Vietnamese Che Hot E Recipe (2)

Che hot e is a simple Vietnamese liquidy dessert consists of basil seeds and poontalai or malva nuts. In this pictorial version demonstrated by little Grace Nhi, she added rambutans and grass jelly.


  • 2 quarts water
  • 5 – 10 poontalai seeds (malva nuts/hot duoi uoi)
  • 2 Tbsp basil seeds + 2 cups water
  • 1/3 lb pure palm sugar*
  • 1 can rambutan (optional)
  • 1 can grass jelly (optional)
  • granulated sugar (if needed)

Notes: I honestly do NOT recommend adding fruit other than coconut with this basil seed drink recipe because the grass jelly and the palm sugar will discolor it. Use granulated sugar if you want a clear sweet liquid instead of palm sugar. If using granulated sugar, I would substitute the water with coconut water. Basil seeds can be substituted with chia seeds.


1. Heat up the water to melt the pure palm sugar. When water boils and sugar is melted, sweeten with sugar to your preference. Since this is for my toddler, I only used the pure palm sugar.

2. While boiling the sugared water, soak the basil seeds and poontalai seeds in water in separate bowls until it expands. This takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Discard the hard seed and the outer skin afterward.

3. Cut the grass jelly into small pieces. If you cut it small like pea size, it would fit through a boba drinking straw.

4. Pour the grass jelly, rambutans, and basil seeds into the pitcher. Pour the sweet liquid in. Stir. Let cool, chill, and serve. Enjoy!

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