Category Archives: Thai Deserts

Elephants Ears?

I am taking part in The Recipe Hunters monthly Challenge and this month’s challenge is the letter E and you can choose your option from a list….Me… I chose Espresso as that was easy I already had the recipes. One intrigued me so I went back to the said list and it was Elephants Ears? Somewhere at the back of my mind, it rang a bell…Ding Dong!

taro-1707892_1920

So I asked my friend Mr Google who laughed at me and as soon as he showed me….The penny dropped…..We had them in Phuket by the Rai in the field near our house and the river that runs alongside had massive ones some of those leaves reached 3 feet long and 2 feet wide and the plants can grow 8 feet tall.

The elephant ears thirst for water is why they are so prolific in soggy areas and they are also popular here not only for landscaping but also near water features they are quite an impressive plant.

… The corms or roots are also to be found on every market stall it’s Taro. Silly me!

taro-1686669_1920

As it is in most other Asian countries, taro is also a popular flavour for ice cream in Thailand. Like with many plain or ugly fruits they make something quite delicious.

Most Thai sweets & puddings do not include wheat flour, which makes these desserts gluten-free and suitable for those who are gluten-intolerant.

The typical list of ingredients is simply rice or tapioca flour, water, coconut milk and eggs cooked with the taro and or pumpkin the multitude of resulting variations is just amazing.

Ingredients:

115gm taro root, cut into 1” pieces

115gm pumpkin cut into 1” pieces

1 1/2 cup thick coconut cream ( see note below)

3 Tbsp palm sugar.

Let’s Cook!

Add taro and pumpkin to the coconut cream and palm sugar, then bring to boil. Reduce to low heat and cook for approximately 10 minutes, until tender.

Pour into small ramekins or one large dish and when set cut into squares. Sometimes this dessert is also cooked in small pumpkins, either way, it is very nice.

pumpkin custard

N.B. Coconut Cream:

For recipes requiring coconut cream, do not shake the can of COCONUT MILK before opening; spoon out the thick cream on top. On hot days, refrigerate the can so that the cream will harden and can be easily separated from the lighter milk.

This is a very easy dessert to make and when it is ready to eat just close your eyes, and pretend you are in the lush tropics of Thailand while spooning a smooth cool coconut dessert into your mouth… Heaven on earth.

Until next time stay safe and laugh a lot.

Now you still have 5 days to get your entry in if you wish to join us…it’s good fun and you meet lots of new people if you do then click the  link  below and all will be revealed.

https://cookandenjoyrecipes.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/june-2017-share-and-inspire-others-food-starting-with-e/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Down on The farm… Thai Potatoes…

Thai potatoes which in Thai are called Man sam Palang but are also known as Cassava, Yuca or Tapioca root. It is widely grown throughout the east and north-east Thailand as cattle food and also for starch and Tapioca flour.

SAM_8849

It is a very drought resistant vegetable and there are two main sorts sweet or bitter with a hard brown outer shell and yellow or white flesh. It is the bitter one which contains more of the chemical bound cyanide.

The smaller sweet rooted varieties which are used for desserts here in Thailand like the famous Khanom man sampalang where cooking is deemed to be enough to break down the cyanide.

There are a lot of warnings about eating raw roots and how they should be prepared carefully before eating as it can cause death.

Modern thinking is that it is not as dangerous as it was originally thought to be however it is always wise to err on the side of caution.

This root should NOT be eaten raw.

Cooking is said to cause the cells to break down and the cyanide to be broken down which renders it safe to eat.

Thailand is the world’s largest importer of dried Cassava.

Down here on the farm it is grown for animal feed and to make flour. The potato is harvested when it is around 3-4months and the roots 30-45cm, harvested by hand although now some farmers use mechanical means generally the lower part of the stem is raised and the roots pulled from the ground.

cassava-285033_1920 root

It is then cut into approx 15cm pieces and sun-dried for 2 days. As cattle feed, it is high in proteins and contains tannins and is valued as a good source of roughage for cattle food.

The cassava root which is going to be used for next season’s crop is soaked and treated for termites before planting prior to the next wet season.

The remainder of the outer shell from which the flesh is extracted is sometimes used for wood or just burnt as it has no further use. The picture below is the empty root with the flesh extracted.

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Other uses for the root  are:

To make starch for clothing.

To make tapioca, the tapioca beads are balls of Cassava. When fermented it is called garri.

