Friday, 16 November 2012

Malaysian food diaries: Ais Kacang

This popular Malaysian dessert (also known as Air Batu Campur, or ABC), sounds pretty weird*  when you consider the individual components, but is actually incredibly delicious. Since having my first taste in Bangkok a few years ago, I've always made a point of seeking it out whenever I'm in South-East Asia

A mound of shaved ice is topped with red beans, palm seeds**, creamed sweetcorn, a scoop of ice-cream, and strands of colourful agar and grass jelly, before being drizzled with luridly pink rose syrup (tasting more like strawberry sauce than anything too exotically floral) and a generous amount of sweet condensed milk.

View from Penang Hill

There's nothing better on a hot, sticky day: I had my first Ais Kacang of the trip after a strenuous 90 minute climb to the top of Penang Hill in the midday heat, and the combination of cool ice and intense sugar hit was the perfect restorative.

*from a Western perspective, that is...
**translucent pods with a strange almost rubbery texture - worth a try!