Now, I was challenged with how to use a completely new ingredient in a recipe and I was in a quandary!! How will I go about using this unknown flower that I had never heard of until now? I researched a bit, and came across something interesting to get my juices flowing but was still perplexed. It turns out that in Chinese this flower is also called 'cinnamon flower' and is infused with green or black tea leaves to create a fragrant tea. If you've noticed chinese tea in the store that has a pre-fix 'Gui Hua' that means the tea leaves have been infused with Sweet Osmanthus.
Sweet Coconut Rice with Mango
•1/2 cup Basmati Rice
•1 cup water
•1 ripe mango sliced lengthwise
•1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
•1 can good-quality coconut milk
• pinch of salt
•1 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder dissolved in 2 Tbsp. water
+ 2 Tblsn reserved Coconut milk+ 1 Tbslpn Sugar
1.Soak the rice in 1 cup water for 20 minutes. Take the Osmanthus and boil with 3/4 cup water until the water has a light brown color. Drain the flowers out and save the liquid for cooking the rice.
2.Add enough water to cook the rice and include the 3/4 cup Osmanthus water to the rice, plus 1/2 can coconut milk, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. coconut flavoring, and brown sugar. Stir this into the rice, lifting any rice grains that have stuck to the bottom of the pot.
3.Bring to a gentle boil, then partially cover with a lid (leaving some room for steam to escape). Turn the heat down to medium-low.
4.Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed by the rice. Remove the pot from the heat, place the lid on tight, and leave to "steam" cook for 5-10 minutes.
5.Make sauce and serve the dessert right away, or store the rice (covered) in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.
6.To make the sauce, warm the rest of the coconut milk together with sugar, a pinch of salt, 1 tsp. coconut flavoring (optional) over medium heat.
7.Add cornstarch (dissolved in the water) to the sauce and stir to thicken it slightly. As it thickens, turn down heat to low. When thickened, remove from heat.
Tip: Try not to boil the sauce, or you will lose that wonderful coconut flavor.
8.Before serving, taste-test the sauce for sweetness, adding more sugar if desired. If too sweet for your taste, add a little more coconut milk.
9. When ready to serve place a scoop of sweeted Basmati rice on the serving plate. Place the sliced Mango on the side. Toast a Tablespoon of raw rice kernels in the oven until brown in color.
10. For the finishing touch pour spoonfuls of the coconut sauce over the rice and sprinkle with the toasted rice kernels. Enjoy!