At the end of May, we finished everything in Maastricht and moved to Nijmegen, where is the hometown of Bram, my husband. Then we flew to China with his parents for one a month holiday. After traveling to a few beautiful towns and visiting my family, Annelies and J.W, my parents-in-law, flew back to Europe. Bram and I started our second time exploring in Thailand. After a long holiday, we started our new life in Nijmegen, kind of sweet beginning.
- One large sweet potato (370g) - 50g Sugar - 20 ml Water - Cooking oil - 2 ts Sesame seeds - 1 Pinch of salt
Step 1: Peel the sweet potato, then cut it into blocks of 3×3 cm.
Step 2: Heat some oil in a frying pan over a low fire, add the blocks of sweet potato. I have cut the sweet potato into small blocks so that they cook faster. You don’t need so much oil, just cover half of the blocks. After about 1 minute, stir so that the other side gets cooked too, and the salt. Fry 1 or 2 minutes more and check with chopsticks or a fork if the potato is cooked well, they should be soft when done. Turn off the fire.
Step 3: Use another clean pot, add the sugar and water, stir and heat over a slow fire. Cook for around 4-5 minutes until golden bubbles start to appear, then add the fried sweet potato blocks and stir very well until each block is covered by caramel. Serve them on a plate and cover with sesame seeds. Done!
For a change this time, I am making a dessert. It is a pudding with coconut milk for taste and purple sweet potato for the couloring. It looks quite spectacular and will be fun to eat. I haven’t used any artificial colours, only natural ingredients.
A small warning: this recipe takes some time and dedication on your part, but the end result will be worth it! The colour is brightly purple, the taste like coconut and the texture is indescribable. Try it for yourself!
I will also use tapioca pearls, which are made of the cassava plant. The pearls are used in China and other Asian countries in the popular bubble tea. The pearls on their own have no distinct flavour, they are only used for texture and appearance. In China young people drink bubble tea with tapioca pearls through a straw.
I use agar instead of regular gelatin. Agar is made of algae and is vegetarian (halal), and has stronger binding properties. If you cannot find agar in the shop, then just use regular gelatin.
Beware that this dish takes a long time to prepare, especially the tapioca pearls need to boil for a long time (2 hours or more)
Peel the sweet potato and cut in large pieces of 4×4 cm. Then steam them 3 to 4 minutes. Use a small pan with boiling water and on top of it place a sieve with the potato and let it steam. When are they one? Take a fork or toothpick and stick it into the potato. When soft then they are done.
Bring a large amount of water to the boil and add the tapioca pearls. Stir them constantly to avoid them to stick to each other. When the water evaporates, add more water. Important! only add the pearls after the water is hot, not cold, otherwise they will dissolve
Stir, and add more water. This is very important! Keep doing this until the pearls change from white to transparent. This can take up to 2 hours, depending on the size of the pearls. If you are not completely sure about this part, then check Youtube to see how to prepare tapioca pearls. You can only use the pearls when they have become completely transparent, not sooner!SEE HERE for a photo of the preparation
While you are doing this, place the agar or gelatin into a bowl of cold water to dissolve it
Take a small pan and add the coconut milk and soft gelatin and sugar. Heat it on a high fire and stir until you get a smooth sauce. Then let it chill. You will have plenty of time for this while you are cooking the tapioca pearls
When the coconut milk with gelatin has cooled down enough, then put it into the blender together with the pieces of sweet potato. Blend it on the highest level, until you get a creamy substance. Set it aside (in the fridge) until later
When the tapioca pearls are (finally) done, rinse them under the cold tap. Now you have transparent and somewhat sticky balls of tapioca
Take a nice looking glass, cup or glass bowl and place the cooled tapioca pearls on the bottom. Then pour the mix of coconut milk and sweet potato over it. Let it chill in the fridge 2 to 3 hours to stiff up, then serve