Last night we had dinner at home with four wonderful, conscious friends. One of them, Ninh-ji, who began his life in Vietnam, brought the dessert. It looked at first like a delightfully simple silken tofu warmed in an electric pot. Indeed, that is all it was, but served with a ginger syrup, it became divine, sweet succulence. Plus, it turned out to be only the first of three dessert courses!
The next two desserts were utterly inspiring for their color, artistry, alchemy. Little bite-size delicacies of sesame, rice and mung beans, almost like deconstructed Kichari reimagined and delicately sweetened. These treats were not only a delight to the senses, but such healthy, whole body nourishment that when offered seconds, you felt permission, nay encouraged, to say, “Yes please!”
Ninh-ji had carefully selected each of these treats from his favorite local Vietnamese Bakery, telling us that they are very complicated to make. “Not even my mother was able to make this and she was a great cook!”
I looked today for a picture or recipe online, but don’t know the names and found nothing quite right. I did find this Blog with its colorful, photographic list of many Vietnamese desserts. Also, while not as gorgeous, this site has recipes. And, for cultural culinary adventurers, there is a whole world of Asian sweets to explore here.
Instead, I remembered a recipe received yesterday that would make a good substitute. These Sesame Bliss Balls from the Chopra Center are not as artistic, but they are simple to construct, flavorful and every bit as fortifying.
I had to share them with you as they are ideal for the Autumn Balancing Act: Sesame is tonifying, healing and hydrating. Ginger is soothing, calming, and immune-boosting. Cumin and Cardamom work with Ginger to aid digestion and add flavor. Ghee is a prime healer, with innumerable benefits ~ a few of which are mentioned by the Chopra Experts below.
I am off to make these now for a gang of young boys. Lead by our 13-year old, they have been running around the neighborhood all afternoon, engaged in a playful “Battle,” and are now calling out for snacks worthy of a Victory Feast! Wish me luck…