When the pandemic erupted it provided me a good opportunity to double down on my language learning. In one of my Mandarin lessons I learned of lu dou gao (green bean cake). One click led to another and soon I was ordering mooncake moulds. I started experimenting and here is my simple version to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Enjoy!
Mooncake mould, silicone brush to grease the mould, masher.
- 1 cup yellow split moong dal, soaked in plenty of water for few hrs (till it meets the bite-test)
- 1 pinch of salt + 2 tbsps butter (or EVOO)
- Sweetening agent: 1/4 cup sugar + 2-3 tbsps raspberry liqueur (optional)
- Flavoring agent: (1 tsp cardamom powder+1 tsp vanilla essence) OR (1 tbsp rose water+ 1/2 tbsp Rooh Afza syrup)
- little EVOO to grease the mould
Steam the soaked lentils in a steaming basket (or simply a metal sieve suspended over boiling water) for 15-20 minutes or in a microwave steamer. Mash with a masher, then add the sugar, butter and salt and continue to mash till smooth. In a non-stick pan saute the mixture for 5 minutes or until the paste pulls away cleanly from the sides of the pan. Take it off heat and mix in the liqueur. Divide into 12 portions (each approximately 50 gm). Generously grease the 50-gm-mould with EVOO and stamp out each cake (press to compact and then release).
Notes, hints, tips:
- These moulds are fantastic: spring-loaded for tight compaction and easy release! Generously brush the mould after each release, it makes your life lot simpler. Use your best EVOO on the moulds- another option is to use ghee (clarified butter).
- The recipe above is moderately sweet. Feel free to add more or less based on your taste– this is a very forgiving recipe.
Rooh Afza syrup usually has rose and pandan flavor– the mooncakes with this are colored red in the picture. The syrup is available in Middle-Eastern or Indian stores.
- You could also steam the lentils in the microwave steaming basket (I line the perforated basket with parchment in the picture since the basket has larger holes through which the tiny moong can pass.).