First Official Post: Kuih Talam

18 Aug

I finally arrived in KL on Friday after months of waiting for the final paperwork on our house to come through. Long flight, but mercifully punctuated by an overnight layover in Tokyo that I used to see my grandmother, who of course fed me to within an inch of my life.

Being in KL means two things: 1) I get to actually live in the same side of the date line as my husband, and 2) the blog begins in earnest: I have to find one new thing to consume every day.

My fabulous, thoughtful husband was waiting for me at the airport with a rose and a styrofoam package of snacks for the train, making this my first official New Thing for the blog:

“So what is it?”

“It’s kuih!”

“Which is…?”

“I don’t know, but I’ve been eating it every day for the past week.”

Kuih is the generic name for sweets/snacks in Malaysia; this particular thing is called kuih talam. It’s basically like a coconut pudding layered over a green pudding of some sort (not lime-flavored; green things are rarely lime-flavored in SE Asia), all contained in a pandan leaf. If you’ve ever had haupia, this is similar. Kuih is eaten year-round, but it’s especially popular during holidays, like the current month of Ramadan, where they’re sold at the pasar Ramadan or bazaar Ramadan.

As you probably know, Ramadan is the month where observant Muslims fast from sunrise to sundown, usually defined as 7 am to 7 pm. That’s no eating, drinking, or cooking for 12 hours. (It’s the kind of holiday that makes me really glad I’m not particularly religious, and more specifically not Muslim, because I have a hard time not eating for two hours, let alone the whole day.) As you can imagine, you want to make sure you have a big, tasty meal waiting for you when the clock strikes 7 pm — thus, pasar Ramadan, which are open-air markets where you can get rice and various curries and whatnots to take home. We actually got our dinner for that night from a pasar Ramadan, but I think it deserves its own post later.

I’ll conclude by saying that while very tasty, this particular kind of kuih does not make the best train food, especially with only one spoon between the two of us. We ended up slurping the puddings like oysters, with mixed results. Good thing they give out wipes on the plane.

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3 Responses to “First Official Post: Kuih Talam”

  1. Megara August 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    Coconut pudding – i’m delighted that there’s something I won’t be too inhibited to eat when I come visit you and your fabulous husband in a few. Looking forward to eating vicariously in the meantime.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pasar Ramadan (Ramadan Bazaar) « Straight Out of Kampung - September 9, 2010

    […] pasar Ramadan is complete without a selection of kuih. (I blogged about this in my first post.) Assortment of kueh. The pink one tastes like […]

  2. SOK Goes To School « Straight Out of Kampung - December 1, 2010

    […] I’ve had kuih before, but this was my first time having it homemade, or so fresh. The kuih is flavored with palm sugar, which gives it a deeper sweetness than plain brown cane sugar, a little bit like maple syrup. The texture was closer to a pudding than cake. A fitting end to a full day of cooking, talking, and learning. […]

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