Black sticky rice (kao neow dom in Thai) is sometimes labelled Indonesian black, purple or red rice, sweet, or waxy rice. It is not the whole-grain version of white sticky rice, but rather a unique variety of rice.
The almost black, purple colour of the cooked rice comes from the dark unpolished layer of bran, which leaches out and stains the interior white grain. It is fairly easy to cultivate unlike wild rice, but pleasantly chewy like its wild cousin.
Black sticky rice is eaten most often as a sweet pudding in Thailand. The rice is boiled in water until cooked, drained, and served soaked with sweetened coconut milk. A thicker pudding of sweetened black rice cut into squares is often sold in markets in the South. In Central Thailand, black rice is combined with white sticky rice, sweetened coconut milk, black beans, and roasted inside hollow sections of bamboo cane. Black rice can also be fermented with Thai yeast powder, the result mildly alcoholic. Less common in Thailand, black rice can be served as a savoury dish, combined with steamed white sticky rice or even as a basis for a rice salad like tabbouleh. In fact, North American chefs, smitten by its distinctive colour, have been creating many new savoury dishes from black rice.
To prepare black sticky rice, pre-soak at least 4 hours, then steam or boil to cook.