Battered and Deep-Fried Unripe Rice and Grated Coconut Banana Rolls (ข้าวเม่าทอด ; khaao mao thaawt)

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By: Hanuman, Thaan Khun and Chef Thapakorn Lertviriyavit (Gorn)
ข้าวเม่าทอด ; khaao mao thaawt

Battered and Deep-Fried Unripe Rice and Grated Coconut Banana Rolls
(ข้าวเม่าทอด ; Khao Mao Thaawt )

Deceptively simple, the recipe for battered, deep-fried unripe rice and grated coconut banana rolls (khao mao thaawt, ข้าวเม่าทอด) is actually quite challenging to master. Like so many Thai dessert recipes, this seemingly straightforward dish has a complex character.

Khao mao thaawt can be served by itself as a dessert, or it can accompany savory dishes such as fermented rice noodles with coconut and peanut sauce (khanohm jeen naam phrik, ขนมจีนน้ำพริก).

At the heart of khao mao thaawt are creamy Lady Finger bananas nestled in a sweet blanket of coconut paste (gracheek, กระฉีก) and roasted pounded unripe rice (khao mao raang, ข้าวเม่าราง). These banana roll-ups are then dipped in batter, two at a time, and deep-fried.

Hand-sprinkling additional batter over the frying bananas creates a visually impressive light ochre-colored crown – which is also fantastically crunchy.

The crispy fried batter coats the sweet and chewy brownish-greenish layer of gracheek surrounding the now almost-melted yellow bananas.

The origins of khao mao thaawt are uncertain but it is tempting to suggest that it was developed from the basic khaao mao khlook recipe (ข้าวเม่าคลุก): They include the same ingredients, but they differ in preparation and complexity.

Khao mao thaawt is also available year round, and so is an easier dessert to find than its possible forebear, khaao mao khlook, which is a seasonal dish that requires fresh pounded unripe rice.

Bananas
Lady Finger bananas (gluay khai, กล้วยไข่) are preferred for this dish, with the optimal bananas being  the smaller, semi-ripe fruits that grow on the bottom of the cluster (gluay dteen dtao, กล้วยตีนเต่า).

Gracheek Khao Mao
This brownish greenish-colored paste is made by cooking together semi-matured grated coconut and palm sugar over low heat with roasted pounded unripe rice. Soft and malleable, the sweetness of the paste will depend on the ripeness of the bananas.

Batter
The batter is composed of rice flour, glutinous rice flour, coconut milk and clear Thai red pickling lime solution. The batter consistency is important: it should cover the bananas with a thin layer, drawn into thin uninterrupted strands.

Battered and Deep-Fried Unripe Rice and Grated Coconut Banana Rolls Recipeสูตรทำข้าวเม่าทอด
Hanuman and Chef Thapakorn Lertviriyavit (Gorn)
Battered and Deep-Fried Unripe Rice and Grated Coconut Banana Rolls can be served on its own as a dessert, or it can accompany savory dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine Thai
Servings 8 -10 Pcs

Ingredients
  

  • 10 Lady Finger bananas semi-ripe
  • Gracheek
  • Batter

For the Gracheek

  • 1 1/2 cups roasted pounded unripe rice
  • 1 cup fresh coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 1 cup grated coconut white part only
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Batter

  • 1/2 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 1 1/2 cups rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh coconut cream
  • 1/3 cup clear Thai red pickling lime solution

Instructions
 

  • Roast the khao mao in small batches over low heat.
  • Roast the khao mao until it pops and becomes crispy. Set aside.
  • Using a Thai-style grater, grate the white flesh of the coconut.
  • Squeeze the coconut cream until almost no water remains. Set aside.
  • Mix the rice flour and the glutinous rice flour.
  • Gently knead the mixture, while slowly and gradually adding the coconut cream.
  • Slowly add the Thai red pickling lime solution.
  • Knead the dough until it is firm.
  • Continue to add coconut cream and Thai red pickling lime solution.
  • The batter should sticks to your fingers and drizzles smoothly.
  • When the batter has reached that consistency, let it sit for at least 20 minutes; at which point you should be able to drizzle long and uninterrupted threads from a height.
  • Place a brass wok over low heat, and add coconut cream and salt.
  • Add palm sugar.
  • Dissolve the palm sugar while stirring with a wooden mixing paddle.
  • Add grated coconut to the mixture
  • Mix.
  • Stir consistently until the mixture thickens.
  • Add roasted pounded unripe rice.
  • Continue stiring the mixture consistently.
  • The gracheek is ready when it is soft and malleable. Set aside.
  • Peel the bananas and cut off both ends.
  • Flatten the gracheek to a thin layer.
  • Wrap each banana with the gracheek, making sure the bananas are completely covered.
  • Set the wrapped bananas aside.
  • Holding two bananas at a time, dip them in the batter.
  • Deep fry the bananas over high heat.
  • Reduce the heat, and continue frying until the bananas turn a light golden color.
  • Using your fingers, drizzle threads of batter over the frying bananas.
  • Fold the batter threads into a crown shape over the bananas. The crown should remain light in color.
  • The khao mao thaawt are now ready to serve.
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6 comments… add one
  • Jeerawat Grether Feb 21, 2016, 7:47 pm

    นอกจากจะต้องเตรียมอุปกรณ์ วัตถุดิบ และกรรมวิธีในการทำที่ยุ่งยากหลายขั้นตอน แต่หากินได้ง่ายแล้ว ในเรื่องของราคาก็ถูกแสนจะถูกนะคะ ที่ตลาดในอำเภอที่ดิฉันอยู่มีขายอยู่เจ้าเดียวขายคู่กับกล้วยแขกและขนมไข่นกกระทา ข้าวเม่าทอดหนึงแพมี3ผล ราคาแพละ20บาทเท่านั้นเอง (เรื่องความอร่อยไม่ต้องพูดถึง ไปช้าหมดอดกิน!!!)

    • Hanuman Feb 21, 2016, 7:52 pm

      (ท่านขุนฯ): น่าจะใช้ข้าวเหนียวมูนธรรมดาแทนข้าวเม่าน่ะขอรับ

  • Yaroslava Obertas May 31, 2018, 4:41 pm

    Hi!
    Can I substitute lime solution with baking soda? If so, how much?
    Also, if I don’t like the “crown”, can I skip the batter whatsoever? I fried the rolls in coconut oil (just fried, not deep-fried) with and without batter, and both are relatively not sticky and very crunchy.
    Lastly, is it ok to make gracheek with half unripe rice + half steamed sticky rice?

    • Hanuman Jun 7, 2018, 2:12 pm

      baking soda is cream of tartar, technically, an acid. Limestone solution works differently, it crisps the food due to the calcium content. You can find it in Asian markets. Why do you need sticky rice for the gracheek ?

  • Yaroslava Obertas Jun 7, 2018, 11:46 pm

    Is there anything in European pantry that can produce a similar crispy effect? I live in Latvia, a tiny country in Europe with just 2mil. population. We don’t have any Asian markets here :)
    Regarding your second question. I found green rice in just 1 shop and very expensive, so I’d like to have some options for making gracheek. + I find the taste of green rice only a bit too intense.

    • Hanuman Jun 8, 2018, 10:22 am

      you can order it online for just few $…. search for “pickling lime” or “Thai limestone paste”. It’s the calcium hydroxide that gives firming/crisping effect.

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