It's the holiday season and there are certainly no lack of holiday parties and events to go to. With so many meals to pay for and all those presents to buy, it can get pricey. At last weekend's holiday party at a friend's house, I decided to make an easy-to-make, low budget but still very tasty dessert treat. Best of all, it's red; perfect to get into the holiday spirit with.
It's a pretty cheap dessert that can feed a lot of people. A bag of red beans cost $1.69 a the local supermarket, and I only used half the bag. A bag of green beans cost also $1.69, and I also only used half a bag. A can of coconut milk cost $0.59. A bag of small tapioca pearls cost $0.69 and I only used less then 1/5 of the bag. The rest was used to make a tapioca dessert soup for another party. I already had cane sugar and water at my home so the total cost was around $5.00 while the actual cost of making this dessert was approximately $3.00. For $5.00 I have enough to make almost two pots of this red and green bean dessert soup and one pot of tapioca dessert soup.
There are a lot of variations in making the red and green bean soup. In place of the coconut milk, you can use dried tangerine or orange skin. There are also all sorts of other little items that could be added to the soup, half of which I have no clue what the English names are. I have to go back to the supermarket and look them up. You could also make a pure red bean or a pure green bean version. The thickness of the soup could also be altered based on your own preference. Some people like it more watery while others like it thicker. Some prefer the beans to be boiled to a paste while others like the beans to be more intact. The red beans takes longer to turn completely into a paste while the green bean is much easier to do so. I mix the two together so that I would get a graininess to the soup while still be able to eat some of the beans sort of intact. The tapioca is optional and adds a little starch to the soup and thickens it that way. In the end, experiment with it until you get the consistency that you prefer.