In Thailand, this is one of the favorite ways to cool off during a hot
day. Also an impressive ending to a fiery Thai meal. Light and
refreshing, with glistening 'rubies' swimming in sweetened coconut milk
and crushed ice.
220 g/7 oz canned water chestnuts
red food colouring
few drops jasmine or rose essence
185 g/6 oz/3/4 cup white sugar
185 ml/6 oz/3/4 cup water
4 tablespoons (approx.) tapioca flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup coconut milk ice
Cut canned water chestnuts into small dice. Put into a bowl and add
just enough cold water to cover. Drop food colouring into the water,
stirring, until there is a strong red colour. Add a few drops of
jasmine or rose essence. Leave water chesnuts to absorb the colour for
15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, dissolve sugar and water in a saucepan to
make a syrup and let cool.
When the water chestnuts have absorbed enough colour, drain in a sieve.
On a sheet of paper spread the tapioca flour and roll the pieces of
water chestnut in the flour until well coated. Bring a saucepan of
water to the boil. Put the water chestnuts in a dry sieve and shake off
excess flour. Drop into the boiling water and cook until the pieces
rise to the surface. Lift out on a slotted spoon and drop immediately
into a bowl of iced water. In each serving bowl or glass pour some of
the syrup, then spoon in some water chestnuts. Gently pour in some of
the coconut milk mixed with the salt, and last of all add a spoonful of
crushed ice. Serve at once.
Note: If fresh water chestnuts are used, peel, dice and boil them for
10 minutes and drain before proceeding with recipe. A good precaution
for anything that grows in water.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)