Most of you are familiar with Zenzai but do you know awa-zenzai ?
あわぜんざい. Warm sweet azuki beans with slow cooked glutinous millet grains. This is known as mochikibi. There is a place in Asakusa Tokyo called Umezono 梅園 which was established in 1854. This long serving confectionary shop cooks up awa zenzai in the winter.
This dish is perfect for cold winter days as it’s sweet and comforting and super filling.
Use around a cup of millet and wash well through a sieve then add to a pan with water. I start with just covering the millet with water and bringing it to a boil,then turn down the heat to your lowest setting pop on a lid and let it simmer. You may need to keep adding water so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom . Keep checking and add water when needed until it’s cooked. It will resemble porridge consistency.
Warm your sweet beans ( you can either make them yourself or I buy the ones already done in a can for quickness)
Serve together warm with a sweet chestnut if you like and green tea.
You can use any remaining cooked millet to make Ohagi ( Botamochi )
See previous Ohagi post ( just pound the millet like you would the glutinous rice.) I will do a new post for making millet Ohagi around the spring equinox when it is traditionally eaten.