In a large bowl, soak 3 cups glutinous rice in water for at least 2 hours. Make sure all of the rice is fully submerged.
Drain and transfer the rice to a pot with 2 cans of coconut milk, ¼ cup granulated sugar and 1 tsp salt. Bring this to a boil then lower heat to a simmer. Stir often to prevent your rice from burning at the bottom. Cook until the rice has absorbed almost all of the liquid, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the pot from heat and let it sit for another 10-15 minutes to allow the rice to cool.
In the meantime, you can get your banana leaves ready. We usually buy banana leaves frozen so once they are thawed, wash them thoroughly, dry them and cut them into rectangular shapes of equal sizes (I make mine roughly 7x8 inches).
Put 2-3 heaping tablespoons of rice in each banana leaf and roll tightly. Seal by folding the edges. Tie with a banana leaf “string” to keep the banana leaf in place (see the post for step-by-step photos).
Place your suman in a steamer and steam for about an hour to allow the rice to fully cook. Remove from steamer and allow to cool and dry slightly before unwrapping.
Enjoy with tsokolate, mango, sugar or on its own!
The yield depends on how big / how much rice you put in each banana leaf. We usually get 16 pieces using the dimensions mentioned in this post.
To make the banana leaves more pliable, heat the leaves over an open flame but be careful not to burn them. If you have an electric stove, you can set your oven to low broil and place 1-2 leaves in the oven at a time for about 30 seconds then bring out.