Showing posts with label malay kuih muih. Show all posts
Showing posts with label malay kuih muih. Show all posts

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Perkedel - Indonesian potato cakes

Fried potato cakes make great snack anytime. Perkedel I think is an Indo-Dutch fusion. There are various spellings all mean the same potato cake if you ever come across them.
perkedel = berkedel = bergedel = bergedil

This is home cooking make perkedel with any mixtures you like. Other than the potato there are no strict rules what else can be added. Tinned corned beef or minced beef is common, but you can also use chicken, tinned tuna, tinned sardine or even pork mince for non halal version. For a vegetarian version, just leave out the meat use more spring onion or sub meat with corn kernels, when adding more vegetables make sure they are rather dry or cakes can be very soft.

For the potato, some people like to deep fried first then mashed I find this too greasy. I like mine steamed a lot healthier. Do not use peeled and boiled potato, this may absorb too much liquid can lead to very soft cake. Waxy potato binds the mixture better. You can also use leftover roast or baked potato.

The cakes are dipped in beaten egg before frying, there are several advantages by doing this:
  • The egg will form a coating preventing the potato cake falling apart during frying.
  • This egg coating is non stick making frying a lot easier
  • This coating is not supercrunchy but rather nice and nutty flavoured.

This is my version of perkedel if you like to give it a try. It is nice hot or cold. Measurements are all agak agak (Malay saying for approximate). No need to be precised as long as the cake mixture is rather dry or firm. 

This qty will make about 18 - 24 cakes.

about 800g - 1kg of potatoes
about 250g minced (ground) beef
1 medium large onion
1 medium carrot (optional), if you like just beef can leave this out
1 - 1.5 tbsp curry powder (any brand or mix you got in your cupboard), if not just use 2 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp chilli powder and pinch of ground nutmeg
0.5 tsp ground pepper
1.5 - 2 tsp salt
some cooking oil for frying the meat mixture
some chopped spring onion and/coriander (I used only spring onion about 3 - 4 stalks)
few tbsp crispy fried shallot or onion (optional if you have some), I did not add this
some plain flour (optional), I did not add this
3 eggs, beaten

about 2 cups of oil for deep frying 

Cakes before frying

  1. Finely chopped the onion and carrot.
  2. Add some oil to a pan/wok, fry the onion till softened then add curry powder, ground pepper and salt, stir till fragrant. Add beef stir till beef is browned then add carrot. Stir fry for a while till mixture is quite dry. Remove and set aside to cool.
  3. Steam the potato with the skin on. When cooked leave to cool then peel. Mash or crush the potato. I like my potato still quite chunky. 
  4. Before chopping the spring onion or coriander, make sure to give it a good squeeze to remove any moisture. Moisture can lead to soft cake. 
  5. Now ready to make the cake mixture. Mix together potato, meat mixture, spring onion/coriander, half the beaten egg and crispy shallot or onion (if using)
  6. If the mixture is soft add 2 - 3 tbsp plain flour. I did not add flour. 
  7. Take a lump of mixture give it a light squeeze and form into a cake. Continue doing this till finished. 
  8. If you have time leave the cakes to chill in the fridge, this will help to firm them up a bit. If not can fry right away. 
  9. Heat oil till medium hot. 
  10. Coat one cake at a time with the remaining beaten egg then drop into hot oil right away. Fry till golden brown. Do not crowd the pan/wok, fry the cakes in batches. 
  11. For a more crunchy skin, place the cakes on a rack and heat in oven (medium heat) while you are busy frying the rest of the cakes. 
These cakes can be served hot, warm or cold. The cake texture is soft inside but not mushy. if you like a firmer texture add some plain flour. 

You can experiment by adding any vegetables or meat/fish you like. Just make sure the mixture is firm before shaping into cakes. If not add some flour. 

If you are fat conscious, you can shallow fried with less oil or pan fried with just few tbsp of oil. Alternatively can bake at a fairly high oven, just brush the top of cakes with egg.

