Muhibbah Malaysian Monday 95: Cincau

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hello everyone! (This post was meant to go up on Monday, so let's just pretend it did).

It’s so good to be back here now that those pesky exams and assignments are done. There’s just enough time for a short breather before the merry-go-round starts again.

So sit back, relax and enjoy a cool drink.

Have this one.

What do you mean it’s a funny colour? As  far as colours go, there are many Asian drinks that come in questionable hues. Think dark brown, murky greeny brown and variations thereof. This one gets the colour from the “cincau” (pronounced “chin-chow”) or “grass jelly” strands in there.

Although called “grass jelly”, this gel isn’t really made from grass. It’s actually made from a herb called Mesona chinensis, which is a member of the mint family. I never knew this, but according to  Wikipedia, the stalks and leaves of the plant are boiled with potassium carbonate. The resulting liquid then cools into the jelly-like substance sold in the shops.

Starts off like this.

Then it gets darker

The drink is believed to have “cooling” properties. I used to love this drink when I was a kid, and mum would always warn me off having too much because it was “too cooling” and  that would have dire consequences (I’ve forgotten what the consequences are).

Making this drink is rather simple. Use simple syrup - just dissolve 1 part sugar into 1 part very hot/ boiling water and let cool. Then take some grass jelly that you bought from the supermarket or wet market or your local Asian grocer, and chop it into little cubes. Or grate it into long strands. Or make any sort of jelly shape you like. Then place a little sugar syrup into a glass, add the jelly and add ice-cubes. You could add more water to dilute the mix if you don’t like it too sweet. Simple, right?

Thanks for reading :) And thanks for all the MMM contributions I’ve received so far. You still have time to get your contributions in before the end of this month.

 Suresh from 3 Hungry Tummies and I are very appreciative of your continued support for Muhibbah Malaysian Monday. You guys keep our spirits up whenever the going gets tough :).