I confess that I am the worst Malaysian daughter in the history of everything. Aside from curry puffs, my repertoire of Malaysian cooking is about as enormous as an ant’s butt and though I love eating traditional food, I’m just too lazy to make any. So while I’m stuck at home with my parents, I’ve been nagging them to make all kinds of nyonya treats, starting with one of my favourites:

Pulut tatal: blue glutinous rice, served with pandan kaya. YUM!

I’m pretty sure my parents would love me that tiny little bit more if I could cook Malaysian food. When I tell my dad that I Don’t Even Eat Rice Every Night, he rolls his eyes like OMG! What are you, Australian?! and I almost wish that instead, he could be proud that I could just whip up a beef rendang or a sambal kangkung in the blink of an eye. Actually, I think sambal kangkung is do-able. If I had sambal. And kangkung.

They’d be embarrassed to see what was actually in my fridge.

But anyway, I don’t really have an excuse not to learn some of these recipes and laziness is apparently not valid because honestly? These recipes aren’t even difficult. I know this because I Helped My Mum. I pressed the rice and stirred the kaya mixture so yes, “I” have kinda sorta made my very first nyonya kueh!

Tasted bloody good too.

So now I’m on a tiny bit of an obsessive roll and I think I’m going to start jotting down various and sundry Malaysian recipes to try when I get back to London. Whether I succeed in actually making anything edible is questionable but I’m going to try. Not just try to make it all but to be less of an embarrassment to my heritage.

In the mean time, I’m sharing the recipe for both the pulut tatal and pandan kaya here, so y’all can be Malaysian with me!

ps. It would be my goal to make assam laksa from scratch, just like Karen.

pps. And GOD what I’d give to be able to cook like Bee!

ppps. I can always dream.

Pulut tatal (blue glutinous rice – Malaysian nyonya kueh)
500 grams glutinous rice, washed, soaked for 4 hours and drained
350mL coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon pandan essence
blue food colouring
  1. Put all ingredients (except blue colouring) into a steaming tray and steam with high heat until cooked (about 45 minutes).
  2. Remove 1/3 of the cooked glutinous rice into a mixing bowl, add a little blue colouring and mix well to get the blue glutinous rice.
  3. Add the remaining 2/3 cooked glutinous rice and mix lightly until you get the mixed white/blue look.
  4. Press the glutinous rice into a flat tray (approximately 22cm square) and press heavily until firm. Leave to cool.
  5. When ready to serve, cut into pieces and serve with kaya.
Shared dish.
Pandan kaya (Malaysian coconut spread)
180 grams sugar
84mL pandan juice (can be created with coconut milk, water, 1 drop pandan extract and 1/4 teaspoon pandan essence)
196mL thick coconut milk
4 eggs, beaten and sieved
  1. Put the sugar and pandan juice in a pot and bring to boil until dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and pour in coconut milk and eggs.
  3. Put back on low heat and stir coconut milk mixture until smooth and slightly thick.
  4. Remove and leave to cool before refrigerating.
Note: sieve the beaten eggs, otherwise the bubbles will create a rough kaya texture. Also, kaya is delicious on plain white bread! 

26 Thoughts on “venturing into Malaysian nyonya kuehs: pulut tatal (blue glutinous rice) and pandan kaya

  1. Oh boy, your mum must be one mean cook! I should practice making some of these things and surprise my Peranankan in-laws some day! LOL

  2. I’m with you sweets, I’m still very much a beginner in Malaysian cooking. Laksas and curries were easy enough but kuihs are a whole different game and my cahonas ain’t big enough yet. This one with kaya is one of my faves so I think you should smuggle some and post it to me 🙂

    When you come back to Sydney in Aug, we should totally have an assam laksa night xx

  3. i’m a huge fan of pandan kaya! that looks yummy! kaya butter bread is awesome!

  4. Corsage: I’m so lucky both my parents are awesome cooks 🙂 and yes, these recipes would impress Peranakan in-laws 😉


    Melissa: I know right? I put soooo much kaya in my bread hehe 🙂

  5. Catty?

    Blue food makes me hyper!

    This looks so very pretty. I would love to try it.

  6. I love kueh lapis and sago gula melaka! My sister’s mother-in-law is Malaysian and an amazing cook so we always get treats. Yum yum.

  7. Sticky rice *love* I’m So happy you’re getting better – must be if you can eat that stomach clogging stuff – or maybe I always just overeat on it. Note to self: never drink water after eating sticky rice ;P

  8. You will have to give me a guided tour into Malaysian kitchen when you’re back in Sydney! I have tried kaya thought and loved it!

  9. This is fabulous… I can only go to Sedap for my kueh fix currently. Might just give this a shot!

  10. sakura: i LOVE sago in gula melaka… actually we made sago here the other day too but just in coconut milk. YUM!

    Sasa: Hahaha noted that I should not drink water with sticky rice!

    Maria: Oh I’m a novice, I’m so crap with Malaysian food! I will take you to Mamak though! 😀

    London Chow: Ah yes Sedap has some nice home made kuehs. If only more places in London did them too!

  11. hehe I’m so with you on the lazy thing. When I head to Mums I’m awlays like” So, um, can you made XYZ…” I’d usually go with the dishes that would take me hours of frustration to prepare only to find out that it tastes nothing like mum’s version…

  12. arghhhh im so jealous right now!

  13. But where in London do I get the ingredients to try all of this?

  14. Such great parents. Such. Great. Parents. Would so love to have some fabulous recipes to inherit. I got grilled chicken and steamed vegetables…

  15. Please feel absolutely free to try out any new malaysian recipes on me when you’re back in London. In fact, I insist! 🙂 ps I love, love, love assam laska. Should you know of a recipe, please pass on. Will maybe try one day when the housemates are out, as I imagine the flat might get a bit stinky.

  16. Haha, I am glad you are trying to please your parents and share these recipes with us. I have never, I mean NEVER eaten blue rice, this clearly should change asap!

  17. We don’t see enough blue food. Wondering what else I can tint in my embarrassing fridge….

  18. Ute: Well, the blue is just colouring haha it’s just sticky rice but for some reason this dish has always been blue!

    Sarah: I agree! More blue food! (ok, maybe not, isn’t blue food colouring really bad for you? or was that green?)

  19. I love Malaysian food, but it’s so much work!

  20. Christine on March 26, 2011 at 9:11 pm said:

    Homemade kaya = AWESOMENESS! 😛

  21. I looooove kaya. Best thing ever! Just about trumps Nutella (to me anyway). Ahhh now am craving some, might just have to make some next weekend (provided I don’t get some other random craving during the week, lol).

    p.s. for some reason am suddenly craving for onde-onde. Damn.

Leave a Reply to pigpigscorner Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation