Nyonya kuih are bite sized treats we have over tea or during breakfast. They can be sweet or savory. Even though they are small, they take a lot of time and effort to make. Hand made kuihs are the best. Nothing can beat these little gems. Sweetened with palm sugar, garnished with grated fresh coconut and colorful to boot, most people simply succumb to their charm.
The Nyonyas who are masters of making these kuihs sometimes take up to three days to prepare the ingredients.
For example, the rice flour they use had to be made from scratch. Rice grains had to be soaked overnight, then, grounded using a stone mill and then drained overnight, hung to dry in a piece of muslin cloth.
That is not all, the shape and texture are carefully guarded with the right temperature for steaming some kuih.
Colorings are made of natural herbs, leaves and flowers. Artificial colors are frowned upon. Not only they are healthier, natural colorings also bring together nice fragrance too.
I got sometimes request from some people to learn Nyonya kuih. I always tell them to try making it at home first, using the cookbook. After several trials and errors, only then they are welcome to my class for a more intensive lesson. The thing is, one has to appreciate the effort that goes into making kuih. Otherwise, they may think it is easy to make them.
For your pleasure, I include a nyonya kuih recipe here. Try it out and let me know if it turns out well.
Yam Cake (Wu Tow Ko)
I came across yam cake when I first started working at a factory in Penang. At first, it looked weird, a kuih garnished with dried prawns and fried shallots? However, after tasting it, there is no turning back. It became one of my favorite kuihs!
Ingredients for making Steamed Yam Cake:
Chopped spring onion, chopped fresh red chilies and dried shrimps.
Nyonya Kebaya Materials for SALE here!
Click on these thumbnails to view the intricate patterns (kerawang).