It is used in salads like larb (laab), in soups as well as dipping sauces. Not only does it add a nutty, smoky flavour to your dishes, it also adds a pleasant texture and as far as soups go, it acts as a mild thickener.
Khao Khua is a common pantry ingredient in Northern Thai and Lao cuisines. It lends a textural element and nutty flavour to dishes, and is also used as a thickening agent in soups and dipping sauces.Making it at home is a breeze, though it does take some patience: This recipe calls for an extra-long toasting process in order to evenly cook the grains of glutenous rice and bring out all of their deep nutty flavour and popcorn-like aroma.Slow and steady is the best way to coax these flavours out of toasted-rice powder.
Khao Khua ( toasted rice powder )
1–2 tbsp ( 1/2 cup ) sticky rice or rice of your choice
Add the plain raw sticky rice (not rinsed) to the hot pan, and dry roast, slowly stirring continuously. After about 10 minutes, the grains of rice should begin to turn from milky white to golden yellow, and they should also start to smell like popcorn.
Keep dry frying for about 15 minutes, until the sticky rice is golden in color, then remove from heat and set aside.
To grind the sticky rice into powder, you can either do it by hand using a mortar and pestle, or you can grind it in a food processor or blender. You're looking for a coarse powder.
Use the toasted rice powder immediately for best taste, or you can store in a bag or jar for later use (probably within 1 - 2 weeks is best)