Monday, December 22, 2008

Chinese Winter Solstice Festival (Tang Chek, Dong Zhi) – Making Tang Yuan (Glutinous Rice Balls) From Produce (Dragon Fruit, Sweet potato, screwpine)

How time flies, I started blogging since June 08 and now it is Chinese Winter Solstice (Tang Chek, Dong Zhi) festival again. The actual day for this festival falls on 21 Dec 2008. Chinese families around the world will gather on the eve to make Tang Yuan, round glutinous rice balls which are then boiled in sugar syrup with screw pine (pandan) in it. Tang Yuan, in Chinese sounds like reunion and “yuan” for round represent perfection. So when you have all the family members making this sweet dessert, it is like a perfect reunion! In China during the olden days, this celebration marks the start of winter. This year I tried to do something different. Instead of using off the shelf artificial food colourings, I used purple and orange sweet potato as natural colouring. For green I used screw pine leaves (pandan) juice and for red I used Dragon Fruit. My mom started using these ingredients not long ago and natural alternative to artificial colouring is better for health. I went to the Kepong wet market early. There was a lot of people already there, many crowding around the roast pork stall. I bought a packet of glutinous flour, sweet potato, and dragon fruit for the Tang Yuan colouring. First I knead the glutinous flour using very little water. For the sweet potato type, I steamed the sweet potato first and remove the skin. Then I add the sweet potato to the glutinous dough and knead until it was well mixed. For the Dragon Fruit Tang Yuan, I squashed some of the Dragon Fruit flesh and sieve it to get the pure juice. For the screw pine tang yuan, I pound some pandan leaves and squeeze out the natural juice. Here are the pictures of my Sweet Naturally Caloured Tang Yuen. Dragon fruit for the pink colour and sweet potato for purple and orange colour. Dough all ready to be rolled................................Various coloured Tang Yuan
Tang Yuan ready to be boiled.................................A bowl of nice Tang Yuan!

11 comments:

Josephine said...

So colorful!
I did not eat any 'tong yuen' this year. Was in SG.
Arrghh.... I miss home...

foongpc said...

Wow! I want Tang Yuen! I like that you use natural food for the colouring, and not artificial colouring that most restaurants use. Way to go, Pete!! : )

Anonymous said...

Had plain ones coated with crushed peanut and sugar. Don't like them with syrup. Having internet access problem...so in case it goes kaput for good, Merry Xmas...and Happy 2009 to you and everybody! FROM: suituapui

CRIZ LAI said...

That's one healthy way to savour Tang Yuan. Mine is totally different. No sugar at all...surprised? haha :P

http://crizfood.com/

cleffairy said...

Hmm... too busy this year, din celebrate or make Tang yuan to eat. :-( Ahhhhhh so sadddd!

Anonymous said...

Using natural colours, great idea. I will get my wife to make these type of tang yuan next year.

levian said...

colorful! i wanna sink my teeth into those.

eunice said...

hey I like this Dong zhi post. I feel quite bad for not blogging this important Chinese festival but I don't have any pictures for it. My mum didn't handmade any tang yuan since she is busy, but she did bought instant one from the supermarket. I like to eat tang yuan.

I will blog about your post today and link it to you. You won't mind right? It's our Chinese important festival. Do check it out today. Thanks!!

Kikey Loo said...

wow.. ur tang yuan so colorful! :D

eunice said...

Yeah your pics are brighter at my blog cos I adjusted the brightness and increase the colour saturation and for the right pic, I add some blurry effect to it hehe!

Now I realised your Tangyuan colours can really blend in well with my blog colour theme haha!

Thanks for sharing your resource!

Calvin Soo KJ said...

wah!!! long time didnt have tang yuan. since my grandmother passed on about 10 years ago. but i find it quite irritating when them sticky fellows got stuck in between my teeth. :P

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