The weather is hot in Malaysia all year round especially when it does not rain and it is usually between 32 degrees Celcius to 38 degree Celcius nowadays. We like to take spicy food and also eat food and fruits like durian and jackfruit (known as ‘cempedak’ in Bahasa Melayu). Food and fruits like these can cause us to be heaty.
Some people such as Chinese medicine practitioners believe that certain food can be heaty or cooling. Heaty meaning that it can cause your internal body temperature to rise with possible ailments such as fever, sore throat and mouth ulcers, while cooling food can cause your body to be too cold internally, resulting in aching joints and other ailments. Not everyone believes in this, especially those following modern medicine path but this has been a traditional practise for many. It is all about knowing your own body. If you are a person who is naturally heaty (known as ‘yang’ in Chinese), then you would need to take more cooling food to balance your internal body temperature. If you are naturally cold (known as ‘yin’ in Chinese), then you would need to take more heaty food to balance your internal body temperature.
Today we are going to give you a recipe for a cooling drink which uses barley, which is our owner’s own recipe. We used pearl barley as it has gone through more polishing and has the hull as well as the bran layer removed. It is whiter and smoother in texture. It takes less time to cook. You can also make this drink to be served at your party or event, where your guest can enjoy a delicious drink with cooling benefits. This can also be served as a type of dessert for lunch or dinner meals for example during events with the Chinese set course dinner style.
950 ml water
200 grams pearl barley
65 grams red beans
30 grams white lotus seed
A few pieces of preserved winter melon in rock sugar for sweetness or you can use 1 tablespoon of honey
- Wash the pearl barley in ample of fresh water and rinse, then drain the water.
- Wash the red beans and lotus seed.
- Pour the red beans, white lotus seed and 950ml of water into a pot.
- Boil the water and ingredients for 15 minutes.
- Add the barley into the pot and continue boiling for 20 minutes.
- Lower the temperature and slow down the boil. If you are using the winter melon, add in the winter melon now.
- Continue boiling for another 10 minutes or until the barley is soft on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside.
- Turn off the heat and let the beverage cool down before serving.
- If you want to use honey, add in the honey when the beverage has slightly cooled down and stir well.
If you choose not to add in the winter melon with rock sugar or honey, you can also drink the beverage as it is. Some might find it slightly bland and might not have much taste in it but it is a healthy option.
If you want to cut down on the steps for this recipe, you can put the barley, red beans and white lotus seed into the water all at once to boil. The steps are the same after that for the boiling and adding in of winter melon or honey. This way, the beans and lotus seed will be less soft and more crunchy.
We previously wrote about tips to keep yourself healthy in our previous blog post. This beverage can be part of your well-balanced diet. Of course, you would need to look into whether this beverage can be too cooling for you and perhaps not take it daily. Enjoy this recipe which makes a healthy beverage or dessert.