Make Purple Sticky Rice to Celebrate the Hmoob New Year
try making this beloved Hmong recipe, courtesy of local writer Yia Lor
Around this time of year, writer Yia Lor’s mom makes purple sticky rice. “We do eat it throughout the year, but it’s special around this time because of the Hmoob New Year,” Lor said. Her mom dyes white sticky rice with purple corn stalk, since purple sticky rice is difficult to get and harder to process for steaming. This year, Lor dyed white sticky rice with purple carrots, and the color turned out *chef’s kiss* beautifully. “It’s a simple recipe,” she said, “and we usually eat it with Hmoob sausage, chicken, or some other grilled meat, and there’s almost always a type of pepper sauce at the table.”
Most of the time, Hmoob (a.k.a. Hmong) recipes are made for lots of people – so smaller recipes aren’t always written down in precise measurements. But here’s Lor’s best guess for smaller portions for you and your family to try.
Mov Nplaum Dub (Purple/Dark Sticky Rice)
- 5 sticks of purple carrots (other options for dying are purple corn stalk or even red beets!)
- 2 cups of white sticky rice (sometimes called sweet rice or glutinous rice)
- About 10 cups of water
Wash and chop the carrots. Then, boil them in a large pot with about 10 cups of water. Boil for about 10-15 minutes. Pour carrots and juice through a strainer, and keep the juice. (Eat the carrots!) Soak the white sticky rice in the purple carrot juice overnight, or for 12 hours. Make sure the juice is at least a few inches above the rice, as the rice will expand as it soaks. Drain the juice after 12 hours. Place rice in a steamer, cover, and steam for 30-45 minutes.
If you want a sweeter version, you can mix in a can of coconut milk, shredded coconut, bananas, and red mung beans before steaming. For this sweeter version, Lor prefers to steam in banana leaves. These are a real treat!
Happy New Year!