Winter melon (冬瓜) is a versatile fruit, very delicious either made as savory soup or as delicious drink like this winter melon tea. Although I call it tea, there is no tea leaves involve, but the color of the drink is just like that of a black tea, so I always call this winter melon tea. In Indonesia and Malaysia, it is also called teh kundur. It is a very humble street side drink, and sometimes you can find them sold in cans or in half gallon size plastic bottles in the Asian grocery stores.
Making this at home is very simple, requiring only three ingredients: winter melon, brown sugar, and rock sugar. To easily store this and make it in volume, I don’t add water when cooking this so I get concentrated winter melon syrup which can last up to 1 week when stored in the fridge. Whenever I want to drink this, I will dilute the concentrated syrup with water and add some ice cubes too, so refreshing.
- 1½ kilogram winter melon flesh, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 250 gram brown sugar
- 50 gram rock sugar
- Place winter melon flesh and brown sugar in a pot, mix well. Set aside for about 1 hour until some liquid has formed.
- Add rock sugar to the pot, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until winter melon is completely transparent, about 2 hours.
- Turn off heat, strain and press as much liquid through the strainer as you can to get the concentrated winter melon syrup. Store this syrup in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- To serve, make "tea" with 1 part concentrated winter melon syrup and 3 parts water. Add some ice cubes, and stir everything together. Serve cold.