Malaysians are always up for a tasty little snack in the form of kuih-muih, with the likes of kuih lapis and seri muka being particularly popular.
But have you ever heard of a kuih called pupudak? Do its alternate names of pepudak, or torak, sound familiar?
If the answer is no, don’t worry – this kuih is not easily found in the Klang Valley. Instead, it is more readily available in certain rural parts of the country.
This pandan-flavoured teatime treat is known to and made by the Banjar Malay people, a community that traces its origins to Kalimantan in Indonesia.
While this kuih bears some resemblance to lepat pisang as it is wrapped up in banana leaves, the taste and texture are completely different, and the pandan flavour is particularly strong.
Sadly, there is concern that this ethnic kuih is slowly disappearing from Malaysians’ consciousness and palates, with fewer and fewer people knowing how to make it with each passing generation.
The lack of commercialisation means pupadak is largely made by homemakers in rural areas, who don’t always get to pass their recipes on to their kin.
If you are a pandan lover who would like to make a crack at this exotic dish, follow this recipe provided to FMT Lifestyle by one Kak Zainab Majid from Mersing, Johor.
For the pandan juice, Zainab recommends blending four pieces of pandan leaves together with a cup of water.
- 5 cups santan (the equivalent of 1 coconut)
- 2.5 cups rice flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsps potato or tapioca starch
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp limewater
- 1 cup pandan juice
- green food colouring
- banana leaves
- Wash and dry or smoke a select number of banana leaves, which will be used for the wrapping.
- In a bowl, add the rice flour, potato/tapioca starch, sugar, salt, and coconut milk.
- Stir until thoroughly mixed, and add a few drops of green food colouring. Stir again, then filter the mixture through a strainer.
- Now pour the mixture into a heated pan and stir until the batter is thick and viscous. Continue to stir, ensuring the pan is on low heat.
- Once the mixture has thickened, turn off the heat and give it a final stir to ensure remaining lumps break apart.
- Wipe the banana leaves clean before coating their surfaces with a layer of cooking oil.
- Take a tablespoonful (or up to 1.5 tablespoons) of the mixture and place it onto a banana leaf. Roll it into cylindrical or sausage-like pieces.
- Tie both ends of the banana leaf and knot them with rubber bands or raffia string.
- Repeat the process, making as many pieces of pupudak as you wish or until the batter runs out.
- Finally, place the pieces of pupudak in a steamer and cook for 20 minutes on medium high heat.
- Once done, the pupudak is ready to be served hot and fresh. Unwrap, slice it up as you wish, and enjoy on its own.