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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Huan Chu T'ng [Sweet Potato in Ginger Syrup]

Air Itam morning market in Penang has several things that are popular and famous like the Penang Assam Laksa, the Kooi Sisters Curry Mee, crispy fried crullers, and many more to name that attracts locals and of course tourists and visitors from all over.  During festive times, this place is full of activities from dawn to dusk and the traffic snarled in the area.

I used to be a 'full time' resident there and I sometimes wish to have some privacy and space.  People [visitors] visiting the market simply parked their vehicles outside my house which is situated at the vicinity of the market making the place so congested.   Now, I'm a 'part-time' resident so it's more or less bearable cos' I know when to get out from there.

Oh, I'm going off track.  What I would like to share here is another famous item that one can get at the market.  Guess what?  It's 'AIR ITAM GINGER', grown at the surrounding hills in the area.  It has its unique quality very different from the ginger from other places.  This ginger is especially fragrant and famed for its heat-giving properties.  It is a must have item in almost all dishes for confinement meals and others too.   During the confinement month, kilos and kilos of it are used and the price is many times more than other ordinary ginger.

Using it for Huan Choo T'ng [sweet potato dessert] and Kuih Ee syrup and many other dishes does makes a great difference to its taste.  If you do visit this place, specifically ask for 'Air Itam Ginger' and find out how it differs.

We usually cook this dessert in white sugar syrup but this time I used both brown and white sugars.  The syrup was more fragrant and not too sweet.  Goes well with the soft and sweet potatoes.  Screwpine [pandan] leaves are not necessary for this dessert.  It's a nice dessert or for a hot afternoon tea time.

Ingredients - recipe adapt ed from Nyonya Flavours
[serves 3-4]
500 gm orange sweet potatoes - peel and cut into chunks
1 litre water
30 gm [thumb size] old ginger - sliced [I used Penang Air Itam ginger]
50 gm dark brown sugar
50 gm white sugar
  1. Bring water and ginger slices to boil.  Add in sweet potatoes and continue to simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft.
  2. Add in sugar to taste.
  3. Serve warm.


    I'm linking this post to 
    Little Thumbs Up organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY and hosted by Alvin of Chef and Sommelier

    I'm also linking this post to Cook Your Books #2 Event  hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours

      photo 77951578-1914-4b72-8eda-9e40a91183ac_zps331eb4b4.jpg


Patricia Ng said...

Hi Kimmy,
I love reading your posts. I was from Air Itam too. Used to frequent the markets when I was young. Small world as it brings back memories.

Phong Hong said...

Kimmy, I am curious about this special ginger. If I get to go to Penang I will try to buy some and sample. My grandma used to cook Huan Chu T'ng but I can't remember if she put ginger. All I remember is that I like it very much :)

ivy sew said...

I used to cook this too and I love it with lots of ginger and pandan :)

Sapana Behl said...

The syrup sounds good!

Kimmy said...

Hi Patricia, thanks so much for visiting me at my humble blog which aims to record all nice, healthy and good food to share with food lovers. The market hasn't change much but it is still famous for the ginger and hillside, hilltop local produce esp. their vegetables like chai sim and ulam-ulam...Hope to see u back here one day.

Kimmy said...

Hi Phong Hong, it's special. I'll try take a photo of it this weekend to share with all. With this ginger, you need not use a lot cos' it is very fragrant and 'hot'.

Kimmy said...

Hi Ivy, if you use Air Itam ginger, a little of it is enough for the aroma and 'hot' taste.

Kimmy said...

Hi Sapana, I love this syrup very much even with the glutinous rice balls [kuih ee].

cikmanggis said...

Hi Kimmy :)

Rupanya di Penang pun ada halia yg terkenal ya.I selalu beli Halia Bukit Tinggi Bentong Pahang.My Mil ckp the best halia in Malaysia.17rm pe kg.

Kami suka masak keledek seperti Kimmy masak ni.wangi dgn bau pandan n ginger...yum yum

Chef and Sommelier said...

Hi Kimmy! Thanks for supporting the LTU!

I have never used brown sugar for this soup before. How different is the taste?

kitchen flavours said...

Hi Kimmy,
Yes when cooking this, ginger and pandan leaves are a must for me. Interesting ginger, the ones I know that are very different are called Bentong ginger, but have not heard of Air Itam ginger. Will definitely buy some if I happen to find it!
Thanks for sharing!

Zoe said...

Hi Kimmy,

I have not been to Air Itam and didn't know that their ginger is special.

I wonder how the dessert will taste without this special ginger... Hmmm...


Kimmy said...

Hi Cik Manggis, Air Itam halia nampak lbh kecil drp yang biasa tapi bau dan rasanya memang best walaupun cuma guna sedikit. Harga lebih kurang RM15-RM25.

Kimmy said...

Hi Alvin, with dark brown sugar, the soup taste more fragrant than white sugar.

Kimmy said...

Hi Joyce, to most Penangites, any dish cooked with it is especially awesome, taste, aroma and benefit wise. If in Pg just specify it's Air Itam ginger and not local ginger to avoid getting the wrong ones.

Kimmy said...

Hi Zoe, with the ginger, this dessert is not authentic Peranakan dessert.

Alice said...

my all time favourite!

Kimmy said...

Hi Alice, sometimes I can crave for it too.

kitchen flavours said...

Hi Kimmy,
Thanks for linking to CYB!

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