28 March 2007
So, I made the sumalak. And it tasted pretty good. But it made way too much for our family of four. Here's what I did (except I'm cutting down on the quantities):
Sprout 1/2 pound of wheat till the sprouts are about the length of the wheat. This should take 5-7 days. You can tell it's ready when you squeeze a wheat kernel and milky white stuff comes out.
When the wheat is ready, grind it up. I tried a food processor, but that was a dismal failure, so I switched to a blender and that worked much better. You'll need to add some water to the wheat and grind it in batches.
When you have a mess of wheat bits in a milky-white mess, you're ready to strain it. Squeeze and press the wheat bits to get all the milky stuff out.
When you've strained it, dump the milky stuff into a big pot and add a pound of flour. Stir well, then bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir as often as possible, but you don't have to stand there all the time because that's boring. Lower the heat after is comes to a boil and continue to cook for at least another 30 minutes. It will darken quite a bit till it looks like caramel.
I'm pretty sure I was doing well up to this point. Then some recipes said to add more water and cook some more, or to bake it. I kept on cooking it on the stovetop, but I don't think I should have added more water because it never thickened up much in the fridge (or is it supposed to be rather runny?). Oh well. I'll do better next year. I think I'll try baking it next year too. And invite lots of friends over.
But I now understand why people rave about sumalak/samanu. Who would have thought you could get something so good just from wheat and water?