Basic glutinous rice balls or tang yuan are made out of glutinous rice flour, water and sugar. Sometimes, a slice of ginger is added to the syrup for a hint of spice.
Winter Solstice Festival is regarded as the beginning of a new year and celebrated widely by the Chinese community. The round glutinous rice balls symbolize family unity. It is even more meaningful to have the whole family gathered together to make these glutinous rice balls. This dessert is also served to the bridal couple during the wedding.
Traditionally, these glutinous rice balls are made without any filling. In recent years, many types of flavours such as peanuts, Kaya (coconut jam), red bean paste or black sesame have surfaced. Nonetheless, I am very much conservative when it comes to the originality of this dessert which is to have it plain. However, I do admit that I am quite smitten with those that consist of black sesame too.
If you are planning to make this a day before, place them on a layer of plastic wrap. Cover the plate of glutinous rice balls with another layer of plastic wrap to prevent them from drying up.
Otherwise, lay the glutinous rice balls on a layer of plastic wrap and freeze them. Remove them from the plastic wrap once they are frozen and store them in an air tight container or plastic food bags.
Glutinous Rice Balls is also known as: Kuih EeTong YuenTang Yuen湯圓
Toast black sesame seeds and nuts until they produce a faint nutty smell. Once the black sesame seeds and nuts cool to room temperature, blend them along with sugar roughly.
Mix room temperature butter into the blended mixture. Then, roll black sesame mixture into small balls. Set aside.
To make the dough, knead flour and water together. Optionally, divide dough into portions and add 1-2 drops of different food colouring respectively.
Roll the dough into small balls. Flatten the dough to wrap the black sesame mixture.
Prepare syrup by boiling water, pandan leaves and sugar. Once it boils, add the glutinous rice balls and cook till they float.