Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Solstice 冬至

Today is the 22nd of December (农历十一二十八)and we are celebrating the 冬至 (Winter Solstice, Dōngzhì)) festival. Tonight is the longest night of the year.

Technically, we are all older by one year today. To celebrate this festival, there is the standard festive dinner but the key festive food item today is a sweet dish. This is the TangYuan or 汤圆 or sweet glutinous rice balls.

To make the dough for the tangyuan (汤圆), just knead water and glutinous rice flour until the dough is a nice consistency that does not stick to the hand or fall apart when making the balls. The rice ball is usually about 1.5 cm in diameter. In our family, mum always make the rice ball in the traditional pink and white ... nowadays you get them in rainbow colours!

Cook the tangyuan (汤圆) by adding them to boiling water and cook until the rice balls float. Then they are ready to be added to the sugar syrup.The sugar syrup is just water and sugar though we flavour the syrup by adding the very fragrant pandan leaves (which are removed after the syrup is ready).

Just add the cooked tangyuan (汤圆) to the pandan-flavoured sugar syrup and there you have it!

Have a good time and enjoy your tangyuan (汤圆) and the festive dinner with your family!

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