Naab Vaam (Three color dessert)
2 lb 4oz palm sugar
1 cup water
2 (33.8 oz) coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 pandan leaves
3 quarts water
1 (16oz) bag tapioca pearls
Red and yellow food coloring
1 (12oz) packet steamed pork rice flour cake mix (bot banh gio mix)
3 Tbsp tapioca starch
3 oz fresh pandan leaf
10 cups water (divide into 4 cups & 6 cups)
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp pandan flavoring/extract
1/4 cup basil seeds
Fresh coconut meat
Fresh Coconut water (optional)
1) COCONUT SYRUP
Place the palm sugar in a pot with 1 cup of water. Melt the sugar on low heat until fully dissolve. Then add in the coconut milk, pandan leaves, and salt. Stir and let it simmer (but not to a boil) for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let it cool in the fridge overnight or until fully cooled.
2) COOKING THE TAPIOCA PEARLS
In a pot, add in 3 quarts of water. Let it come to a boil. Then add in the tapioca pearls and stir. Stir and boil for 5 minutes. Then turn off heat, cover the pot with a lid and let it sit in the hot water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes the pearl will double in size and become clear. Strain and rinse the pearls with cold water. Separate the pearls into two batches. Color one batch red and the other yellow. Set aside.
3) MAKING THE CENDOL
Chop the pandan leaves into 1 inch pieces. Place it in the blender with 4 cups of water. Blend until the pandan are well chopped and the water is a nice green color. Grab your cooking pot and place a strainer and then a fine cloth or a cheese cloth over the strainer. Strain it well and press all the liquid out. Discard the pandan pulp.
Finish adding in the addition 6 cups of water into the pandan water. Then add in the packet of flour mix, 3 Tbsp of tapioca starch, and salt. Mix well.
Cook the mixture over medium high heat until it becomes thick. STIR CONSTANTLY to prevent lumps from forming and to prevent the starches from burning at the bottom. Stir and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Once it becomes thick and unison, cook it for another 5 minutes. Once the batter creates a nice ribbon consistency and is shiny, take it off the heat.
Get your bucket of ice water and cendol press ready. Grab another person to help you and place the cendol press over the ice water and then fill your cendol press with the batter. The batter will fall easily into the water without you having to press it. This is a good sign you did the batter right. The strands should be about 2- 2 1/2 inches long. Finish using all the batter.
4) OTHER TOPPINGS
Basil seeds: Add 1/4 cup basil seed to a bowl. Add in cold water just to cover. Let it bloom (takes about 2-4 minutes). Strain excess water and use as desire.
Coconut meat/water: Cut open a fresh coconut. Keep the water and scrape off the coconut meat. Cut the meat into bite size pieces and top naab vaam with it.
In a cup, add equal part tapioca pearls and cendol. Add in basil seeds and the toppings. Then add in the coconut syrup to your liking. Mix. Taste and adjust. Add in ice if you want it colder.
You can also mix everything in a big bowl or container if you plan on bringing it to a big party or have them self serve themselves.
Coconut water is used if you want your naab vaam to be a little thiner and not so thick. Add a little to lighten the thickness from all the starches and coconut milk. Add other toppings if desire. ADD ICE to make it cold and refreshing. Color the tapioca pearls any color you want.