This sweet Chinese dessert is very popular in China and South East Asia. I remember very fondly from my childhood that this is a desert my mum made on a regular basis and enjoyed greatly by our family and friends. My gluten free recipe is vegan, dairy free, nut free, soy free and egg free.
Red adzuki beans and black glutinous rice are ingredients commonly used in Asian desserts. They are often used separately either as creamy coconut red bean or creamy coconut black glutinous rice with dried mandarin skin or pandan leaves added for more flavours. In my gluten free version of this dessert, I am combining both red adzuki beans and black glutinous rice with creamy coconut, plus mandarin juice and grated zest of mandarin skin as it is mandarin season now in Australia. Red adzuki bean is often used to make many different kinds of desserts, some examples are steam red beans sweet bun, popsicles, ice creams, as a filling for sweet glutinous rice dumpling, coconut and red beans dessert drinks, as accompaniment for ABC ice kacang, puddings, etc. My favourite way of serving this dessert is as a hot sweet dessert, but it can also be served chilled.
Furthermore, this desert is also very wholesome and beneficial to your health. Red adzuki beans belong to the group of pulses, similarly termed legumes, which provide an assortment of phytonutrients that help combat illnesses. Red adzuki beans are small and sweeter in taste than other legumes. Red adzuki beans are a good source of low-fat vegetable protein with loads of fiber, vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of zinc, iron, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. It also contains vitamin A and vitamin B9 (folic acid). It is considered a healing food in tradition Chinese medicine, used for maintaining healthy functions of bladder, kidney and reproductive systems. Red adzuki beans may also prevent colon cancer, breast cancer and aid in weight loss.
Black glutinous rice, or often called black sticky rice, also has a distinctive nutty flavour. When fully cooked, it is dark purple in colour. It is also known as “forbidden rice” as it was only available to the Chinese aristocrats and not to the commoners during the ancient times. But it is now grown mainly in the Philippines and Indonesia, and available worldwide. Black rice is considered even healthier than brown rice, as it has all the dietary benefits of brown rice but because of its dark colour, it is not only rich in iron, it also has potent antioxidants called anthocyanin, commonly discovered in superfoods like blackberries and blueberries. Black rice may help prevent cancer and heart diseases. Black rice is also frequently used by Japanese in making sushi.
- 1 cup dried red adzuki beans soaked for 2 to 3 hours, washed and drained
- ½ cup black glutinous rice soaked for 2 to 3 hours, washed and drained
- 2 litres water
- ¾ cup raw brown sugar
- 270 ml gluten free coconut cream
- 3 mandarins skin grated zest (choose mandarins with firm skin)
- 3 mandarins peeled, deseeded, juiced and strained
- Fill a pot with 2 litres of water, add in the red adzuki beans and black glutinous rice and bring to a boil. Once its boiling, cover with lid and simmer on low heat for 1 hour.
- Peel and deseed the mandarins, juice in a blender and strained. Add the strained mandarin juice and raw brown sugar to the pot and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes or until the beans and rice are soft and the liquid thickens.
- Serve hot or warm, garnish with 2 to 3 tablespoons of gluten free coconut cream and some grated mandarin zest per serving.
- This dessert can also be served chilled if preferred.