Wednesday, December 22, 2010

冬至 - Winter Solstice Festival

Today is 冬至(Dōngzhì Festival) or the Winter Solstice Festival.

For the Chinese it is the time, when one adds on one year to one's age and to eat 湯圓 (tangyuan) - small rice balls made from glutinous rice flour and cooked in a sweet syrup. The 湯圓 (tangyuan) are traditionally pink and white in colour but now people use other colours as well. Some of the湯圓 (tangyuan) also comes with fillings  - amongst them are those made from peanuts, sesame seed, or  lotus seed paste.

During the morning's worship and prayers to the family ancestors,  one of the food items amongst the offerings will be 湯圓 (tangyuan).

Of course, the 湯圓 (tangyuan) have to be hand-made at home.  It is pretty easy. All you need are glutinous rice flour and water plus a bit of colouring where necessary. My mum prefers plain pink and white 湯圓 (tangyuan) - no fillings

Knead the mixture to a consistent dough such that it feel like play dough.

The just make the dough into small balls.

Add to boiling water and once they are floating, they are done. For the syrup, it is just plain sugar solution though I add in pandan leaves for a nice pandan flavour. There you have it.

Happy 冬至(Dōngzhì).

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