1 cup azuki beans
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 pkg of gelatin (7 grams: 2 teaspoons plus ¼ teaspoon gelatin powder)
canned chestnuts (optional)
Rinse the beans in a strainer under running water. Strain and put them into a heavy pot. Add 6 cups water and boil for 30 minutes over medium high heat
Remove from the heat and let sit for another 30 minutes so that the hot water in the pot can cook the beans.
Bring to a boil again, over medium heat, and cook for 1 hour. The beans will soften enough so that they can be easily mashed.
Remove from the heat and mash the beans with a wooden spoon in the pot.
Add 2-3 cups cold water to the beans and strain them over a bowl. Press them down with a wooden spoon and mash them in the strainer, so the beans go through and the skins are left behind.
Squeeze the skins and remove.
Put the strainer, lined with cotton cloth, over the pot. Pour the bean and water mixture through the cotton cloth and let it sit for a few minutes to sieve.
A few minutes later, lift out the cotton cloth and squeeze it tightly so the water goes out and the beans looks like a pressed ball.
Put the bean ball into the pot and add sugar, salt, and vanilla. Heat the pot over medium high heat.
Stir the bean paste with the wooden spoon for about 3-5 minutes until the sugar dissolves thoroughly.
Put the gelatin powder into a small bowl and add ¼ cup cold water. Mix well with a spoon. Add ½ cup hot water and mix well to dissolve the gelatin nicely.
Add the gelatin solution to the bean paste in the pot. Stir well. Pour it into cookie molds, paper baking mini loaf pans, or small cups.
Let it cool down at room temperature for 30 minutes. Plant 3 chestnuts in each pan and refrigerate at least 3 hours until the jelly is solid.
Serve as a dessert.