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How to Make Steamed Pandan Cake (Kuih Kaswi)

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Every year, I travel back to my beautiful home country of Malaysia to be with my family. I wish to share my experience with readers!

Kuih kaswi is one of my favorite traditional Malay delicacies.

Kuih kaswi is one of my favorite traditional Malay delicacies.

What Is Kuih Kaswi?

Kuih kaswi pandan is one of the most famous desserts in Malaysia. This steamed dessert is made from all-purpose flour, tapioca flour, white sugar, alkaline water, coconut milk, and pandan juice. The pandan juice gives the cake its characteristic green color. Before serving, the cake is traditionally decorated with freshly grated coconut. It is delicious and perfect for teatime. There is another variation that uses palm sugar (gula melaka) that is equally delicious.

Simple Ingredients

To make kuih kaswi, you need a few simple ingredients. Whenever I'm making a traditional Malay recipe, I always use authentic ingredients. For example, to make this particular treat you'll need freshly grated coconut and pandan leaves. If you don't have these ingredients you can easily find them at your nearest Asian store.

Let's see the full ingredients.

Ingredients

For the pandan juice:

  • 10 to 15 pandan leaves, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup water for blending

For the cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon alkaline water or lye water
  • 4 cups water

For the topping:

  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Note: The recipe makes 2 round steamed cakes.

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Directions

  1. Make the pandan juice: Take the pandan leaf strips and place them in a blender. Pour in some water (enough to rise up about two-thirds of the way) and blend until fine. Use a strainer and press out the juice into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a blender, combine the all-purpose flour, tapioca flour, water, and sugar. Give a quick stir with a spatula. Blend until the ingredients are well combined.
  3. Add the coconut milk, pandan juice, and alkaline water or lye water to the mixture and blend for a few minutes to combine. Set aside.
  4. In a pan, bring water to a boil. (If you have a steamer you're welcome to use it.)
  5. Pour the batter into a greased round or square pan. Transfer the batter into the pan and cover with a lid. Steam for 40 minutes over medium-high heat.
  6. Transfer the cake onto a wire rack. Let it cool completely before slicing.
  7. In a bowl, mix the freshly grated coconut and salt. Steam the mixture for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  8. Slice the cake with a knife into a square shape. Roll them into the grated coconut and make sure they all covered.
  9. Transfer the cake to a serving plate.
  10. Serve immediately with coffee or tea.

Photo Guide

In a blender, combine the all-purpose flour, tapioca flour, water, and sugar.

In a blender, combine the all-purpose flour, tapioca flour, water, and sugar.

Give a quick stir with a spatula. Blend until the ingredients are well combined.

Give a quick stir with a spatula. Blend until the ingredients are well combined.

Add the coconut milk into the mixture.

Add the coconut milk into the mixture.

Add the pandan juice into the mixture.

Add the pandan juice into the mixture.

Bring water in a pan to a boil.

Bring water in a pan to a boil.

Pour the batter into a greased round or square pan.

Pour the batter into a greased round or square pan.

Transfer the batter into the pan and cover with a lid. Steam for 40 minutes over medium-high heat.

Transfer the batter into the pan and cover with a lid. Steam for 40 minutes over medium-high heat.

Transfer the cake onto a wire rack. Let it cool completely before slicing.

Transfer the cake onto a wire rack. Let it cool completely before slicing.

Slice the cake with a knife into a square shape.

Slice the cake with a knife into a square shape.

Roll them into the grated coconut and make sure they are all covered.

Roll them into the grated coconut and make sure they are all covered.

Serve kuih kaswi on a serving plate. Enjoy them with coffee or tea.

Serve kuih kaswi on a serving plate. Enjoy them with coffee or tea.

© 2020 Liza

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