Glutinous rice is a favourite food in Myanmar where it is usually eaten for breakfast with boiled peas (Pyoke) or a variety of fritters. When I was growing up, an itinerant vendor selling steamed glutinous rice would come around with a basket on her head. As she walked, she would call out, “Kao hnyin baung!” and the children in the neibourhood would rush out to get some. For every order, she would spoon some freshly steamed glutinous rice on a sheet of banana leaf and sprinkle it with roasted sesame seeds and grated coconut. The black variety of glutinous rice, known as nga cheik is equally popular cooked this way. To eat freshly steamed glutinous rice in the morning was really bliss! This is one of those unforgettable experienes of growing up in Yangon. Today, the itinerant vendor no longer comes around, but you can still buy the cooked glutinous rice in the markets, although the charm and excitement of being served this hot and delicious food at your doorstep cannot be matched.
1 cup glutinous rice
1/4 cup adzuki beans a pinch of salt
2 Tbsp roasted white sesame seeds, finely crushed
1/2 cup grated coconut
1. Place the glutinous rice in a mixing bowl. Cover with water and leave for at least 6 hours or overnight. Do the sae for the adzuki beans.
2. When ready to cook,fill a large pot with water and boil over high heat. Get ready a bamboo steamer that will fit nicely over the pot. Line the bamboo steamer with a sheet of cheesecloth.
3. Drain the glutinous rice and adzuki beans. Add the adzuki beans to the rice and mix well. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
4. Pour the rice with the adzuki beans onto the cheesecloth in the steamer. Cover the bamboo steamer with the lid and place over the pot of boiling water. Let steam for 20 minutes.
5. Remove the bamboo steamer from the heat and let the rice sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
6. The steamed rice will be sticky and soft, and will hold any shape you mould it into. Top with the crushed sesame seeds and grated coconut. Servehot or at room temperature.