Friday, August 24, 2012

Banana Pineapple Coconut Lassi with Honey

This drink may not look special, but I guarantee it was amazing. The difference between a lassi and a smoothie is still rather blurry to me, but I do understand that a lassi is traditionally an Indian yogurt based drink. I enjoyed this beverage in Luang Prabang, Laos on a balcony over looking the local river. I am not going to lie, the location probably influenced my love of this drink. The restaurant we were eating at was managed by an American woman, and all the employees are local teenagers with no prior job experience. The restaurant gives the kids an opportunity to learn English, and to gain the needed experience to succeed since they cannot afford a higher education. 

This drink seems rather simple to make. Although, to get the proportions of the fruit and yogurt I would consider reviewing another lassi recipe, I am sure google will not leave you empty handed. Make sure to blend the drink until it is nice and frothy. I am definitely making this when I get back to the states!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rice Flour Pancake with Coconut & Tiger Cubs

James and I found this little jem in the street markets of Chaing Mai, Thailand. We were searching for breakfast, and really wanted something other than rice soup or meat with rice. I am having fun exploring the different types of food here in Thailand, but I miss breakfast! These little pancakes cost about 10 cents, and we ate three each.

As for the composition, I am not quite sure what is in it or how it is made. However, I was informed that it is made with rice flour and there was definitely shredded coconut inside. The street vendor made them as if he were making a crepe, but it turns out to be more like a big fluffy pancake.  When the pancake is almost done cooking, he added lots of coconut and some sort of sugar mixture. Finally he folds it in half, and packages it in a little plastic bag.

The pancake is much fluffier than traditional pancake, and is completely filled with air bubbles. I believe the key to recreating this dish is to find a way to make a light and airy pancake. But if you are in a pinch, adding shredded coconut to a crepe or regular pancake sounds good too. Maybe with a little honey or Agave sweetener. 

And for a little update of what I was actually doing in Chaing Mai...

All the tiger cubs were so cute and sleepy. This little guy is 2 months old, and loves his belly rubs! They were surprisingly calm for not being sedated. Although sometimes they would start to play with each other, and get a little rough, but the supervisors knew how to handle them. The cubs were just full of love, and would climb all over the people who worked there. All the tigers have a little white spot on the back of their ears.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Banana Coconut Sticky Rice Pudding

For the month of August, I am traveling through Thailand and Laos with James, and his parents visiting his mother's family. This past week we have been primarily located in Chaing Mai, Thailand where James's mom, Amy, grew up.

Amy introduced me to this little dessert, coconut sticky rice steamed with bananas, and wrapped in a banana leaf. It can be found in pretty much any of the street markets. A pack of two is less than 50 cents. 

After unfolding the banana leaf you find a small handful of coconut sticky rice, and a piece of banana. I have become utterly addicted to this little sweet. The only down side is that it has a shelf life of about 12 hours, since we do not have a proper way to refrigerate, and then reheat it. 

Amy and I conversed on the best way to make this dish. To begin, make Thai coconut rice pudding using sticky rice. Then take a small handful of the rice, and wrap it around a piece of banana. To receive the true banana flavor the rice and banana need to be steamed together, and the best way to do this is with a banana leaf. However, we don't have easy access to banana leaves in the states, so I am going to have to play around with this dish back home, and get back to you. My goal is to find an alternate way to steam the rice and banana mixture that will allow the rice to keep its shape, and lock in the banana flavor. 

I know there are various ways to make this and as I do not have a recipe to consult. Please let me know if you have an alternative way, or idea to make this dish!

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