Friday, June 18, 2010
MUNG BEAN FRITTERS ~ KUIH KASTURI
Afternoon tea is history. It went out of fashion some 30 odd years ago. What a pity because that is, to me, the most fun meal. It is a dessert meal or a snack meal. It was a sit down meal. It was either cakes, fritters or simple fried noodles. Nowadays it's packaged biscuits ~ Khong Guan cream crackers, Marie Biscuits ~ all dunked in hot milk tea or Milo or commercial buns from the nearest bakery eaten 'on the go'.. No one has the time to sit down as a family to enjoy afternoon tea anymore. No family is smiling and conversing at 4 o'clock anymore.
I doubt my children have any idea that afternoon tea was an actual sit down family meal. Yes I'm guilty of it's extinction too. But I'm not alone. Tuition got in the way. Traffic got in the way. Malls got in the way. Businesses got in the way. TV got in the way. Why, afternoon tea got in the way of the British too. Life had to go on. And so it did.
It's no wonder that our tea time kuih(s) have become an all day long snack food. Tea time has disappeared. But not the hunger for the various kuih though. Besides, men get up to feed at midnight. Old fashioned mung bean fritters fill that new hunger. I don't recall my dad or brother being up at midnight hunting for food. But of course World Cup Football was never shown Live either. These bean fritters are one of H's favourite kuih. They are delicious warm.
The Recipe ~
300 gm green mung beans
1/2 dark brown sugar or granulated palm sugar
3 or 4 or T plain flour
pinch of salt
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup rice flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
enough ice cold water
Place mung beans in a fairly deep pot. Cover with water completely, the water level about an inch and a half above the surface of the mung beans. Bring to a boil and then lower flame to simmer. Cook until the beans are tender, have broken up and until the beans have absorbed all the liquid leaving only a mush of beans in the pot (very much like cooking rice by absorption). Watch the pot carefully towards the end so that it doesn't burn. Transfer the mush onto a flat plate to cool it down completely.*
When the boiled beans have cooled down completely transfer to a medium bowl and add sugar, flour and a pinch of salt. Adjust for sweetness if you like it sweeter. Mix thoroughly until it becomes pasty and then shape into patties about 2 inches in diameter.
Mix all dry ingredients together. Add cold water slowly and stop until you have achieved a nice coating batter.
Heat up a pot of oil until hot. Dip the bean patties in the batter one by one and fry until a light golden brown and crispy. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy.
* It's important that the cooked beans cool down completely so that when the sugar is added it will not melt and make the bean mixture too soft and sticky to handle. Some recipes call for grated coconut instead of flour to firm up the mixture enough to handle and to taste. I didn't have any.