Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Barley Drink (薏米水)

A refreshing drink for our hot weather

Our weather has really gone crazy!  Super hot in the morning, followed by heavy downpour in the afternoon.  In fact on Sunday morning, the heavy rain brought on flash flood in Singapore again.  Imagine knee-high flooding in the heart of our shopping belt, with water pouring down the escalators and leaking through the ceilings into the basement shopping and carpark areas.  Flooding is not uncommon during my younger childhood days.  Whenever there were floods, lessons will be disrupted (hee....).  We would carefully held up our skirt while we walked along the flooded corridor.  For a very long time, we hardly hear or see flooding in Singapore till last year, when several flash floods hit Orchard Road.... and somebody explained that "those were freak floods that happen once in 50 years."   Given the number of such freak floods occurring in the past one year, everyone's a centenarian ;)

I can't change the weather and can only pray hard that my car will not get stuck in the flood when I am driving on rainy days.  What I can do in this crazy weather is to prepare something to cool off the heat.    Barley drink or barley water is one of the easiest homemade drinks to prepare.  Before Yeo's convenient packeted lemon barley drink, most households would prepare their own barley drinks.  I used a combination of uncooked barley and cooked barley - about one cup each (elderly advised a combination of barley grains is better - to balance the "coolness" in the drink), a piece of dried tangerine peel, few pandan leaves (tied into a knot) and a few water chestnuts, as a substitute for preserved winter melon (糖冬瓜), since I do not have it on hand.  Put everything into a deep pot (barley water tends to overflow easily during boiling, so a deep pot prevents messy spillage) and add about 2.5 litres of water.  Bring contents to a boil for 5 minutes, then let it simmer over low heat for an hour.  At the last 5 minutes of cooking, add a little sugar to taste (else, it will be quite bland).  Alternatively, add a little honey to sweeten the drink.  

I had 2 glasses of this barley drink for my lunch ..... ha.... treat it as a detox diet after many rounds of buffet during my recent holiday at Club Med.  

Update on 9 Jun 2011:

Aiyoh.... I made a mistake on my barleys.  I mistook China barley for cooked barley!  Today went to the market and bought the "cooked" barley.

The various kinds of barley: (A) China barley (薏米)(B) Pearl barley (洋薏米)  (C) cooked barley (熟薏米).  Both (A) and (B) are uncooked barley.  Cooked barley is available at Chinese medical halls.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a healthy and refreshing drink. I remember a similar drink with lemon I had years ago in a Malaysian restaurant. I gotta make this soon!

    BTW, I'm your newest follower. Hope you'll follow back. Thanks.



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