200g (7 ounces) soya beans (even better if organic)
2 liters (2 quarts) water
A few pieces of screwpine leaves, if available* (see note below)
200g (7 ounces) rock sugar (for a smoother taste, if unavailable, substitute with other sugars)
1 inch ginger(crushed with the side of a cleaver)
Soak soya beans for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Allow enough water and space for expansion. Rub skins off as they give the milk a tart taste. Throw away the skin and water.
Blend beans mixed with some water in a liquidiser or an electric blender. Strain blended milk with a fine muslin bag. Squeeze as much milk out as possible. You may skip this step if you have a good juicer which strains the residuals as well.
Pour milk into a big saucepan and add the rest of the water. Score the screwpine leaves with a fork and knot them together (so you can easily fish it out later). Add leaves and ginger into the milk. Bring to a boil. Be watchful as the liquid tends to boil over.
Reduce heat and add sugar. Stir occasionally until sugar dissolves.
Other comments: This drink is nutritious and very versatile. You can drink it sweetened or unsweetened, warm or chilled, and adjust the thickness according to your taste by adding or reducing water. Keep bottled in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 days (the thicker the milk, the easier it curdles). Soya bean milk can also be used as a base for many other recipes.
Makes: 2 liters or a little over 2 quarts.
WASTE NOT-WANT NOT
The soya bean residuals can actually be used as a soil nutrient. Sprinkle them on top of the soil of your favorite flowering plant and watch your plant bloom beautifully. My dad does it all the time and his plants are so happy.
Note From Diana's Desserts:
These leaves are popular in the cooking of Southeast Asia (particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand). Screwpine leaves have a floral flavor and are used most often to flavor rice dishes , puddings and cakes. Their intense green hue also makes them useful as a natural food coloring. Screwpine leaves are available in Asian markets, sometimes fresh and always dried. They're also called daun pandan, pandanus and kewra.
Submitted By: Choo Teck Poh
Date: 2 October 2002