I had this cakes with an instant sweet and sour chilli dipping sauce by mixing a good squeeze of hot chilli sauce, some lime juice, some sugar and some fish sauce. For an authentic Indonesian touch you can make Kuah Cuko which is also a spicy sweet and sour sauce, with fresh minced/ground chillies and garlic, salt, vinegar, sugar and a little boiling water. Another sauce which is good is sambal oelek. 

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Kuih Momo (Kuih Makmur)

It's still Ramadan at the moment. Hari Raya or Eid is coming soon. When I was still living in the Far East, one of the sweet cookies I remembered popular during Hari Raya is Kuih Momo. In Brunei and East Malaysia, these cookies are commonly known as Kuih Momo and in West Malaysia I think they are more commonly known as Kuih Makmur.

Other than Hari Raya, we also make these cookies for Chinese New year. Thus they are some kind of celebration cookies.

These cookies are very rich with ghee with a strong milky flavour. The icing sugar (confectioner sugar) coating makes them look like snow balls. The characteristic of kuih momo is it should melt/crumble as soon as you pop one into your mouth. Thus they are very fragile to handle.

For the recipe there is one unusual traditional step not known in western baking. It's to dry roast (stir fry) the flour prior to mixing the dough. Strange but it works to ensure the cookies melt/crumble easily. I have seen recipes heating the flour in microwave, I find this method unreliable because microwave can lead to uneven heating and burning spot.

Here is the recipe I have been following since I knew how to bake in my young teen. Years ago we never follow an exact quantity recipe, the mix was always by eye or feel only.

Kuih Momo


250g plain flour or all purpose flour
40g icing sugar (if you like a sweeter taste, add up to 75g icing sugar)
75g full cream milk powder*
150g ghee (clarified butter)
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg yolk

about 1/2 cup sifted icing sugar (confectioner sugar)

*Full cream milk powder is not common in UK. It is available in some big supermarkets like Sainos at the Asian products shelf, or in most Asian, Chinese or Middle Eastern grocery stores. If you prefer not to use or cannot find full cream milk powder, can sub with skimmed milk powder granules. Granules need to ground to powder using a coffee grinder or mini blender.

  • Add flour to wok or frying pan. Dry fry at medium low heat for about 5 - 6 minutes. Keep stirring the flour to avoid burning till flour becomes very hot and smells lightly nutty. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
  • Ground salt with 1 tsp of the dry roasted flour using pestle and mortar to a fine powder. Add this to flour.
  • Add milk powder and icing sugar.
  • Mix dry ingredients together then sieve, break up any large lumps with fingers, remove any remaining gritty grains.
  • Melt ghee in microwave for about 20 - 30 sec. Beat in the egg yolk.
  • Pour ghee and yolk mixture into the dry mixture. Mix with a folk or spoon then finish by rubbing with fingers till dough is evenly mixed.
  • The dough is crumbly but should form a lump when squeeze together.
  • Take a handful of dough, squeeze with hand to form a lump then break it up into smaller pieces. Squeeze each small piece again into a rough lump. Continue forming these little lumps.
  • Lightly roll each lump between palms into a ball without pressure or it will crumble. Size of the momo balls is up to you. I like them quite small about 1.5 - 2cm diameter.
  • Place balls on baking tray (pan) lined with parchment paper, arrange balls with some space for expansion.
  • Preheat oven to 160deg C. Put the tray of cookies in the oven, lower heat to 140 deg C fan oven (or 150 deg non fan oven), bake for about 12 - 15 minutes till light golden. Momo balls will expand slightly after baking.
  • Leave to cool for few minutes till cool enough to pick up by fingers. Then coat generously with icing powder. They are very fragile, be gentle and don't crowd the bowl.

These kuih momo will keep fresh for couple of weeks in airtight container.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Epok Epok

Epok epok is Malay style semosa. Some people called them karipap. Epok epok is similar to Chinese-Malay style flaky curry puff, the only difference is the pastry. Epok epok is usually deep fried.

For the filling, some like sardine which I am not too keen. Some people used chopped hard boiled egg with potato. Chinese yam is also a common filling. Vegetarian version includes potato and vegetables like carrot and peas. I like curried flavoured potato with meat.

