Sticky Rice with Mango (or Bananas)

published Apr 9, 2022
ramadan
Sticky Rice With Mango (or Bananas) Recipe

This comforting combination of rice, milk, and fruit is a Bangladeshi Ramadan favorite.

Serves6 to 8

Prep5 minutes

Cook30 minutes

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Sticky rice with mango
Credit: Sara Ali

For sehri, the meal that’s eaten during Ramadan before a day of fasting, I often prepare hearty meals that I grew up eating, rotating among pan-fried fish sautéed in a melody of onions and spices, chicken and potato curry, or beef and potato curry. But for my family, there is one dish that steals the show every time: biron baath, sticky rice with ripe bananas or mangoes, served with heated milk.

Credit: Sara Ali

If you haven’t had biron baath before, imagine eating a dish that is naturally sweet, leaves you with a cozy feeling, and is fun to stick your fingers into (we eat Bangladeshi food with our hands). When I was a kid I didn’t like eating curry-heavy breakfasts, opting for cereal or ramen if I could muster up the energy to make it. However, if I ate rice and curry, I’d layer that with an additional serving of sticky rice, a complex carbohydrate, and with fruit. My parents would say, “If you didn’t eat rice, did you even eat at all?” It was one of the ways they held onto and passed on culture to their kids, who were growing up in the United States. That’s something I care about, too. 

My daughter, who began practicing fasting last year when she was 8, took a liking to biron baath, much to my surprise. I always imagined my kids wanting to eat oatmeal or bagels for sehri by the time they were fasting, however, I was pleasantly surprised that my second-generation Bangladeshi-American kids enjoy foods that have been passed along generationally. Hopefully, they will pass them on to their families someday, too.

Sticky Rice With Mango (or Bananas) Recipe

This comforting combination of rice, milk, and fruit is a Bangladeshi Ramadan favorite.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 3 cups

    water

  • 1 1/2 cups

    raw long-grain sweet or glutinous rice, such as Asian Taste

  • 2 cups

    milk of choice, such as whole milk or canned unsweetened coconut milk

  • Fruit options: 1 large mango, 2 medium mangoes, 8 small bananas, or 4 large bananas

Instructions

  1. Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, place 1 1/2 cups raw long-grain sweet or glutinous rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Bring 2 cups milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over low heat, then continue to simmer for 5 minutes more to reduce slightly. Turn off the heat.

  2. Add the rice to the boiling water (reserve the strainer). Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the rice begins to float up and fluff, about 5 minutes. Stir the rice with a wooden spoon. Cover and cook for 5 minutes more.

  3. Drain the rice through the reserved strainer. Return the rice to the saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat until translucent, cooked through, and sticky, about 10 minutes more. Check by pressing a grain with your finger or tasting one.

  4. Remove the saucepan of rice from the heat. Let sit covered for 5 minutes to steam further. Meanwhile, cut the fruit. If using mango, peel, pit, and large dice 1 large or 2 medium mangoes (here’s how). If using bananas, peel 8 small or 4 large bananas, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds.

  5. For each serving, place 1/2 cup sticky rice on a rimmed plate or in a shallow bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of the milk over the rice. Arrange 5 to 6 pieces of mango or the slices from 1 small or 1/2 large banana around the rice. Optional: mash the fruit together with the rice and milk before eating.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover rice can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave.