Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Thai Candied Cassava (Montad Chuame)

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Montad Chuame-- I love love love this! Only 3 ingredients are needed (5 if you include the salt and rice flour) to make this yummy dessert!

When I first started reading food blogs two years ago, Appon's Thai Food was (still is) my favorite blog for the most authentic, tested and tried (Thai) recipes while Grab My Fork was my favorite for food reviews (see my links). Appon may not have the best photos, but I trust her recipes 100% because I've tried a number and they really work, unlike some websites which have beautiful photos but the recipes are a waste of time and ingredients. These days I read the recipes and can figure out whether the recipes are worth trying.

I love Thai desserts and montad chuame is among my top 3 Thai desserts, above even that most famous Thai dessert, sticky rice and mango. This dessert is not available in KK and so I always eat as much of it as I can whenever I visit Singapore. I tried a couple of times to cook it but the cassava (or tapioca as it is known here) always become soft and powdery, like boiled potatoes, and the sugar did not permeate into the cassava. A good montad chuame should have cassava that gives a good sticky, chewy bite, tastes sweet all through, and the coconut milk should be fresh, thick and fragrant. Imagine my joy when I finally succeeded making this dessert with Appon's recipe. I think that was how I got hooked on food blogs, so yes, thanks to Appon.

There are two types of cassava, the regular white type and the harder-to-find yellow cassava. I am not particularly fussy about which type but today I used the yellow type, bought from a shop near Tshung Tsin Sec School, because I know they'd look better in my photos. It really doesn't matter which type you use. I have changed Appon's recipe by doubling the amount of cassava because I find the sugar syrup very sweet. I also reduced the salt. If you are familiar with Thai desserts, you'll know that the Thais love to balance the sweetness with saltiness, and sometimes so much salt is used that it spoils the taste unless you have a Thai tongue. I also reduced the cooking time by a whole hour because the sun was going down and I needed the light.

Yesterday I swore I will go on diet "tomorrow". I was happily eating my montad chuame after dinner tonight when Wey stood in front of me and said, "So who wanted to go on a diet?!" I cooly took a second helping and swore I'll go on a diet tomorrow...

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This is how I like it--totally coated with coconut cream, the more the better!

Thai Candied Cassava (Montad Chuame)
1 kg cassava (unpeeled)
300g brown cane sugar*
250 ml water

*I used the brown sugar pieces from China. Ordinary white sugar is okay too but it won't give a golden syrup by the time the cassava is done.

1. Cut the cassava into 4 or 5 cm chunks and peel the skin off. Wash clean.

2. Put sugar and water into a large, shallow pot. This is so that the cassava can be arranged in one layer. Heat until sugar dissolves (it is okay to put everything together at once too, I've tried it) and then add the cassava. Cook over low heat for 1 1/2 hours or more (Appon's recipe says 2 hours) until the cassava is candied and translucent.You can turn the cassava once in a while during cooking although too much turning at the later stages will break the cassava up, so be careful.

3. If the sugar syrup looks thick, just dish the cassava out and pour the sugar syrup into a small bowl to serve. If the sugar syrup looks thin, you can increase the heat to high (you can take the cassava pieces out first so they won't burn) and let it thicken and caramelize. Remember the sugar syrup will thicken further upon cooling so don't cook it till it's too thick.

4. Let the cassava cool and serve with coconut cream and sugar syrup. You can serve montad chuame at room temperature or chilled.

Coconut Cream
1 large coconut, grated
300 ml water
1 heaped teaspoon rice flour
1/4 t salt

1. Add 150 ml water to the grated coconut, 'massage' the coconut well with your hands and extract the milk. Add the remaining water to the grated coconut again and do the same to get a thinner milk. Strain both thick and thin milk into a small pot, add the rice flour and salt.

2. Stir the milk over low heat until it thickens slightly and coats the back of your spoon. Do not let the cream boil or it will form lumps and become oily. The cream will thicken further upon cooling. Let cream cool.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have never tried this dessert before. Looks very delicious. Hope to gather enough courage to try making it. Question, why cut cassava first, then peel skin and not the other way round?
Raina

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

raina: this is truly good n easy to make. clever Q. still very sharp after all these yrs...i find the skin easier to strip in one piece (slice into small chunks, slit the skin, pull it off in one piece) if tapioca is in small chunks, but u can remove skin first too :D

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

respect! a true food photographer, with natural light..

a feast, everyday said...

This reminds me of the Nasam food fair, 2 yrs ago? Loved it! maybe will try making it for this coming ff in seri mengasih...

NEE said...

gosh this look so good. must try soon. see if my FIL got any backyard tapioca hehe...it is tapioca like moo su rite.

lilblackdots said...

Wow! Appon certainly has good recipes and i love her sausages recipe..u know where to get sausage skin here?

Bento Pet said...

terri: Tried your "Best soy sauce chicken" recipe again last night!!! Raving reviews!! TQ!

Rei said...

Seriously Terri, you've got to stop tempting me. My to-do list just gets longer and longer! Argh~ my waistline~~ T_T

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

joe: haha, the truth is i can't figure out lighting techniques...

a feast: but u know, cassava is RM6/kg, isn't tt crazy?! it's only about RM2 in kuching according to nee. how to make for fund raising bazaar??

nee: oh, u must try this so easy yet yummy. i went n bought more cassava today, but like i said, they rn't cheap at RM6/kg!

lildots: my friend who makes continental sausages gets the casing from kl; not available here..

bento: u've mastered it, good! now try the duck, u'll love it!

rei: my dear, u shd see what falls over and onto my thighs when i sit!

Anonymous said...

This is truly yummy and easy to make. Frist time is not bad.. But I have a Q. How do I get the cassava totally permeate with the sugar even after 2 hrs of cooking in low heat
Thanks.

Thai restaurant toronto said...

I should add this desert in my menu. It looks amazing and easy to make.

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