There are a good reasons why rice is at the heart of Eastern cuisine, says Author and Indian cookery expert Nisha Katona who serves up a delicious alternative to steamed pud with this recipe for banana batter pillows

  • 50
  • 4
  • Medium
Don’t be expecting a sticky toffee gravity to this dessert – this is an Indonesian steamed pudding. It is light and pale and beautifully delicate. It seems in the heat of the Indonesian sun, there is no aversion to such subtlety. The banana and coconut reach out in a soft caress.


  • 170g rice flour
  • 55g cornflour/cornstarch
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 700ml coconut milk
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 175g/½ cup clear honey
  • 100g unsalted butter, diced
  • 100ml double or whipping cream


1 Blend the rice flour, cornflour and three of the bananas with 100ml of the coconut milk. You want a smooth paste.

2 Heat the rest of the coconut milk in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat, stir in half the sugar and keep stirring until it completely dissolves. Now pour in the banana blend, making sure the mixture is smooth.

3 Melt half the butter and brush the inside of four ramekins.

4 Slice the remaining banana into discs and divide among the prepared ramekins. Top with the batter. Wrap in greased foil.

5 Put the ramekins on a trivet in a large saucepan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 30-45 minutes, or until puddings are just set.

6 Meanwhile, mix the honey and remaining sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Cook until lightly caramelised. Add the remaining butter and cream and simmer until smooth.

7 Turn out the puddings into bowls, if you like. I think they are best served with the honey sauce poured around them, but you can pour it over the top, if you prefer.

• Extracted from Pimp My Rice by Nisha Katona, published by Nourish Books, £20 hardback. To order your copy of Pimp My Rice at the special price of £16, please call 01206 255800 and quote ref SM2016. This offer is only available until 2 March.
Like this? See also:

• Nisha Katona recipe: Ants climbing trees

Let us know what you think