Leo’s travel journal

Leo’s travel journal and other juicy bits…

#4 Kuih Talam

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Kuih Talam

Been getting inspiration to reconnect with the Peranakan family heritage (Penang Peranakan to be exact), this is the first of the many traditional food items that we are famous for.

Kuih talam is essentially a dessert made from green pea, tapioca and rice flours. There are two distinct layers visible; the sweet green layer (which should be approximately 3/5 thickness of the entire thing) which is flavoured and scented by the juice from the pulverised leaves of the screwpine plant. The screwpine plant is an essential ingredient in Peranakan cuisine and can be found once upon a time, in the gardens of any respectable Peranakan family abode. The texture of this layer should be slightly firm, yet yielding to the bite.

The white layer is is slightly different in terms of taste and texture. It is made from a combination of thick coconut milk, salt and a mixture of the above flours.

This dessert is made in large round trays, hence its name. It is present in all major celebrations (birth, marriage, birthdays, anniversaries).

The combination of salty and sweet, rich and refreshing makes this, like all other Peranakan dishes, a challenge for the maker to achieve the balance of flavours and textures; a highly sought-after skill in Peranakan cuisine.


Written by Leo

19 May 2011 at 19:20

Posted in Food, Leo kan kook!

Tagged with , ,

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