Hakka Lui Cha / Ham Cha With Rice Pops

Lui Cha is actually meaning ground tea in Mandarin and it is normally served to the Hakka family on the 7th day of Chinese New Year,. While the Cantonese serving Yu Shang the same day. The only difference is it is served with 7 different type of vegetables as side dishes including preserved radish, da chai @ chinese chard, mani chai @ star gooseberry, tofu, peanuts, long beans & leek or any other green leaves to go along with white rice. I often heard friends & relatives talking about it but honestly, I have yet tried it myself. So embarrassing huh ! Even my Hakka hubby & his family are not interested in taking it and not to mention about making their own. Well, I am certainly the lucky one cause my neighbour just share their little treat with me a few weeks back. They cooked their own side dishes And for tea soup, they didn't make their own they used the stall bought tea soup paste to cook at home. The most interesting part was they served their Lui Cha with rice pops. And that is how I was tempted to make my own.

Ingredients for Lui cha tea paste :  (serve 4-6 persons)
2 cups   cilantro, rinsed & cut
1 cups   mint leaves, rinsed
2 cups   basil leaves, rinsed
1 cup     vietnamese cilantro (daun kesum)~optional
1 cup    roasted sesame
1 cup    roasted peanut, crashed
4 pkts   Lipton green tea bag
1 cups  hot water
(blend all ingredients into paste ~ like making pesto)

Method To Make Soup :
(1) bring a pot of water (about 3-4L) to boil over high heat.
(2) lower the heat then stir in the tea paste, add in 2 tspn vegetable granule and salt to taste.
(3) let soup simmer for 5 mins and then serve.
( to make it easier you can always divide into smaller portions and keep refrigerated or frozen before used.)

For side dishes, you can just stir fried all the ingredients separately with chopped garlic & salt to taste (except preserved radish & tofu) or you may choose to add in some dried shrimps but I chose not to. In this case, vegetarian eater may also easily fit in the party. I even served with extra stir fried basil leaves together. It tasted really really delicious.
Since my family not so fond of this meal, I'll have to make just a small portion of it to give it a try. I have my side dishes cooked including preserved radish, stir fried chinese chard, stir fried long beans and fried tofu. A little roasted peanut will definitely give it an extra kick.
I'm sending this to Sharon @ Muhibbah Malaysian Monday.
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