Taro root (a tuber very similar to potato in texture) and tapioca pearls (sabu dana) in a coconut milk and sugar is a very popular Chinese dessert. Nachiket (my husband) is not very fond of coconut and eats it only when masked well. Since I was making this especially for him, I decided to innovate. I used three types of milk (tres leches) as used in a Mexican tres leches cake.
What did I end up with? An amazingly good Chinese origin, Mexican like, Indian fast friendly Pudding! Do I categorize this as fusion or what? 😀
- 1/4 cup finely chopped baby taro root
- 1/8 cup tapioca pearls/sabu dana
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup condensed milk
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Water for boiling
- 1 1/2 tsp of agar-agar powder/china grass (Use half tsp spoons and level it off)
- 4 tbsp water
- Soak Tapioca pearls for 2-3 hrs.
- In a saucepan, bring water to a boil.
- Add the chopped taro root and cook for 5 min. Add the tapioca pearls and cook for a further 7-8 min or until taro root is soft enough to break under slight press of fingers. The tapioca pearls turn translucent.
- Drain the excess water and set aside.
- Meanwhile mix all the three varieties of milk in another saucepan and let them reach a boil.
- Keep stirring to prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Add sugar.
- Wash the cooked and strained tapioca pearls & taro root under running cold water.
- This is to make sure that the tapioca pearls do not stick to each other.
- Add this into the sauce pan containing milk and cook till the quantity of the original 4 cups of milk reduces to about 3 cups.
- While the milk is in the process of reducing itself, get the agar-agar solution ready.
- Sprinkle the agar-agar powder over 4 tbsp of hot water and let it bloom for about 5 min.
- Heat the mixture up. Keep stirring continuously and cook till all the agar-agar has dissolved.
- Pour this into the hot boiling milk mixture. Stir.
- Cook for about 2-3 minutes more until the milk starts thickening. This is to ensure that the agar-agar blends into the milk.
- Pour it into a dish and let it reach room temperature.
- Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate (this is to prevent the dessert absorbing the refrigerator smells).
- Let it chill for at least 4 hours.
- Loosen the sides of the dish with a knife and overturn it onto a plate.
- Garnish (I used some cocoa powder and truffle sauce). Cut and serve. (Picture and notes on next page)
- In case you do not find evaporated milk in your area, please increase quantities of condensed milk and milk (1 1/2 : 2 1/2)
- Agar-agar unlike gelatin is a vegetable source but gelatin can be substituted too. Add 1 whole envelope of Knox gelatin in 4 tbsp of water instead.