This should be my third post after I set up my blog on 30-4-2013. It was issued on 6-5-2013 and I have a sentimental value to this post. As such, I do not intend to change the format of what I have written. It serves as a reminder that I also started from somewhere..
Sweet potatoes is a root that is loaded with magnesium, iron, Vitamin D and many other vitamins. It is classified as a health food. Chinese believed that it has body cooling and detoxification properties and it aids in digestions and benefits those who have constipation problems. To counter the cooling effect and the probable body gas production by consuming sweet potatoes, ginger was added to warm the body and reduce the intestinal gas production. At times, Chinese black sugar was used instead of the rock sugar. Some stores in Singapore added dried longan too. Preparation is easy and it is a rather healthy dessert for the family.
My sweet potatoes sitting on my kitchen shelf is hinting to me that they are not feeling well and need to be taken care of. My body are also craving for something sweet and that is it – I cooked a pot of sweet potato soup.
Sweet potato soup is very easy to prepare. All you need is sweet potato, pandan leaves , rock sugar and ginger. It take less than half an hour from preparing the raw material until the soup is ready. The steps are:
Peel the sweet potato skin, cut into cubes
Clean some pandan leaves and tied it into a bundle
Slice some ginger
Set aside rock sugar
Boil some hot water in the pot, add in the sweet potato cubes, pandan bundle and the ginger and let it boil over medium fire until sweet potato is cooked and the ginger and pandan start to emit some nice aroma around your house
Add in some rock sugar to the soup, wait till dissolve and the soup is ready.
Serve hot or cold as dessert or sweet soup.
According to Chinese, sweet potato soup is supposed to lower the “heat” of your body and too much heat in your body can lead to irritability, fever, and inflammatory conditions. Heats tend to affect the body fluids leading to thirst, constipation, dark urine… Therefore, when weather is hot, my mum will serve us this cheap and nice soup.
THE ROLE OF GINGER ON THE SOUP
In Singapore, I have yet to find any sweet potato that is cooked with ginger. But I personally think that without ginger, it does not taste like sweet potato soup. It is understand that the Hong Kong version of sweet potato “tongsui” also have ginger added. Ginger plays an important role as it help to reduce excessive gases caused by consuming the sweet potatoes. Gingers are herbs that are well know for its emetic abilities and ability to control flatulence. Therefore, adding a few pieces of ginger will ensure that you don’t belch or fart after consuming the soup.
If you do not have rock sugar, normal granulated processed white sugar can be used. Rock sugar is always used in Chinese desserts because it is another item that will reduce the “heat” of the body and presumably less sweet and a healthier choice.
In Singapore food court, the sweet potato soup is usually served together with the dry longan minus ginger. As such, the soup is slightly brownish in color depending of amount of dry longan added. Dry longan is another item that Chinese medicine considered to have the ability of bring down your body “heat”.
For those who have never tasted this before, give it a try as it is very easy prepare and economical dessert. Precisely it is too simple that this dessert did not have chance to squeeze into the restaurants’ menu.
Note: Pandan leaves are actually optional and if you are residing overseas where pandan leaves are not easily available, please proceed to cook without the leaves.
You will bound to enjoy this simple, cheap, unnoticed dessert and shared with your friends especially during winter where consumption of ginger will make you body hot and comfortable. Enjoy.