This year the Hanshi Festival (Cold Food Festival) falls on April 21, when families in Vietnam, as well as some places in South Korea and China, will make “cold” dishes.
In Vietnam it is a good occasion to make and enjoy the popular banh troi, a traditional dessert that is both appealing to the eye and delicious.
Banh troi is made from glutinous rice flour mixed with a small amount of water to form balls and is then cooked in boiling water. The ball is either small or large, and sometimes stuffed with mashed bean, sesame and others.
The balls are served in a thick, sweet clear or brown liquid made of water, sugar, cassava, and grated ginger root.
The Hanshi, or Cold Food, Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday celebrated for three days starting the day before the Qingming Festival in the Chinese Calendar, which this year falls on Tuesday.
At this time of year the sky becomes clear and buds sprout in the field. Farmers plant various cropsand irrigate their rice paddies.
Modern versions of the banh troi come in rainbow-like colors and are filled with many flavors.
Many vegetables like beetroot, spinach, carrot, pumpkin, and purple cabbage are used to get the colors for the balls. Other ingredients, used to make toppings, could be coconut flesh sliced into thin ribbons and roasted sesame seeds.
Many vegetables like beetroot, spinach, carrot, pumpkin, and purple cabbage are used to get the colors for the balls. Grind the vegetables and only take the juice.
Knead glutinous rice flour well with the colored liquids.
Mash green bean and sweeten it with sugar to make the stuffing
Shape the stuffing into small balls.
Wrap the bean balls with the flour. Make them in various sizes.
Boil the balls in water.
Serve the finished balls with sweetened water and top with sesame seeds and thin slices of coconut.