So, when we received invitation to have iftar at Aunty H's house a few days ago, we all crack our heads on what gifts to bring. How about home made food, said Brad. Typical of the boy, all he could think of is food, even in Ramadan. But everybody agrees with him.
And as usual with Mama, what she cooks depend very much on what's in the fridge. So, we end up with the following menu: Daging Masak Kicap (Beef in Soy Bean Sauce), Lemak Cili Api Telur Ikan dengan Nangka (Fish Roe and Young Jackfruit in hot coconut milk) and for dessert - Kuih Cara.
What's Kuih Cara?
For the uninitiated, Kuih Cara is a type of mini pancake (as the batter is very similar to pancake) that is cooked either as a sweet or savoury dessert. The sweet version normally uses daun pandan (aromatic screwpine leaves) as natural flavouring and colouring while the savoury version has meat in it. When I suggested that perhaps we should call this poffertjes a la Malaysia, everybody agrees too. Only nicer and more flavourful, I must say.
Kuih Cara Berlauk - the savoury version we made last week, the filling was made using minced beef and black pepper...yummm...
So far, we've made both versions this month. As I said earlier, depends on what's available in the fridge.
Am listing the recipe for the sweet version here. Don't blame me if you don't get it right. The trouble with Malaysian kuih is that it's easy to eat but mostly difficult to make. Here goes:
Kuih Cara Manis (sweet mini pancakes)
300g plain flour
3 cups coconut cream (not too thick)
4 pandan leaves (grated and juice squeezed)
a pinch of salt
cooking oil spray
1. Put flour in mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.
2. Break egg into well and fold flour.
3. Pour in pandan juice and mix well.
4. Pour coconut cream, little at a time to form a smooth batter. Batter shouldn't be too thick or too thin....feel with your fingers. Oh, don't forget the pinch of salt. Mix well.
5. Heat Kuih Cara mould on the stove (we used two moulds so that we can finish off batter faster).
6. Spray cooking oil on mould. Don't spray too much, just enough to coat the "holes". (you can also use a brush with cooking oil if you don't have the spray type)
7. Spoon batter into the "holes", about 1 1/2 tablespoon if you're using the "belimbing" design (see ours). Less if you're using "cermai", just remember not to overdo it. Shouldn't overflow, OK?
8. Cover mould to quicken cooking process. We used a glass pot cover so we could see what was going on.
9. As soon as you see the sides beginning to cook, spoon about 1/4 teaspoon of sugar into each kuih.
That indentation in the middle of the kuih indicated the point when we spoon the sugar in.
10. Use a small fork to dig out kuih once batter has gone all opaque. Let it cool before you eat them or else the hot molten sugar in the kuih will burn your tongue.
All cooked and cooling in the container.
Ready to eat. Usually, the kuih is displayed in pairs. Aren't they pretty?
Yummm...this is special. Fish Roe and Young Jackfruit cooked in hot (bird's eye chili) coconut cream. The fish roe is fresh from the fish shop but the young jackfruit is of the canned variety. Chili padi from our garden, OK?
Beef in Soybean Sauce...with black pepper, coriander and ginger too. Yummmm.....