Longans and red dates tea is one of the common teas served during tea ceremony in Chinese weddings. Longan (龙眼 - literally means dragon's eye) represents dragon, wishing the new couple for having male children. Longan is also know as "桂圆", in another say, it represents reunion and often served during festivals like Chinese New Year and dumpling festival. For some health reasons, it is also a must drink for women during their confinement. I had tons of it during my confinement, in fact, I still have lots of longan and red dates stock up in the fridge.
I hardly make this type of dessert, or any other Chinese desserts as T does not like them that much. Many times, after a sip of the drink, he gave me funny faces that told it all. Thus, whenever I feel like eating Chinese desserts, I will search for it at local kopitiam (coffee shop). It is not easy to find a Chinese dessert stall here as compared to Singapore. Sometimes I dream to open an "Ice House" - 冰屋, selling all sorts of shaved ice desserts and traditional Chinese desserts.
To make this, bring together 1 litre of water, handful of dried dragon and red dates in a pot. Bring to boil and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or so. Add some rock sugar to taste. Serve warm or chilled. I like it chilled.
Something to ponder...
Longan is know as Mata(eye) Kucing(cat) in Malay, literally means cat's eye. I don't know why this little fruit has such big difference in naming between Chinese and Malay.