Today is Donzhi (冬至) Festival or Winter Solstice.
Scientifically From Wikipedia it means :
The winter solstice occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′. Though the winter solstice lasts only a moment in time, the term is also a turning point to midwinter or the first day of winter to refer to the day on which it occurs. More evident to those in high latitudes, this occurs on the shortest day and longest night, when the sun’s daily maximum position in the sky is the lowest.
For Chinese, this is the day we grow older and get wiser. And as a reunion dish, in most housewhole, we would either make our own tangyuan(湯圓) or glutinous rice balls; or buy the ready made ones.
I have mine made at home, so the girls can take the opportunity to participate in making the little balls as well.
I mixed some ground black saseme, small amount of black sesame seeds (to give it some crunch), sugar and some vegetable oil to make the filling.
I just mix it according to my taste. It’ll become a very crumbly paste.
Then I roll about 1 tsp of the filling into balls, put them into the freezer for about an hour to harden and make them easier to wrap with the dough later.
♥Recipe and Method to Make Tang Yuan or Glutinous Rice Balls dough♥ (Make 20 small balls and 35 big balls with fillings)
1) Add 2 cups of glutinous rice ball with 1 cup of water and 2 tbs of sugar
2) Mix until the it becomes a soft dough.
3) Pinch half of the dough and drop it in boiling water to cook. The dough will rise when it’s cooked. When the dough is still hot, mix it with the rest of the dough and knead until a smooth dough is formed.
To make the balls, take enough dough and roll into a ball, press it down with your palm, put a ball of sesame paste into the centre, gather the sides and pinch away access dough. Roll it to a ball.
You can either immediately drop the tang yuan into a pot of boiling water to cook soon after you made them, or place them on a floured plate and cook them in a batch later.
To make the soup, boil a pot of water with brown sugar and a smashed piece of ginger, we added screw pine or pandan leave just to get the extra flavour.
Happy Winter Sostice to everyone!