The pastry is much simpler than flaky curry puff. This pastry is soft yet very forgiving. If there is mistake or hole made can be easily patched up.

This recipe makes about 30 pieces.

500g plain flour
175g butter or margarine
1 tsp salt
3 tsp sugar
about 250ml water

about 450g potato
300g minced beef, chicken or turkey
2 onion, about 300g
3 - 4 tbsp Malaysian meat curry powder (or any curry powder you have at home)
1/2 - 1 tsp chilli powder (optional if you like spicy)
1 heap tbsp sambal tumis or sambal oelek (optional if you have some)
1/2 - 1 tsp salt, to taste
1 tsp chicken stock powder (optional)
3 tbsp cooking oil

  1. Finely diced the potato. Rinse to remove starch then drain thoroughly. Chop the onion.
  2. Heat oil and fry onion till softened, add curry powder, chilli powder and sambal. Stir fry till fragrant. Add beef continue stir frying till beef turned brown. Then add in the potato and stir fry for about 5 - 6 minutes at medium heat till potato is almost cooked. Season with salt and chicken stock powder. Remove and leave to cool completely.
  3. Make the dough. First rub the fat into the flour. Then mix in the salt and sugar. Slowly add enough water and mix with a fork or chopstick till the dough is formed to a lump. No need to knead. Just leave the dough to rest for 20 - 30 minutes.
  4. Cut the dough into half and roll into a 1 inch thick sausage shape and cut equally into 30 pieces +/- 1 altogether.
  5. Coat the dough with flour, then roll it out into an oval shape, add filling, pinch to seal the edge. If needed a touch of water can be used to dampen the edge helping it to seal. Then crimp the edge.
  6. Continue doing step 5 till all the dough pieces are wrapped.
  7. Heat about 700ml of cooking oil till hot, turn the heat to medium low. Gently add the epok epok into the hot oil. Deep fry 8 - 10 pieces at a time till golden, turning a few times during frying. If the oil is too hot turn the heat down a bit. When browned the pastry becomes quite hard and crispy.
  8. Serve hot or warm.
If there are any left over can keep in the fridge for few days or frozen. Reheat in oven.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Apam balik (Turnover pancake)

Pancakes are multi racial and international. Every country has their own different pancake recipes.

I have posted quite a few Chinese style pancakes.

Now lets return to a traditional Malay recipe. This pancake is Apam Balik, translated as turnover pancake.

There is a thin and crispy version and a thick and fluffy one like this post. This thick pancake is similar to American thick pancake with a sweet filling. Traditional filling is peanut with some cream style corn.


This recipe makes about 6 pancakes.

150g plain flour
2 tbsp custard powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarb
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 large egg
250ml milk or water (I used milk)
2 tbsp melted butter or cooking oil

3/4 cup roasted peanuts
2 tbsp sugar
about 1/2 cup cream style corn

  1. Mix the batter dry ingredients together then add in beaten egg, milk and butter/oil, mix till no lumps.
  2. Ground the peanut using a food processor with sugar.
  3. Use a good non stick frying pan. Heat the pan without any oil till quite hot, pour in some batter about 3mm thick evenly. Let the mixture bubble without touching. When the pancake is almost dry on top and crispy brown on the bottom, sprinkle on some peanut mixture and about 2 - 3 tsp of cream style corn. Fold over.
Cut into half and serve.

For an alternative filling try a few sliced banana and some finely chopped milk chocolate or some chocolate sauce.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Bingka ubi kayu (Cassava cake)

Fresh cassava is one of those things I missed living in England. When I was staying in the far east years ago, we always had cassava growing at the back garden. It's so easy to grow and one plant usually yields around 10kg of starchy roots. We had them steamed and eaten dipped in sugar, curry, cassava crisps/chips and my favourite cassava cake.

There are various names for cassava. In Malay it is ubi kayu meaning wood potato. In Chinese also wood potato or 'muk shu'. Other names include singkong (Indonesian), stick yam, yuca or yucca, monioc etc.... There are white flesh and yellow flesh cassava.

