Back in the old days, when my mum made nonya snacks or dishes that need some pandan leaves, banana leaves,blue pea flowers, limes or chillis, she didn't usually buy them, she simply picked them. They were grown wildly everywhere, and so were fruit trees like coconuts, papayas, rambutans, jackfruits and mangoes. There were no ownership. Everybody just picked what they needed. Those were the carefree days when you cook something, you give a bowl each to your neighbors. Nobody locked their gates. Sadly, all these are almost gone in our urbanized concrete city.
As I was passing by some unoccupied old houses under remodeling, I spotted a small blue pea vine with some flowers. Without hesitation, I quickly picked them. There were only seven flowers, but enough for some Pulot Inti, my favorite childhood snack. I wondered if the new owners will keep the vine. Most likely not, the wired fence will give way to a high brick wall. Blue Pea flowers bloom within a short time, I am thinking of picking the flowers again to make another kueh. Nurseries do sell blue pea flowers but I enjoy picking them.
7 blue pea flowers, washed, soaked in 1/3 cup hot water for 15 minutes.
150g glutinous rice, washed and soaked in blue pea water overnight
2 pandan leaves, knotted
50ml coconut milk
1/4 tsp salt
160g palm sugar, roughly chopped
200g grated coconut
Banana leaves, cut into 9cm by 16cm. Steamed for 5 mins.
- Place the glutinous rice and pandan leaves on a banana leaf and steam for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat, rake the rice with a fork and mix in the coconut milk, 50ml water and salt. Set aside for 10 minutes, then steam it for 20 minutes until the rice is soft.
- Place a mound of rice on the matte side of the banana leaf, top with 1 tablespoon coconut topping, lightly pressing it down with a spoon.
- Fold in the sides of the banana leaf to enclose the glutinous rice and coconut topping. Tuck in the ends of the banana leaf to a triangular mound.
- To make the coconut topping, mix 75 ml water, a pandan leaf and palm sugar in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the grated coconut and stir fry for 15 minutes over medium heat, until the mixture turns glossy.
There were some excess coconut topping, I made another childhood favorite snack, Kueh Dadar.
300ml coconut milk
1/4 tsp salt
3 tablespoon pandan juice
1 tablespoon corn oil
- Sieve flour into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and crack in the egg. Slowly stir in the salted coconut milk and 3 tablespoons pandan juice. Set Aside.
- Heat up a shallow frying pan over a low flame. Pour a small ladle full of the batter in the center and swirl the pan to coat it form a thin crepe of about 13 cm in diameter.
- When the crepe is cooked, transfer it onto a plate. Place 2 heaped teaspoons of filling and roll it up like a spring roll.
Homemade kuehs are still the best. They might not be perfect in shapes and sizes, but they are freshly hand made. There are no preservatives. You can control the sugar level and the flavor just smell so good, so natural, unlike commercial ones. These Pulot Inti are really good. The rice is so soft and fragrant and the sweetness from the coconut is just right and moist too. Kueh Dadar is quite expensive to buy from a popular nonya shop here. You can easily make them at a fraction of the cost.
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do". Ephesians 2:10
The Apostle Paul speaks about spiritual creation in us and we are God's masterpiece. God creates us in Christ and we are not saved by good works but by grace through faith alone. We are saved to perform good works, to the glory of God and benefit of man.
"Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand". Isaiah 64:8