Monday, 19 November 2012

Kuih lapis

Layered steamed kuih i.e. kuih lapis is another firm favourite at kuih stalls all over Malaysia. Executed correctly, you will be able to peel each coloured layer of this pandan-flavoured kuih to eat them, not that it is a compulsory step to do so! With a decent steamer, you too can knock this sweet snack at home.

Normally, the kuih lapis is much like the Malaysian flag- red and white stripes, but there is no rule against using other colours. In fact, the Malaccan versions of this kuih (part of the Nyonya cuisine) are particularly known for their multicolours.

150 g rice flour
30 g mung bean flour
175 g sugar
400 ml water
300 ml coconut milk
1 teaspoon pandan or screwpine flavouring
food colouring (own discretion)
pinch of salt

Mix the flours together with salt and whisk in the water and coconut milk. Form a smooth batter before adding the sugar and flavouring. Separate this batter into two or three parts (depending on how many colours you want), allocating a different colour to each layer.

Boil some water in some steamer. If you don't have one, or if your tray is bigger than your steamer, you can use a large wok as the steamer. You will need to use it with a lid and a wooden stand to keep the tray from touching the bottom of the wok.

Oil a medium sized tray, about 20 cm or longer and at least 5 cm deep, and pour a layer of the batter (around 1/6 of the total batter for each layer) into it. Steam this layer until the batter becomes solid, which could take between 5- 10 minutes. Repeat this layer by layer until all the batter is used up.

Leave this tray to cool before cutting the kuih with a wet, sharp knife into smaller pieces to serve. Enjoy with your favourite hot drink!

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