Last week I saw fresh cassava at a Turkish grocery store, so happy I bought some hoping to make some cassava cake. This cassava as per picture above looked perfect on the outside but unfortunately after peeling nearly 1/2 had gone bad. So disappointed, don't think I will buy fresh cassava again. I ended up buying some frozen cassava from Tesco to top up for this recipe.

Bingka ubi kayu is a traditional Malay kuih, soft and chewy and rich in coconut. I like to make it golden by adding custard powder. I think there are similar Vietnamese and Filipino style cassava cakes. Vietnamese called theirs 'banh khoai mi Nuong'. Filipino cassava cake is 'cassava bibingka'.

This recipe makes around 2.5 litres mixture

baking tin or dish : (2.5 -2.8) litres x (5 - 6)cm tall baking tray or roasting tin. I used a oblong Pyrex dish about 27 x 19 x 5cm

1200g of cassava (fresh or frozen), frozen available in Tesco and Asda
3 large eggs
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
40 - 50g butter, melted
300g sugar
45g custard powder
30g tapioca flour

extra butter for greasing the tin/dish

  1. If using fresh cassava, peel and clean the cassava. If using frozen defrost before use. Make sure to remove the wooden stem at the centre of the starchy root. Then cut the cassava into small pieces.
  2. Use a food processor, blend half of the cassava with 1 egg and half tin of coconut milk to a smooth puree. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Then process the other half cassava with another egg and the remaining coconut milk. Adding egg and coconut milk just help the machine to run smoother. You can just grate or blend the cassava on its own.
  3. Mix in the last egg, sugar, butter, custard powder and tapioca starch.
  4. Grease the tin/dish with butter. Pour in the mixture.
  5. Bake at 165 - 170deg C for about 1 hour or till cooked through.

Can be eaten when piping hot as pudding or cut into slices when cooled. When hot it is much softer. Any leftover can keep in the fridge for few days, just reheat in the microwave for about 1 minute to refresh.

Note: if you don't want to make a big slab of cake like above, reduce qty as required. Use any tin or dish you like (except loose bottom) including individual dish like ramekin and adjust cooking time. If using Tesco frozen cassava it's 750g a pack, use 1 pack for a smaller qty and 2/3 the rest of the ingredients and use a 20cm square x 5 cm tall tin.

If you have any leftover cake batter, try making some small pancakes, it's lovely.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Ondeh ondeh

It has been years since I last had/made these soft chewy greenish balls bursting with a molten syrup filling.

Ondeh ondeh is a Malay kuih (cake) the dough's texture is similar to Chinese/Japanese mochi cake, the filling is a dark palm sugar (gula melaka) once boiled turned to a syrup. The coating is freshly grated coconut, dessicated just will not do it's too dry.

In Indonesia these same sweet balls have a different name called klepon.

These luscious cute yummy sweet balls are one of those snacks once you start you can't stop eating. Only good eaten on the day made, at room temperature only. Once you put in the fridge the soft pastry will turn hard so is the sugary syrup. If you really want to keep in fridge for the next day or two if any leftover, you will need to steam them till just softened. If you microwave these babies they will burst very quickly.

Here is the recipe how to make them. This recipe will make around 50 - 55 balls, size is about 1 inch wide.


A. Pastry
400 - 425g any white flesh sweet potato* (I used bushbok sweet potato,with red skin, from Tesco usually found at the Asian herbs/vegi section)
about 250g or a bit more glutinous rice flour
50g tapioca flour
10 - 12 pandan leaves + 150ml water
2 tbsp sugar

Note: * you can also use the normal orange flesh sweet potato but once you add the green pandan juice the dough colour will not look good. If you do use orange flesh sweet potato I suggest you omit the pandan juice just add water, the dough will not have the fragrance of pandan.

B. Filling
about 350 - 400g gula melaka (Malaysian palm/coconut sugar) or gula jawa (Indonesian palm sugar). Both of these sugars are dark brown and usually in cylindrical blocks. Best use gula melaka more flavourful. If you cannot find gula melaka or gula jawa, can use standard palm sugar/jaggery may not have the caramelised flavour of gula melaka.

plus a little water for mixing

Note: I have been thinking this morning if you don't like a sugary sweet syrup, maybe you can sub with a chilled and hardened chocolate ganache. Will not be authentic but tasty I am sure.

