For Delicious Vietnam #12
I have been busy, busy, busy… No time for myself, no time for a decent meal. It’s been insane. I’m travelling out this week, so the recap of Delicious Vietnam #12 might be a bit late. But it’s coming, I promise!
Meanwhile, let’s talk about this lovely dessert – Chè hai màu – two-color drinks. This is a kind of popular Vietnamese desserts, which are very versatile. The ingredients can vary from cooked mung bean, various kinds of tapioca pearls to jellies etc. All are served with sweetened coconut milk, and some crushed ice in summer. I love the look of this dessert. It is surely colorful, cheerful and can be an instant ‘pick me up’. In fact the name of the drinks varies depending on the number of colors of the ingredients – three, and even seven.
Now I didn’t make this dessert from scratch. I simply picked up the two boxes of ingredients from a Vietnamese grocery. The red one, called hạt lựu, is made from water chesnut, sweetened and coated with tapioca starch. The texture is crunchy, and lovely. The green one, called bánh lọt, is cooked mixture of rice flours. It’s almost like pasta, and perhaps some of you would know it by the name chendol. These are flavoured with pandan paste.(Making both of these from scratch is not that hard, but I would only bother to do it after having zillions of sleeps, a few holidays, and one or two drama/movie marathons!)
To eat, prepare the coconut milk sauce by heating coconut milk, and add enough dark brown sugar to your liking. Cool down, and serve with enough hạt lựu and bánh lọt. Add ice if you wish.
I have kept things really simple for this post. Minimal (almost none) styling or set up. I found the two glasses from my MIL’s shed last week. And the flowers? They are blooming in my garden right now even though summer has passed away…