Warm regards from Mumbai

    • Reply Shaheen September 24, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      Thank you! Glad it’s helpful.

  • Reply Gayatri April 6, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, Shaheen! I tried it and it turned out great, will be blogging about it soon :)

  • Reply Thai-style Sticky Coconut Rice with Mango | The Desserted Girl April 10, 2014 at 6:56 AM

    […] recipe is from here, with reduced sugar and a bit of guess-timation on the amount of rice needed. Using pre-cooked rice […]

  • Reply Thai-style Sticky Coconut Rice with Mango March 12, 2016 at 10:08 PM

    […] recipe is from here, with reduced sugar and a bit of guess-timation on the amount of rice needed. Using pre-cooked rice […]

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