Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nai lao

Beijing yogurt is a traditional dish of Beijing cuisine. The traditional culinary method of this dish begins with the preparation of the main ingredient by heating the milk first. Sugar is added to the boiling milk, which is then allowed to cool in shades.
Two types of nuts were needed with outer shell removed: walnuts are soaked in boiling water to remove the membrane, and then chopped into small pieces. Sunflower seeds, on the other hand, were stir-fried. After nuts have been prepared, they were mixed with raisins and placed in fifty small bowls.

After the milk has been cooled, rice wine made of glutinous rice is poured in and thoroughly stirred. A special device called a yogurt barrel is needed for further production processes and this is basically a barrel with heat chamber in the center, where fire continuously burns, providing the heat needed for baking. The milk mixed with rice wine and sugar is rapidly poured into the fifty small bowls filled with crushed nuts and raisins, and immediately covered with a flat wooden cap. The bowls are then stacked along the inner wall of the yogurt barrel and heated for twenty to thirty minutes, after which they are cooled in a chamber filled with ice for three to four hours. When the cooling is complete, Beijing yogurt is ready to be served.

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