Crackers for frying as in a previous post can be made from Tapioca flour. Thai pancakes

It is used in the making of MSG ..Monosodium glutamate.

Boiled as a vegetable it is similar to British potatoes.

Now for a recipe:

dessert-1549271_1920 steamed

Khanom man sampalang is a cross between a cake and a dessert and is very popular here in Thailand. It is thick, hearty, smooth and sticky. A steamed tapioca cake.

You will need:

2   cups of grated Cassava

6 tbsp of tapioca flour

1 tbsp of mung bean starch

1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of coconut milk

1 cup of shredded coconut.

Food colouring

Let’s Cook!

 

Put all ingredients except salt and shredded coconut in a bowl. Mix well for 5 minutes get your hands in there and work it until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the colour and mix well to combine. Add 1/2 cup of the shredded coconut and salt and mix together. Set to one side.

Put small cups into a steamer and pour some mixture into each cup. Steam for 15 minutes then either stir in the remainder of the shredded coconut or spread over the top of the cake. before serving. If you spread over the top then it is lovely toasted before spreading over the top of the cake.

Enjoy!

It was also time to plant some more banana trees as the land has been built up and there are lots of bananas for frying and making Somtam..A Thai salad where banana is used instead of green papaya. These ones are for eating and the trees don’t grow as tall as the other banana trees the bananas are lovely eating ones and a nice sized banana.The rice has just been planted also and it is fingers crossed that this last downpour didn’t wash all the rice away…Time will tell.

I hope that you enjoyed this trip down on the farm. Some more posts on life in rural Thailand can be found on my Niume posts.

I do hope that you enjoy my tales of life on the farm. This week’s post was going to be about our new baby turkeys which we went to collect on Saturday. Unfortunately, there was very high winds and very heavy torrential rains during this last week and the chicks got too cold and died. I was so sad as we were looking forward to getting them and settling them in their new home. The plus side was we got to see the baby calves one which had only just been born which will be our next acquisition. He was so very cute and beautiful.

Down on the farm..Star Apple

 

ntil next time stay safe and laugh a lot …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditional Handmade Thai pancakes..Khao Gle-at.

 

Pancakes drying  Making these pancakes the traditional way is still done in the Thai villages and I am very lucky to be able to witness these traditions which are passed down through the generations. The working of the wooden presses is a sight to behold again these are family heirlooms and passed down. And something which all the family participates in and is learning how to make, the oldest passes on her knowledge and the young ones start at the bottom and learn but if you look at the smiling faces everyone is enjoying it.

coconut mix

If you look closely when the old lady is pounding the flesh from the coconuts the children are working it by jumping up and down at the opposite end it is just like a see-saw and as much fun.

pounding the coconut

These pancakes are made from the flesh of the older coconuts and mixed with palm sugar, sticky rice which is ground into a flour and sesame seeds.There are many variations on this some are mixed with eggs.

Once the mixture is made it is shaped into pancake shapes with a wooden press. See below.

Flattening the pancake mix

Pancakes drying

They are then left to dry for about 3 days and then toasted over the open flames of a Thai BBQ rotated by hand between two wooden fan like paddles to ensure even cooking.

It is fascinating to watch.

I have seen these sold on the roadsides and now know how they are made in the homes. It certainly is a family affair as from the youngest to the oldest they all have a part to play.

I hope you enjoyed this little visit into this Thai families home.

Thai Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango( Khao Neow Mamuang)

One of my favorite foods…Kow Neow aka sticky rice and my faithful rice pot can be found most days on the barbi the water simmering away or on the hob.

Which is why the pot looks pretty well used on the outside.

This desert is almost an iconic Thai desert…sticky rice soaked in coconut milk with luscious ripe mango. A match made in foodie heaven.

The rice is soaked in water for at least hour and then just put in the rice and steamed this takes about 15 minutes.

To prepare the milk:

 Heat 1 cup of coconut milk in a pot over medium heat. Stir constantly and let the coconut milk simmer. DO NOT let it boil hard as  coconut milk will curdle.

 Add  2 tbsp of sugar and 2 pinches of salt. Remove from heat. Pour 3/4 of the hot coconut milk over  1 cup of the hot sticky rice. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The hot sticky rice will absorb all the coconut milk. The rice should be a little mushy.

 Spoon the rest of the coconut milk on top of the rice at serving time.

Enjoy!