have you ever had this nagging feeling of what to cook whenever a festive season is around the corner? what mood do i want to create? i want it to be different but not too overwhelming for my guests....who am i inviting? what is the occasion? are they adults or children? big eaters or mousy eaters? well there is room for everyone... read on.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Desserts Galore

Last weekend while doing my favourite passtime, wandering around the bookshop, I picked up this georgeous recipe book "Nyonya Flavours" published by The State Chinese (Penang) Association & Star Publications (M) Bhd. I recommend this book as "The Ultimate Penang Nyonya Recipe Book"! and it only costs RM38.00, full of authentic recipes, excellent photography and heritage wares. I also have another book "Penang Nyonya Cooking" by Cecilia Tan which I think is also pretty good but on the pricier side of RM67.20, published by Marshall Cavendish Cuisine.
Just by flipping through the dessert pages already got me working an appetite for sweet stuff. For those of you who have the former book, page 195 Nyonya Cendol was a total killer! Absolutely delicious looking! While I was growing up I distinctly remember cendol made that way and felt slightly chewy (unlike the ones we get in local restaurants), fragrantly pandan and simply refreshing is the word.
Armed with a packet of green beans, I decided to boil a pot of green bean soup (Lek Tau T'ng) just to satisfy my darling hubby's cravings.
200 gm green beans (washed and drained)
100 gms pearl sago (washed and drained)
1 piece of rock sugar (approx. 2" x 2")
2 pandan leaves (tied into a knot)
Bring a pot of filtered water to boil together with the green beans, adding the pandan leaves for fragrance. Boil for 15 minutes and simmer for another 40 minutes before adding the rock sugar to taste. I like it with less sugar. Boil another pot of filtered water and pour in the sago pearls, boil for 5 minutes and cover with the lid for 15 minutes. Then, drained and added into the pot of boiling green beans and stir. When sago pearls are properly cooked, they look transparent. I have one pearl that is half-cooked in the photo. How strange!
Bee Ko Moy (Black Glutinous Rice broth) is another heavenly dessert. Very importantly for this dessert to turn out well, one must purchase the right type of black glutinous rice. I can't really describe it cos I made this quite sometime ago and I did not take a photo of the rice. Sorry guys!
200 gm black glutinous rice (wash and soak for a while)
80 gm organic brown sugar
2 pandan leaves (knotted)
100 ml thick 1st pressed coconut milk (santan)
1 pinch of salt
Bring filtered water to boil with pandan leaves, add in the rice and simmer for 30 -40 minutes. Stirring regularly to avoid burning at the bottom of the pot. Cover the pot with a lid for the rice to cook throughly. The correct type of black glutinous rice will give a very smooth springy bite in every mouthful and not fibrous.

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I'm Audrey from Somewhere in my kitchen, Malaysia.

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