The recipe for this traditional cake with medicinal leaf powder is created by Madame Lê Thị Bé Bảy, a young local craftswoman. She succeeded shortly before with the popular bánh tet garnished with ginseng
Cồn Sơn islet is home to many large, fathom-shaped moringa trees, the leaves of which the villagers use for soup or as a food coloring. Appreciating these resources, Ms. Bé Bảy adds moringa leaf powder to the bánh tet recipe, on the one hand, to take advantage of the existing natural ingredients, and on the other hand, to enhance this traditional cake.
“Cake making goes through several stages and takes a lot of time. The typical bitter taste of moringa leaves is extracted during the powder making process. The sticky rice, after being rinsed, is mixed with the moringa powder in a reasonable proportion to obtain a beautiful color. If traditional glutinous rice cakes are cooked in boiled water, bánh tet chùm ngây must be steamed. This way of cooking helps to retain the flavor and nutrient of the moringa.”, says Ms. Lê Thị Bé Bảy.
Ms. Bé Bảy says: “We add coconut milk to sticky rice with steamed moringa powder. This mixture will be wrapped in banana leaves before being steamed for about 3 hours. As Moringa is rich in nutrients, it is better to make bánh tet chùm ngây with a sweet filling, that is, with bananas or mung beans”. These cakes are therefore appreciated by vegetarians and by those who need to strengthen themselves.
Bánh tet chùm ngây cooked are a beautiful green color and give off a subtle fragrance. There is no longer the bitter taste like in moringa leaf soup. Visitors taste it on-site and buy it as gifts at an affordable price of 100,000 each.
Ms. Lê Thị Bé Bảy says that with bánh tet chùm ngây, she wishes to honor local products, promote those of businesses in the Bình Thủy district, and thereby form a union to present the specialties of the region to visitors. This is also the wish of the inhabitants of Cồn Sơn islet, which is to attract tourists with their ingenuity and simplicity.
(*) Bánh tet chùm ngây: Bánh tet: sticky rice cake in cylindrical shape; chùm ngây: Moringa Oleifera (moringa), here, powdered moringa leaves.
Source: Can Tho Newspaper – Translated by Hoang Dat