Bananas abound in Bangkok. Everywhere you go you can find giant fresh bunches of green and yellow bananas being sold. You can have it in pancakes, with French toast, peeled, skewered and barbequed on the street, in rotis prepared on the soi’s of Banglamphu, in desserts, shakes, muffins and bread.
Last weekend I found out that there are about nineteen banana varieties in Thailand, although I don’t want to be quoted on this as I may have heard wrong I could easily believe it. We even discovered plantains at the Klong Toey market we visited last weekend. I first had them prepared for me by Alexander in LA and am now looking forward to having it again now that we found it here.
Before we hop on the bus towards our weekend destination, Koh Si Chang Island, I thought of posting this banana dessert I prepared recently and thought a very decadent success.
Banana in Coconut Milk with Cinnamon
We prepared the very popular and seasonal fresh mango with coconut milk and sticky rice at the Thai Farm Cooking School in Chiang Mai and I decided to add some elements of this dessert plus one or two other ideas to my version of their bananas with coconut milk.
The original recipe calls for one cup of coconut milk, half a cup of water, one tablespoon of sugar, two ripe bananas- sliced into thick chunks, and a pinch of salt. Mine calls for some additional ingredients: an inch of cinnamon stick (thanks to Speedhakoo who supplies me with fresh sticks from Madagascar), half a cup of sticky rice, and vanilla ice cream.
Preparing the dessert is simple. Pour the coconut milk into a pot and heat it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Add the banana, sugar and cinnamon and cook until soft. Remove the cinnamon stick and add just a pinch of salt. Scoop some ice cream and a spoonful of sticky rice into a dessert bowl and pour some of the coconut milk sauce and banana over it and serve.
Suggestions for making bananas in coconut milk:
– for two people I suggest halving the recipe, a whole cup of coconut milk could be a bit much.
– a splash of dark rum wouldn’t hurt!
– an attractive serving suggestion would be to add a piece of cinnamon stick to the dish.
– the sticky rice I picked up from a sweet lady selling Thai desserts in bags from a street side table on the way home. If finding sweet sticky rice is going to be tricky, you could probably also use tapioca.
– of course both the ice cream and sticky rice are optional, but it does add a little something to an otherwise very liquid-y dessert