Thursday, March 31, 2016

Longan Herbal Tea Recipe

I've always loved to order 'liang teh' or 'herbal tea' when dining at Chinese restaurants. Love the lightly sweet and honey-like aroma. The kids call it Coke for some reason. Sanju is always quick to grab and finish my cup of nicely iced liang teh, I always make sure I order one for each of us.

Been eager to try the recipe but it is kind of hard to imagine the kind of ingredients or herbs that went into it. In fact it sounded rather alien when I actually learned of it, via FB cooking group, thanks to a fellow group member who was kind enough to explain it via pictures.

Firstly you need Luo Han Guo, which looks like this:

Initially I was so puzzled, like where would I find anything like this? Maybe the traditional Chinese medicine shops, but during my routine trip to the market, I found this lying in front of me, with my other usual stuff, right in my favourite grocery store! How could I miss it? 

Then as the drink suggests, some dried longans, and they look like this:

These, again, were easy to find in my local store as well!

And then, some white/snow fungus:

It goes without saying, this white fungus, and the next rock sugar, were both easily found in my local store. I felt like I had won the lottery or something.

So I rushed home, brought 8cups of water to a boil. Added some pandan leaves.

I washed the ingredients (not the sugar yea) with water. Slightly broke the luo han guo, broke the white fungus into smaller bits and give them a nice soak. Once the water was boiling, in goes the luo han guo, dried longan, white fungus and the rock sugar. It took about 40-50 minutes of boil to get the white fungus and dried longan all nice and soft. Once the heat is off, you can take the luo han guo and pandan leaves out. Chill it before drinking!

As with any food, the hardest part is letting it cool down. It felt like ages. While it was cooling down I got some into my tumbler, put it into the fridge to expedite the process. And soon enough I found myself digging into ice cubes, and gulping down nice chugs of liang teh, that came with longan and white fungus to chew on!

This definitely beats the heat we are facing recently, thanks to El Nino. El no no, drink some luo han guo!

Images courtesy of Google Images

Wajik (Sweet Sticky Rice) Recipe

Sticky rice, or better known as 'pulut rice' is a Malaysian favourite. They make it sweet or savory. With brown sugar, palm sugar, turmeric or with soy sauce. You eat it white, blue, yellow or brown in color. No matter what color, what flavour, sticky rice is always a treat to your tongue.

My earliest introduction to wajik was by someone very close to my heart. It was our very very lovely and helpful neighbour who is a large part of my childhood (in fact, for all of us siblings). And top of kindness, she was the best cook I've known.  She could cook everything Malaysian, and Indian at that. Her wajik was just awesome and has fond memories for me. May God bless her soul, I know she must be looking down to us and being our guardian angel.

Recently when hubby had his business trip to the land of abundant rice, I got him to buy some pulut rice and this was my encouragement to start making and eating my own wajik!

Luckily for me, one of my friend had spammed my FB wall with this wajik recipe, which I longed to try. The thing with my schedule lately, experimenting inthe kitchen is something I don't have luxury of. But this time, I had to fork some time and effort out to savour mine and hubby's tummy!

Here goes:

You need:
500g pulut (soaked 3 hours or overnight)
300g palm sugar or brown sugar
500ml coconut milk
2tbsp sugar
some pandan leaves
some salt

In a sauce pan, bring all the ingredients (except pulut) to a boil. Strain it and remove the leaves. Mix with the washed and strained pulut. Steam for 30 to 40 minutes.

As I was such a noob, I soaked my pulut rice for 2 hours only, and it took longer to cook. In the future, I would prefer to soak it overnight. I did not have palm sugar, so I used brown sugar, and it worked great. The downside is that it does not have the deep brown color as you get with palm sugar. Next in the to-do list is to make out of palm sugar!


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Holi Aaye Hai!

I just realised its been 2 months since I posted anything... freaking 2 long months?! To cut the void, I am going to post 2 Holi greetings that my daddy dearest created for Holi last week, and it does not get cuter than this!

Oh yes, my dad is a proud NanaG to 3 cheeky boys!

In the meantime, the boys have been doing a good job collecting this transformers figurines. Sure it gets tedious to make sure every small parts are accounted for, but the satisfaction of seeing them learn to transform the robots, is just priceless. 

Recently we were in Vung Tau, Vietnam, and they had the most lovely ensemble of marigold flowers of every types, so full and round like yummy laddus!

I might just share more pictures from our trip... Lets keep this blog going! Then the next time, cheers!


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