After living in the UK for 30 years and had never made any Malaysian cakes before,at the age of 60, I will attempt to make my favourite cakes with a guide book from Malaysian Cakes and Desserts booklet by Rohani Jelani. I have added another book Malay Kuih by Norzailina Nordin as a guide to my cake making.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Gula Melaka (Sago Pudding with Palm Sugar Syrup)

I am committed to do something with Sago Pearls. Why? A few weeks ago, when I started this craze of wanting to challenge myself, I complained to Alina at Faceworks Clinic that the Sago Pearls are too tiny and it shouldn't be called Pearl because of its size. Little did I know that her mother found 2 bags of these lovely pearls a few days later!

What Do I Need To Make This Sago Pudding
3 litres (12 cups) water
200 gm (1 cup) sago pearls
1 cup Palm Sugar Syrup
250 ml (1 cup) thick coconut milk
Preparation time: 30mins
Chilling time : 30 mins

Bring the water to boil in a pot. Sprinkle the sago into the water and stir to keep the grains moving and prevent them from settling to the bottom of the pan.Cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pan and set aside for 10 minutes. By then, the sago should be completely translucent, indicating that it is cooked.

It sounds simple enough but wait and see.
Do you know that 200gm of my sago pearls is only a bag and it seem hardly enough to feed the four of us at the clinic. So I decided to sprinkle 2 bags of these large pearls into the boiling water and kept stirring and watching for an early sign of translucency which should be around ten minutes according to instruction.

However after 30 minutes of continuous boiling the pearls were still white and the water was becoming thick with starch. This can't be good I thought and so I decided to change the water and continue boiling for another 30 minutes and set it aside for 10 minutes hoping that it will change colour then. Guess what? these pearls were stubborn. What to do, what to do. I read somewhere in the student section of the NST that you should steam sago pearls if you have this problem.

After an hour of doing the basic I decided to do my own thing!. I found a bag of dried apricots in the fridge - a remnant from my husband's cooking session and blended it with a little brown sugar to add as sweetener. I sandwiched the apricot puree between two layers of the sago pearls in my newly acquired 8 inch cake tin with removable bottom and continue to steam until the pearls were translucent.

Translucent I had but the sago pearls were staring at me imploring me to do something wonderful. Luckily there was a bar of dark chocolate at the back of the fridge. I grated the chocolate and covered the pearls lovingly with the grated chocolate and add another 5 minutes of steaming. The pudding was glistening when I took it out of the steamer to cool down. After taking over an hour to do this pudding, I decided to wait and taste it with a few people at the work place.

Since it was difficult to get fresh coconut milk I served the pudding with evaporated milk instead. Dr Maryati loved my pudding so much that there was only a slice left for Alina the next day.

I managed to take a picture of my effort this time and please help me to name this creation.
Should I try something with rice flour for my next attempt? Kuih Talam sounds interesting!

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