I was attracted to this beautiful dessert firstly by its tempting color. And I love pomegranate, too, however, it’s has been a long time since my last experience with pomegrantes (those in Singapore are too expensive for me and they do not often look fresh in supermarkets). So I was curious at this mock pomegrante sweetened soup.
I learned about this dessert when browsing a collection book of Thai desserts. I realized that a typical characteristic of many Thai sweet desserts is the application of coconut milk/ coconut cream in making the sweet soup. Coconut flavor is present in almost every recipe. I also realized that they (Thai people, or at least the recipes in that book) use a very large amount of sugar and coconut milk, which sometimes the coconut soup yielded overwhelms the other main ingredients and too sweet.
Having too much sugar and coconut milk is not good to the health, so when cooking Thai dessert, I just take note of the ingredients and cooking process, then I change the amount of sugar and coconut milk, sometimes also omit unnecessary extra coconut milk so that the taste suits my liking better and that I do not feel guilty when enjoying Thai desserts as such. So, like me, you may adapt the recipe and use the quantity of sugar and coconut milk/ coconut cream according to your taste and liking.
With this dessert in particular, actually, the ‘mock pomegranate seeds’ are water chestnut cubes covered with tapioca flour. The water chestnuts are soaked in water with some red food coloring to obtain the typical red color of the pomegranates. I used strawberry paste coloring, just one or two drops are enough to bring out this color. When cooking, you may not see the color as deep and profound as such. But after cooking, when you let them stand for a while until serving time, they do appear with this color. I was doubtful a lot while making this, however, later on when serving and taking photo of it, the red color was exactly what I expected to have.
- water chestnuts, peeled and cut into small cubes
- red food coloring (I used strawberry paste coloring)
- tapioca starch (or corn flour/corn starch)
- white sugar
- coconut milk
- crushed ice, to serve
- Stir the red food coloring in just enough water to obtain a pomegranate-like color to soak the water chestnuts. Soak for about 10 minutes. Drain.
- Put just enough amount of tapioca flour in a large bowl, add in the water chestnut cubes and toss well until each cube is covered completely with the flour. Discard the excess flour.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, put the floured water chestnuts into the boiling water, about two dozens at a time, cook until they float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and drop in cold water. Drain.
- Combine just enough sugar and water in a pot, boil over medium heat. Add coconut milk to obtain a syrupy mixture. Remove from the heat. Let cool.
- Mix an amount of mock pomegranate with a sufficient amount of coconut syrup. Serve with some crushed ice.