Friday, February 08, 2008

Chendol Agar Agar


Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Although the atmosphere isn't as festive as SG, KL or any Asian countries, the lovely greetings made me feel part of it. It was funny ringing home last night, especially we were asked "so how did you spend your day!?"-probably expecting an exciting answer and they were greeted with "work" and "writing". LOL.

For CNY, food plays a big part. Families reunite to have meals together, how meaningful is it? So despite not being able to be with my immediate family members, we did attend a gathering of some sort. We were at a steamboat dinner on Monday. Ar's dad's cousins (= AR's uncles) have always been kind and welcoming, inviting us over for dinners/lunches/celebrations. This year was no exception and they invited us to be part of their family tradition of having a steam boat dinner.

My grandmother has always taught me to be courteous. The "don't go empty handed" rule always come in place and so far... I don't think I attended any gatherings of some kind without bringing something. But I also know that Auntie Annie is a fantastic cook and she would probably prepare lots of food

So Peony's recipe of Chendol Agar Agar (Jelly) caught my attention straight away! Yes, it requires abit of patience but it was worth every second of it. How pretty it is? The best thing is that I made this the day before, so I just need to change, grab box from fridge and turn up for dinner! Oh, and did I mention that the steam boat dinner was held on a 36C day? LOL

You may say that it's not real chendol, especially since I took short cuts and couldn't find red beans in time. Also, they sell gula melaka by the CHUNKS here, it took me like 15 minutes to grate 5 grams of it man.... since I was baking cookies, cooking dinner AND making this agar agar at the same time, I gave up and used brown sugar instead. However, it does taste close to the real thing and looked impressive. Speaking of which, I was outside the play around talking to a mum and when I turned around, my whole box of agar agar was clean out. GONE! NO MORE...

Thank goodness I tasted one as I was cutting it.

Chendol Agar Agar (with shortcuts! and adapted from The Culinary Journal)

Chendol Layer
150 g cooked red beans (cook about 100g), sprinkle sugar on top of red beans while it is warm (I omitted it because I couldn't buy red beans in time)
1 packet agar-agar powder (swallow brand)
3 pandan leaves (omitted also)
150 g sugar
30 g brown sugar or gula melaka.
250 ml thick coconut milk,
700ml of water
pinch of salt
one packet of 300 g chendol, drained

Method :

1. Boil water with coconut milk, agar-agar powder, sugar, gula melaka/brown sugar, salt and pandan leaves. Remove pandan leaves and sieve.

2. Bring mixture to a quick boil, add cooked red beans and chendol.

3. Pour into a 6-inch x 8-inch x 3-inch tray or any desired mould and leave mixture to slightly set.

note- the setting time for me was about 30 minutes, which I thought it was unusually long. Hence, I added more agar agar powder to the gula melaka layer which shortens the setting time. But the weather was really hot then, and I had to cool it down in an aircon room.

Gula Melaka Layer
450 ml water
2 pandan leaves, knotted (omitted)
80 g gula melaka/ brown sugar
1/2 packet of agar agar powder

Method :

1. Boil water with gula melaka, pandan leaves and agar-agar powder. Sieve.

2. Pour gently onto slightly set chendol layer.

3. Leave to set. Once it turns cold, chill in fridge for a couple of hours before serving

Also check out Imperial Kitchen as the original recipe was in the Straits Times by Thng Lay Teen

14 comments:

ilovepearly said...

Wishing your family, friends and you a Happy Chinese New Year!!

culinaryprincess said...

great idea for a dessert!i haven't seen cendol in the asian markets in Adelaide.Which section of the store did u find urs in?

singairishgirl said...

Wow, all gone? That's successful then! I still have half portion left here as I only brought half to aunt's. But no one here is eating. My girl doesn't like the red bean and hubs is having gastro probs so well...

Yes, bringing gifts when visiting is a good habit to have. My grandma taught that too, don't go empty-handed.

Cynthia said...

I wish I were home in Guyana to partake in the celebrations.

Kate / Kajal said...

wow daphne this looks superb ! i love cold desserts and am always a big fan of gelatin.I'm yet to use agar agar. Happy CNY to you dear .

Little Corner of Mine said...

Looks great! I bet it's yummy!

Sagari said...

thats a beautiful dessert

Susan from Food Blogga said...

There are red beans in there? This is fascinating. I've never seen anything like this before. Thanks for sharing.

D said...

Happy Chinese New Year!

Shazz said...

Yes yes likewise!! When I called home, everyone was asking "so how are you celebrating?" and i was like "um...I'm at a writing retreat working on my thesis"...haha. Happy new year and happy writing :)

Rasa Malaysia said...

Gong Xi Gong Xi Ni.

alexander said...

Nice. I love Chendol. Interesting desert. :)

Happy Chinese New Year!

Alex's World! - http://www.kakinan.com/alex

Zen Chef said...

Happy Chinese New Year!
This dessert looks like one i had at a malaysian restaurant recently. I loved it! Can you fedex me a piece pleaaase! :-D

daphne said...

Ilovepearly- thank you! Happy New year to u too!

culinary princess-it was near the tofu in the oriental store. hope u will be able to find it in Adelaide too.

singairishgirl-i can eat the rest!hehee.


cynthia-aww... i know how that feels.

kate-u hv to try!it's so vesatile.

little corner-u bet it is! hehe

sagari-thank you. easy to make too. =)

susan-i didn't red beans in mine but yes!red beans can be put in there.

d- and to u too!

shazz-hv fun at the retreat as well. Albany and denmark are beautiful places!

rase malaysia- gong xi gong xi!

alexander- thanks! u too!

zen chef- hahaha.. if it can survive fedex! LOL

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