AAPI Heritage Month Pick of the Day

Whoa, that’s exciting. Just swung by Twitter, and saw that Boston Public Library has picked A Feast of Serendib for their #AAPIHeritageMonth pick of the day! 🙂

Green Grams / Mung Bean

Not technically lentils! But if you refer to them all as pulses (lentils, beans, peas…) you’ll be correct. 🙂

Want to know more? “Dal is often translated as “lentils” but actually refers to a split version of a number of lentils, peas, chickpeas (chana), kidney beans and so on. If a pulse is split into half, it is a dal. For example, split mung beans are mung dal.”

The more you know!


Dodol / Rice Flour & Coconut Milk Sweet

(1 1/2 hrs, makes 25-30 pieces)

This simple sweet comes originally from Southeast Asia — it’s popular in Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as Goa in India. Here dodol is enhanced with beet to add complexity of flavor; another popular approach is to omit the beets and instead add 1 tsp. of pandan extract, which will give a bright green color and add subtle flavor.

If you can find glutinous rice flour, that will produce a more traditional chewy result; this version with regular rice flour is more on the cake-like side in terms of texture. Both are delicious. Note that ‘glutinous’ refers to the sticky and gluey texture of the cooked flour; glutinous rice flour does not actually contain gluten.

If you can, I recommend having at least two people available to work on this, as it’s much easier to stir the mixture as it thickens, if you can switch off!

3/4 c. rice flour (or glutinous rice flour)
4 c. coconut milk
1/2 c. jaggery
1 small beet, peeled and cubed
1/2 t. cardamom
a pinch of salt

chopped pistachio and shredded coconut to garnish

1. In a medium bowl, combine rice flour and 3 c. coconut milk.

2. In a medium saucepan on low heat, combine remaining 1 c. coconut milk with jaggery, stirring to dissolve. Stir rice flour mixture into the pan.

3. Puree beet (add a little water if necessary to help puree), and stir into the pan, along with cardamom and salt.

4. Cook over low heat, stirring continuously until mixture starts to thicken — 30-60 minutes.

5. When the mixtures starts to form a soft, fudge-y ball and pull away from the sides of the pan, it’s ready. You should see a slight sheen of oil starting to appear as you stir.

6. Transfer to a greased dish, and garnish with pistachios and coconut flakes. Cashews are also popular garnishes.

Beet Juice with Coconut Milk and Lime

I admit, vegetable juice drinks are new to me; I was a little suspicious when I first went to taste beet juice. I thought it might be very, well, beet-y.

But in fact, when you add cardamom, sugar, coconut, and most importantly, lime, the end result is a sweet & tangy drink packed full of nutrient goodness. This would be gorgeous in a pitcher on a brunch board, or served poolside.

1 large beet, peeled and cubed small
1 t. ground cardamom
1/4 – 1/2 c. sugar (to taste)
2 c. coconut milk
2 c. water

3 T lime juice

1. Combine ingredients in a blender; serve chilled.