Clockwise from top – dried lily bulbs, dried lotus seeds, gingko nuts in shell, rock brown sugar
Good evening, dear friends 😀
As the Chinese New Year (7 Feb) is coming nearer, I thought I would post here a recipe for an auspicious “Tong Sui” which literally means “Sweet Water” in Cantonese, but actually it is a healthy, delicious sweet soup usually served as dessert.
During the CNY, many homonyms are used to create auspicious meanings out of words. So, this dessert is actually cooked on the eve of CNY, right after the Family Reunion Dinner, and it is left to simmer in a slow cooker to be served first thing on CNY. The best part of this is that the wonderful smell of thisTong Sui is wafting throughout the house as we sleep and its good smell is what greets us when we wake up to the new year!
Let me introduce the ingredients for this recipe and you will understand the meaning of this dessert as well as know its health benefits.
200 gms dried lotus seeds, called “Lin Jee”
100 gms dried lily bulbs, or “Pak Hup”
100 gms gingko nuts, or “Pak Kor” (shelled, boil in water for a few minutes and the skin will rub off easily)
100 dried whole seedless longan meat (not in picture)
200 gms of rock sugar
2 litres of water
When we merge some of the names from the ingredients, this dessert has an auspicious of “Pak Lin Yan Kor Ho Hup” with the meaning “A Hundred Years Of Fated Peace And Harmony”……..so, we have an auspicious start to the new year when we have this dessert as a family in harmony after we woke up and we are dressed in our new clothes.
Lily bulbs are a cooling herb which is yin in nature, nourishes the lungs and has a calming effect. This is especially good for easing insomnia, irritability and restlessness. Lotus seeds nourish our kidneys, spleen and heart, and they are also calming in nature. Gingko nuts are high in antioxidant and are supposedly good for bladder and urinary problems.
1) Soak lotus seeds for 3 hours. Rinse and place in a slow cooker together with the water and sugar.
2) Bring to a boil and simmer at low heat until the next morning when you wake up.
3) Meanwhile, wash and soak Lily Bulbs overnight.
4) On the morning of Chinese New Year, when you have washed up, check on your CNY Tong Sui – by now the lotus seeds would have softened. Add in the Lily Bulbs, increase the hear and boil for 30 minutes.
5) Lastly, add the Longans and boil for a further 30 minutes. Check to see if the soup is sweet enough.
Serve in small bowls for your family and enjoy this wonderful auspicious Tong Sui or sweet soup together! I would like to wish you and your loved ones prosperity, harmony and peace! 😀