|Nice tree, eh?|
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By eating coconut oil everyday, as reported here and here. If you think coconut oil is evil, you are so last century. There was a time when the luscious oil was public enemy number one because of its saturated fats, but it's now the darling of health food enthusiasts.
What's the spin this time? It's medium-chain fatty acids. The MFAs, found in great abundance in coconut oil, supposedly help your body burn fat, and boost your metabolism. In other words, coconut fat is a fat that makes you thin. I'm sure the health 'experts' will, in due course, change their minds. But until then, coconut oil is the 'miracle food' of the moment, and you can even learn about the benefits of coconut oil whilst earning a nutrition degree online. Not only does the wondrous liquid make you look like a Victoria's Secret model (only from the neck downwards, I presume), the lauric acid it contains helps boost immunity, improve digestion, stop itching and inflammation, kill viruses, bacteria and fungus, prevent aging, high cholesterol and high blood pressure . . . .
I'm not into coconut oil much but I love coconut milk. So I'm inhaling laksa, nasi lemak, curries, all sorts of Nyonya kueh . . . anything cooked with coconut milk, all in the name of good health. Oh yes, mustn't forget bubur cha cha, the Peranakan sweet soup that's as colourful as a sarong kebaya. Mustn't forget my bikini either. See? It's working already. MFAs improve the memory.
"Hey, anyone seen my bikini?"
|BUBUR CHA CHA (YAM & SWEET POTATOES IN COCONUT MILK)|
(Recipe for 4 persons)Tapioca jelly (makes ½ cup; source: Cooking for the President)
60 g tapioca flour (½ cup)
2 drops red food colouring, or 10 g dark brown palm sugar finely minced
3 drops green food colouring, or juice of 25 g young pandan leaves
1 tsp sugar
75 g rock sugar, break into small pieces if big
6 pandan leaves, lower half only, wash and cut each piece into 2
1 cup yam (aka taro) diced 1½ cm
½ cup orange sweet potatos diced 1½ cm
½ cup purple sweet potatoes diced 1½ cm
pinch of salt
200 ml undiluted fresh coconut milk
Choose yam that's light for its size and has lots of red veins inside. Trim about 1 cm thick when peeling, and 2-3 cm around the head and bottom. These parts are usually not powdery.
Drizzle 50 ml boiling water on tapioca flour. Knead to form an elastic dough, dusting with tapioca flour if too sticky. If too dry, wet hands before kneading. Divide dough into 2 equal size pieces. Add red colouring (or palm sugar) to one piece. Knead till colour is even. Roll into a rope 1½ cm thick. Cut crosswise 1½ cm wide. Dust thoroughly with tapioca flour to prevent sticking, and set aside. Add green food colouring (or pandan juice) to remaining dough. Proceed as for red dough to make jelly beads. Cook in boiling water till floating, stirring to prevent sticking. Remove with slotted spoon to a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tsp sugar (to prevent sticking), mix thoroughly and set aside. Discard water.
Place rock sugar, 1 cup boiling water and pandan leaves in a pot. Stir till sugar melts. Add yam and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently over low heat till just soft, about 7 minutes. Don't use high heat or yam would disintegrate. Discard pandan leaves. Remove yam with slotted spoon to a bowl. Place sweet potatoes in the pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently till just soft, about 5 minutes. Add salt, coconut milk, and boiling water to dilute coconut milk to taste, about ¾ cup. Stir to mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary. Turn off heat as mixture comes to a gentle simmer. Add tapioca jelly and yam. Serve hot or chilled.