“This recipe is very typical of South East Asian dessert drinks which revolve around coconut milk, various types of beans, pandan and jellies, topped with shaved ice. It’s a perfect pick-me-up on a hot summer’s day. ” Poh Ling Yeow, Poh & Co.
220 g (1 cup) red (adzuki) beans, soaked overnight in plenty of cold water
330 g (1½ cups) caster sugar
500 ml (2 cups) tinned coconut milk
250 ml (1 cup) milk (you can use coconut milk here as well for a richer taste)
¼-½ tsp salt
2 fresh or frozen pandan leaves, shredded lengthways and tied into a knot
270 g tinned grass jelly, cut into 1 cm cubes (see note)
crushed ice, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time overnight
Chilling time 2 hours
You will need to begin this recipe one day ahead.
Drain the beans, the place in a medium saucepan and fill halfway to the top with water. Add half the sugar and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until the beans are tender enough that they are easily crushed between your index finger and thumb. Top up the pan with extra boiling water if necessary. Drain and rinse under cold water, then refrigerate until chilled.
Meanwhile, combine the coconut milk, milk, salt, pandan leaves and the remaining sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, then remove from the heat, cover the pan with a lid and stand until cool. Refrigerate until chilled, leaving the pandan in the liquid to infuse.
To assemble the drink, divide the red beans, grass jelly and coconut milk mixture among 4 tall glasses. Top with crushed ice and serve immediately.
• Also known as leaf jelly, grass jelly is most commonly used in Asian desserts, snacks and iced drinks. Made from a dried herb belonging to the mint family, it is slightly bitter and is said to have cooling properties (known commonly in Malaysia as yin) and is therefore eaten in hot weather. Available from Asian supermarkets.