24 Feb 2013

Making Tangyuan -

Today, for the first time as a family, we made Tangyuan (glutinous rice ball in sweet soup) together. Tangyuan is usually eaten during the Winter Solstice and the 15th day of Chinese New Year. Apparently it is supposed to represent family closeness

When I mentioned that to my mother, she said that was particularly true in her younger days. In her childhood days, making Tangyuan was a village affair. Everyone would wake up as early as 4am, and come together to pound rice into rice flour. Then they would make Tangyuan together and feast together. Nowadays, flour can just be purchased at the grocery shop and Tangyuan made in a really short time.

As my children and I made these (with lots of fun), I wondered how it all started and found the answer on Wikipedia (where else.) What a touching story about the longing of a maiden to meet with her parents.

According to a legend, [2] in the Han Dynasty, there was a maid of honor who was called Yuanxiao. She missed her parents a lot but she could not leave the palace, therefore, she wept all the time and even wanted to turn to suicide. A minister knew her story and promised to help her. What Yuanxiao needed to do was to make lots of Tangyuans, which was the best cuisine she could make, in order to worship the god on 15th day of the first month in the Chinese calendar. Finally, Yuanxiao did a great job and the emperor was so contented; therefore, Yuanxiao was permitted to meet her parents, Tangyuan was named as Yuanxiao and the 15th day of the first month in the Chinese calendar was considered to be Yuanxiao Festival. (Wikipedia)

Well here's our version of Tangyuan. We decided to use natural colours. Thus we made ours out of glutinous rice flour mixed with yellow sweet potatoes, orange sweet potatoes and red dragon fruit.

We made the soup by putting gula melaka into boiling water with pandan leaves and slices of ginger.

Then we had family members over and had Tangyuan together, first time ever at our place. Perhaps this might be a good tradition to keep.

Happy Cap Goh Mei everyone,
 may God bless you and your family 
and give you family closeness throughout the year 
and in the years to come.

 @poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2013



CP said...

Thanks for reminding me of this Chinese tradition. I particularly like your idea of natural colouring using sweet potato and dragon fruit......I shall certainly try this version the next time we attempt making tangyuan!


gail said...

Many blessings to you and yours, dear Martha.

Divoo said...

pretty colors!

marie said...

So fun! I love seeing my kids in the kitchen, Emry made cream puffs today, not as colorful as your tangyuan, but really delicious.

Michiko Johnson said...

Happy your Chinese New year to you with yours.
Tanagyuan for enjoy eat only short time,
Yuanxiao I think it is nice beautiful colors!

Carolyn (Lil' Dahling) said...

That's so nice family bonding time together! A good family tradition to keep. Many blessing to you and your family too.

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