Friday, August 17, 2012

Selamat Hari Raya / Eid Mubarak

Wishing my friends and readers who are celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr...

Saya mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya kepada semua yang menyambut 1 Syawal. Maaf Zahir dan Batin jika ada terkasar bahasa... 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Putu Kacang / Mung Beans Cookies


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Its that Time of the year again... time to celebrate our 'victorious' achievement after one whole month of soul searching, soul cleansing by fasting in the month of Ramadan....and  time to be with family and friends to celebrate...
and of course... Its time to feast on Festive food like Lemang serve with  Beef Rendang or Serunding and indulge in Festive cookies like Samperit, Bahulu,  Pineapple Tarts, Kuih Makmur and Putu Kacang.

Putu Kacang or Mung Beans Cookies is one of my 'Must Indulge' cookies... I love traditional cookies.

Years ago when I first arrived in Perth... every Eid, I'd be craving for Putu Kacang... who else can I turned to, but my mom. As far as I remember, mom didn't make any Putu Kacang before... but she has some ideas of how to  or at least she must have seen how it was done when she was young...

This was what she told me over the phone:
Its very easy... dry roast the mung beans in a pan till it has a tinge of yellow then lightly smashed and separate the membrane from the kernel, grind into a fine flour, mix with fine sugar and sprinkle some water ... press into the moulds, gently tap the Putu Kacang out of its mould and leave it under the sun to dry...

Mom said EASY... woohoo...I was so excited... Finally I was able to make and indulge in Putu Kacang...

I went out to the Asian Grocer... I purchased 500g mung beans without skins/membrane .. phew... save me 1 step of separating the kernels and the membranes...
Did the frying as mom told me... it was yellow... so far so good.
The next step was to grind into fine flour... oh Yes I did... try to grind into fine flour... but...
yes there is always a BUT in every story....
nearly 2 hours of grinding...  and sieving, till my hands were 'shaking'... the end result was depressing...
I managed to get less than 100g...did a quick maths... 500g would take me at least 10 hours...
Oh No!!!  I must be mad if I were to continue further...
First Attempt ~ #Abandonfeeling beat up

Mom's words till ringing in my ear...
After 6 years... I had that itch to try... well, just one more attempt, trying to pacify myself... afterall I could skip the grinding part as I found 1kg packet of Mung Beans Flour.
But 'Success' eluded me the second time round... flour was not cooked thoroughly... "tasted like Beans Sprout, mom" according to E....
Another mistake I made was...'Sprinkled' water into the mix using my fingertips, big droplets of water  was making my Putu Kacang gummy...
Second Attempt ~ # Failedphbbbbt

Not wanting to give up... and not wanting to wait another 6 years for my next attempt... I set out to make sure that I 'fried' the flour long enough... and I introduced water into the mix by spraying using the bottle (as per second photo)...

Third Attempt ~ # Sweet Success was MINEthumbs up

Now I am able to enjoy my Raya indulging  Putu Kacang kiss

Recipe (yield about 100 pieces)
350g mung bean flour
175g icing sugar (extra for dusting)
  1. Dry fry the mung beans flour until light and has a tinge of yellowness (an indication that the flour is cooked thoroughly). Leave it overnight.
  2. Sieve the icing sugar. 
  3. Add into the mung bean flour and mix thoroughly. 
  4. Fill up a small spray bottle with water. Spray onto the mix and stir gently. 
  5. Continue mixing and spraying until you are able to squeeze and the mixture should hold its shape. 
  6. Dust the mould with some icing sugar. 
  7. Fill up the mould with mung beans mix and start compacting the flour mix with your thumb as hard as you can. 
  8. Do overfill these little moulds, to make sure that they are well compacted and use a serrated knife and level them off afterwards. 
  9. Turn the mould over (the cookies are facing downwards) and gently knock these cookies out of the mould. 
  10. It should hold its shape. If not... return the broken cookies into the bowl and re-spray and mix. Note : Do no add too much water... the end result will be gummy). 
  11. Heat up oven to 100C, place the tray of cookies for 5 minutes, turn off  the oven, and leave the cookies in the oven (until the oven cool off). 
  12. Keep in an air tight container.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Abok-Abok / Glutinous Rice Cakes


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It has been years since I last had these... almost 35 years!!!

I called this Abok-Abok ... Abok or Abuk or Habuk means 'Dust' in Malay. 
The Southern part of Malaysia would call these Tepung Gomak... stand to be corrected here...

The 'Old' me ~ never learn how to appreciate the traditional Malay kuih (savoury or sweet finger food)... especially the ones with glutinous rice flour. I disliked the gummy chewable texture.raised eyebrows

Mom used to make these little bites for our iftar (break fast)... and I would have none, nevertheless, I'd helped her with the preparation. She started off with pan roasting the mung beans until the beans turned green-goldenish in colour. Smashed the beans and separate the beans from its membrane.... then grind into powder form or flour.

My task was to 'fish' out these discs, filled and sealed with sweet coconut, from the pot of boiling water onto the plate filled with mung beans flour and 'Dust' each disc rolling the discs into the flour...

Fast forward ...
The 'Current' me ~ had a sudden craving for these little bites. I must have been in that 'reminiscing' mood again... plus my kids hadn't a clue what Abok-Abok is... I don't know

I decided to give Abok-Abok a second try... but I didn't go through the laborious work of grinding mung beans into flour form... I used the pre-packed mung beans flour and fry the flour till I have that aroma and taste... 

.... Its not that bad after 35 years.. I thought that I could only manage with 1 piece of the Abok-Abok... but...
I had 5 actually... hee hee

The only person who was reluctant to give it a go and was pulling a long face ~ was E...
hmmm ..confused "Deja Vue moments"...thinking.where did I see that 'look' before?
ooops...blushing it was me 35 years ago.

(yield ~ 20 pieces)

3 cups of glutinous flour
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon of salt
Coconut Filling
90g palm sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
1-1 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1 knotted pandan leaf
1/4 cup of water
1 - 2 cups of mungbean flour
  1. Dry fry the mung bean flour until it is light, with a tinge of yellow and aromatic (uncooked mung bean flour doesn't taste nice). Set aside to cool. 
  2. Add knotted pandan leaf, palm sugar and water in a small pan, bring to boil, stir until the sugar has dissolved, then add dessicated coconut. Mix well. Sprinkle corn flour and  mix well until the mixture thicken. Set aside.
  3. Mix glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, water, salt until they are well combined into a dough. Dough must not be too dry or sticky. 
  4. Bring about 1 liter of water to boil (in a saucepan). 
  5. Roll into a 1 inch ball or bigger. 
  6. Flatten into a disc. 
  7. Spoon about 1 to 2  teaspoons of coconut filling. 
  8. Fold in 2, seal, enclosing the coconut filling. Gently shape into a ball (by pushing the 2 ends of the semi-circle together) and flatten into a disc again.
  9. Gently place uncooked Abok-Abok into the boiling water. 
  10. The cake will float when it is cook. 
  11. Dish it out and roll in the mung bean flour.  
  12. Serve immediately.