Monday, January 15, 2007

Red Dates, Longan and Medlar Seeds Tea

This is a nourishing tea/sweet dessert soup recipe I picked up from a recipe book which I bought a few weeks ago. It’s decidedly simple and easy to make – that’s why it makes a great introduction to 2007 – it is in fact the first post of the year.

I would call this a nourishing drink because the three main ingredients (see title above) are good for building blood, regenerating Qi and beneficial to the eyes.

This can be served on its own, as an afternoon drink (please serve it warm) or after a lovely dinner to clear the palate.

Here’s how you make this tea/sweet soup which serves 4 persons easily:

Red Dates, Longan and Medlar Seeds Tea

* 8 large red dates, pitted
* 2 tablespoons of medlar seeds/boxthorn seeds, rinsed and soaked in water for 10 minutes and then drained
* 10 dried longans, washed
* 4-6 small cubes of rock sugar
* 1 liter of water

Bring a liter of water to boil in a pot. Add all ingredients and let it come back to a boil for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down low to a mere simmer, cover the pot tightly and let it simmer slowly for 30 minutes. Add the rock sugar and simmer until the sugar’s dissolved. Serve warm.

Note: This tea is not overly sweet. It should have a tinge of sweetness and no more. It gets its sweetness from the 3 main ingredients so its sweetness is clear, not cloying or artificial.

Also, serve the tea with the ingredients – I know some people (such as my picky husband) who dislike eating the herbal ingredients of a soup as he feels the essence of the herbs has gone into the soup. However, I think eating the herbs give additional benefits – they’re fibrous and a good chew!
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