12 Jun

Kueh (alternatively Kuih or Kue) is the term given to various manners of bite-sized food items in the Malay Archipelago, much like Spain’s tapas. They are usually – but not always – sweet and intricate creations, including cakes, cookies and puddings. It can also be described as pastry , however it is to be noted that the Asian concept of “cakes” and “pastries” is different from that of the Western one. Kueh’s, plurified kueh-mueh or kuih-muih in Malay are more often steamed than baked, and thus very different in texture, flavour and appearance from Western cakes or puff pastries.

In most Malaysian states, usually the Northern states of Perlis, Kedah, Perak and Kelantan, kuehs are sweet; but in the Southeast Peninsular states of Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Selangor, savory kuehs can be found. This is largely due to the large population of ethnic Chinese and Indians which held much cultural influence in these states.

Kuehs are not confined to a certain meal but are eaten throughout the day. They are an integral part of Malaysian and Singaporean festivities such as Hari Raya  and Chinese New Year which is known as Tahun Baru Cina in Malay for Peranakans.

There are many types of kuehs, here are some of specialities:

Kuehs come in different shapes, colours, texture and designs. Some examples are filled, coated, wrapped, sliced and layered kuehs. Also, as mentioned earlier, most kuehs are steamed, boiled or baked. They can also be deep-fried, and sometimes even grilled.

Some of the more well known types of kueh include the following:

  • Angkoo (red kueh) is traditionally steamed, glutinous rice wrapped with mung bean filling.  The kueh also comes  green in colour with coconut mixed with palm sugar filling.   
  • Kueh Bengka is a baked kueh of tapioca mixed in sweet pandan-flavoured custard. The kueh is yellow in colour but has a dark brown crust at the top caused by the baking process. 
  • Kueh Dadar is a cylindrical shaped kueh with caramelised grated coconut flesh inside and a green pancake skin wrapping it. This is done first by rolling the pancakes around the coconut filling, then folding the sides and finally rolling it again to form cylindrical parcels.
  • Kueh Ko Swee are rice cakes made with palm sugar. The ingredients are mixed into a batter and poured into small cups (traditionally, it is done with Chinese tea cups). When served, the cup is removed and the rice cake is topped with grated coconut flesh.
  • Kueh Kochi is a pyramid of glutinuous rice flour filled with a sweet peanut paste.
  • Kueh Lapis (layered cake) <context>
  • Kueh Talam (tray cake) is a kueh consisting of two layers. The top white layer is made from rice flour and coconut milk, while the bottom green layer is made from green pea flour and extract of pandan leaf.
  • Kueh Seri Muka is a two-layered dessert with steamed glutinous rice forming the bottom half and a green custard layer made with pandan juice (hence the green colour). Coconut milk is a key ingredient in making this kueh. It is used as a substitute for water when cooking the glutinous rice and making the custard layer.
  • Pulut Inti is glutinous rice topped with caramelised grated coconut flesh and wrapped in a cut banana leaf to resemble a square pyramid.
  • <more kuehs to come>

 source: wikipedia & writer

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