C. Coating
1 whole coconut, freshly grated (see this post how to process and grate coconut)

  1. Prepare and grate the coconut, keep in fridge till ready to use.
  2. Wash and cut the pandan leaf into small pieces then blend with 150ml water to a pulp. Then squeeze out as much water as you can then strain. Measure 150ml, set aside.
  3. Boil or steam the sweet potato with its skin on till cooked. Peel and mash while still hot to a very smooth puree. Mixed with the pandan juice and sugar to a wet puree.
  4. Add tapioca flour to the mix then add glutinous rice flour bit by bit till you get a non sticky stiff dough see slide show. Set aside.
  5. Grate the gula melaka/gula jawa, then sprinkle with a bit of water about 1 tbsp so the sugar is damp then squeeze and form into small pieces about 1 cm. Preformed sugar lumps is a lot easier to wrap then spooning loose sugar onto the dough.
  6. Divide the green dough into pieces.
  7. Roll the dough into a ball with palms, spread it out into a disc and wrap with piece of sugar. Once wrapped rolled between palms to form a smooth ball. Keep going till you have made all the balls.
  8. Boil a pan of water. Drop the balls into the boiling water. Gently stir and lift the balls several times during boiling. Keep watch for several minutes till the balls float onto the surface. Continue boiling for another minute.
  9. Take the balls out using a slotted spoon or small sieve. Shake off excess water.
  10. Drop the balls onto a pile of fresh grate coconut, coat and ready to eat right away.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Kuih Sarang Semut (Honeycomb Cake)

This is a Malay caramel cake very popular in Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Commonly called honeycomb cake. In Malay it is called Kuih Sarang Semut translated as ant's nest cake. The cake is full of tunnels or holes and is quite chewy.

This cake is quite simple to make once you got the syrup sorted. The ingredients and baking method are quite different to a typical western cake. Burnt sugar syrup and condensed milk are the typical ingredients.

For the recipe: (make a 9" cake)

250g sugar
250 ml of water

100g butter
250g plain flour
160 - 180g condensed milk
6 large eggs (beaten)
1-1/2 tsp bicarb. or baking soda


  1. Tin size: 9" or 23- 24 cm round tin. If you use a spring form or loose bottom tin, line the whole tin with paper, see slide show. Don't just line the bottom the mixture will leak. If you use a cake tin without a loose bottom you can line just the bottom with paper.
  2. In a small saucepan, add in sugar and heat at medium heat till the sugar begin to melt. Stir once or twice with one single chopstick (don't use wooden spoon, too much area for the sugar to cool and crystallise), once the melted sugar has turned golden yellow, turn the heat to right low and continue heating till the sugar turns golden brown like dark tea, see slide show. Heat off and let it cool for 30 seconds. Then add one tbsp of water at a time, stand back the hot sugar will spit. Continue adding water one tbsp at a time till it stops sizzle, then pour in the rest of water. Turn heat on for about 1 minute, stir and scrape the side to release any unmelted sugar. Heat off and add the butter stir till melted.
  3. In a large mixing bowl add in the plain flour, pour in about 1/2 the liquid and mix with a electric beater till smooth, continue adding the liquid till all mix in. Let the mixture stand for about 10 - 15 minutes.
  4. Add in the egg, condensed milk and sieve in the bicarb, mix till all combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into the tin. Leave it to stand in the cold oven for about 30 - 40 minutes.
  6. Turn the oven to 150 deg C and bake the cake from cold for 1 hour or till it is cooked by sticking a cocktail stick in the centre and it comes out clean.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Pulut Udang Panggang (Sticky Rice Rolls with dried shrimps sambal wrapped in banana leaf)

Slide show (slick to view)

Sticky Rice:
2 ½ cup of glutinous rice or sticky rice (cup size 250ml)
200 ml coconut milk (tin)
200 ml boiling water
1 ½ tsp salt

Filling :
Sambal Udang Kering * (recipe)

1 pack of banana leaves
Some cocktail sticks

  1. Soak glutinous rice with tap water overnight or at least 4 hours.
  2. Drain off excess water.
  3. Add rice into a glass dish.
  4. Mix coconut milk with boiling water and salt. Stir. Add to rice. The level of liquid should just cover the rice.
  5. Steam. To speed up the steaming, microwave the rice and dilute coconut milk for about 4 minutes till very hot. Steam for about 1 hour till cooked through. Cover and leave to cool.
  6. Prepare and cut the banana leaves.
  7. Wrap cooked sticky rice as per slide show.
* If you don’t like dried shrimps, you can use minced beef (do not blend with spices), stir fry with the blended spices till it is quite dry. Qty of beef use about 250g.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Curry Puffs

Slide show (click to view)

A. Flaky pastry

1. Water pastry
350 g of plain flour
100 g of Trex or pastry margarine*
½ tsp of salt
About ½ cup of cold water
2. Fat paste pastry
280g of plain flour
180 g of Trex or pastry margarine
½ tsp of salt
- for the water pastry, rub fat into flour till well mix, add salt. Mix water into the crumbs bit at a time till the pastry bind and no more crumbs in the bowl and a soft dough formed. No need to knead I prefer to make this by hand, more control to the texture of dough. Amount of water is a guideline, different flour absorb different amount of water
- to make the fat paste, rub fat and salt into flour and at the same time squeeze the fat crumbs till they bind to a greasy dough
- Leave both pastry to rest for about 20 – 30 minutes.
- After resting give the water pastry a quick knead till the dough is smooth.
* I preferred to use a bland vegetable fat for flaky pasty. I used to use Crisco a vegetable shortening from USA, but due to hydrogenated fat and unavailability, I find Trex (tasteless and no hydrogenated fat) is as good. You can use lard if you wish but to me making a malay snack with lard just doesn’t feel right with me. Butter is ok but I find the taste a bit strong for this type of S E asian pasties.
** You can use the same flaky pastry for any filling. Great for Chinese char siu flaky triangle you find in dim sum restaurant.

B. Filling
4 – 5 potatoes about 600g
300g of minced beef
3 - 4 tbsp of curry powder (homemade mix or shop bought)
1 – 5 tsp of chilli powder (qty depends on how hot you like and the strength of the chilli)
1 – 1 ½ tsp of salt
2 onion (tennis ball size) about 350g
1 tbsp of tomato paste
Cooking oil
- Cut potatoes into fine dices
- Chopped onion
- Fry onion with few tbsp of oil for few minutes add curry powder, chilli powder and tomato puree, fry till fragrant then add meat and brown for few minutes.
- Add potato dices and stir, sprinkle with water to keep the mix moist and help the potatoes to cook. Cook for about 10 minutes till potatoes are cooked.
To make the puffs: (see slide show)
1. Divide both pieces of dough into two.
2. Roll out one half of the water pastry
3. Take half of the greasy dough and cut into pieces and dotted all over the rolled out water dough.
4. Spread the grease dough with spatula till even and smooth. If you are struggling, wet the spatula with water will help spreading.
5. Roll into a log
6. Roll and stretch to extend the log to about few inches longer.
7. Cut into half. Roll and stretch one half (aim for around 3 cm diameter) then cut into about 12 pieces. Repeat with the other half piece.
8. Repeat steps 3 – 7. You now have about 48 - 50 pieces of dough, cover to prevent drying.
9. Take a piece of dough, with the cut size on the side, press down with fingers then roll to an oval disc.
10. Fill the disc with about 1 tbsp of filling. Slightly dampen the edge (half the disc) with water. Fold the pastry over to form a half moon shape. Press the open edge together then crimp.
11. Continue making the puffs till finish. This will take sometime. Lay each puff on non stick baking tray. If using baking tray without non stick, line tray with parchment paper then the puffs.
12 Brush each puff with beaten egg.
13 Bake at about 190 – 200 deg C (fan oven) for about 20 - 25 minutes or till golden brown.