China Grass is another name for Agar-agar. It is a Vegetable ‘gelatine’ derived from a number of seaweeds (Gelidium amansii) which are processed by boiling and drying. It is used as a setting agent in Asian countries.
It is available in powdered form or as dried strands. If using Strands, always cut them with scissors into small pieces and soak them into water for 10-15 min.
You can try out different versions of this recipe with fruits and dry nuts.
Here is the base version of this recipe
1/2 litre Milk
3 pods Cardamom
4 strands Nutmeg
7 tsps Sugar
5 or 6 Almonds
5 or 6 Kishmish/ Currants
1 packet of China Grass powder
2 Tbsps Milkmaid/Khoya/ Condensed milk (Optional)
Boil Milk in a pan. Take some milk from the pan and dissolve China grass in it till it melts completely.
Simmer milk on slow fire. Add sugar, powdered cardamom and nutmeg to the milk. Let it simmer till the sugar dissolves.
Mix in china grass and bring it to a boil. Keep stirring it for 5 minutes.
Cool it for 10 minutes and put in a rinsed flat dish.
Set in a cool place or in a refrigerate till it turns firm.
Cut into pieces, mix with fruits and serve it.
P.S: You can divide the milk into two parts and add different edible colours to them I prefer lighter one at the bottom and darker one on the top. Seems interesting for children.
I tend to use fruits from my refridgerator, be it any. Cut them into thin slices and arrange at the bottom of the flat dish, so that when you turn it upside down, It sort of gives an absolute presentation.