How to make Pulut Tai-Tai using Blue Butterfly Pea Powder?
Pulut Tai Tai is such a popular teatime dessert. It is also known as Kuih Pulut Tekan which carries the meaning of compressed glutinous rice. One of the important steps in making Pulut Tekan is to apply weight onto the steamed cooked glutinous rice to make it firm. The firmer the kuih, the better the texture.
This petite looking Nyonya Kuih has the famous bright blue colour tinted on the kuih. This simple yet elegant Nyonya delight is also a traditional Nyonya wedding specialty, a MUST have in any Peranakan wedding (refer Notes below). Commonly served as a dessert or a delicacy during the Straits Chinese wedding, this 'kuih' is made of glutinous rice steamed in coconut milk and compacted in a wooden frame to be cut into desired shapes. The vibrant blue in certain parts of the glutinous rice enhances the beauty of this 'kuih', known also as 'Pulut Tai Tai' for its elegant outlook. 'Tai Tai' refers to rich man's wife's who lives a life of leisure. The contrasting colour of the coconut jam/'kaya' together with the vibrant blue and white of the glutinous rice makes this 'kuih' delightful and pleasing to the eyes. It tastes equally good with either the pandan-flavoured or the usual brown 'kaya'. The slight tinge of saltiness from the glutinous rice coupled with the sweetness of the 'kaya' makes this 'kuih' a delight to savour.
Note - The Peranakans were also known as Straits Chinese as they were usually born in the British-controlled Straits Settlements of Singapore, Penang and Malacca. During colonial times, they were also known as the King’s Chinese in reference to their status as British subjects after the Straits Settlements became a Crown colony in 1867.
Pulut Tai Tai by Sweet Rita - Best Selling Kueh
This Pulut Tai-Tai recipe is contributed by Rita Enar, our "Sweet Rita Nyonya Kueh", based in Sydney. She started her kueh making business a few years ago with very small capital and has since grown because of the quality of her food and her passion. Rita was from Borneo of a closed knit family; whenever there was a function, everyone had to cook and always ate together. She loved Nyonya Kuehs and Peranakan food thus the beginning of her journey into food.
She told us herself prior to the arrival of the our Blue Butterfly Powder, she used to boil the butterfly pea flowers to extract its colour. It’s tedious and time consuming – not knowing or having to estimate how many flowers and you can’t “control” the concentration of the blue colour extract you require. Not to mention if you were to make 1,000 pieces of kuih or a large quantity of Nyonya Bak Changs – you can boil the flowers the whole night long just to extract its colour. Making kuih is simpler and quicker now and healthier too – just sprinkle some powder onto the rice and steam or if you prefer to dilute in water and stir into the rice – all in all 3-5 minutes!
PULUT TAI TAI RECIPE
(A) 820g glutinous rice (soaked overnight) 1 teaspoon of Blue Butterfly Pea Powder (to your desired colour) - dissolve in 3 tablespoons warm water a few pieces banana leaf
(B) 760 ml thick coconut milk 3 piece pandan leaves (knotted together) 2 tsp salt
1. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of Blue Butterfly Powder in 3-4 tablespoons of water - let it rests
2. Mix soaked glutinous rice with Ingredients B and let it rest for 10 minutes.
3. Steam the rice over high heat for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix well with chopsticks.
4. Stir in blue butterfly powder liquid into the cooked rice, mix well giving it a nice marble like creation and steam it for 5 minutes
5. Line a 19cm square tin with banana leaves. Spoon cooked blue rice and white rice into the tin. 6. Cover the rice with banana leaf and place a heavy object on top to compress the rice - traditionally a mortar is used in the Peranakan household.
7. Set it aside to cool completely before cutting into pieces. Serve with Kaya
Have a cup of Blue Tea with your Pulut Tai Tai
KAYA or COCONUT JAM
“Kaya” – an Asian Caramel Coconut Jam – Coconut jam (Malay: kaya; Indonesian: seri kaya, srikaya; Hokkien: 咖吔 ka-ia) is a food spread or fruit curd made from a base of coconut milk, eggs and sugar. It is wildly popular in Southeast Asia, mainly in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore, and in Palembang in Indonesia.
You can make your own “Kaya” or buy from any Asian Grocery store if you do not have time to make them. I know – where I have had this “Kaya-Phobia”!! Mum makes gorgeous Kaya rich, silky golden colour (unlike some greenish lumpy ones). Mum used to make us sit down near the stove and stir and stir and stir the kaya for hours in a “Milo” tin over another pot filled with hot water (it's like double boil). No more Kaya for me! Thank you mum! You can get Kaya from Sweet Rita Nyonya Kueh as she makes both Caramel Coconut and Pandan Coconut Kaya. Enjoy!
Kaya or Coconut Jam
If you wish to savour this Pulut Tai-Tai, Nyonya Bak Chang, Curry Puffs, Blue Onde-ondeh (and a variety of other Nyonya Kueh); – and other dishes by Sweet Rita Nyonya Kueh - you may contact Rita via her FB Page - Sweet Rita Nyonya Kueh to reserve these goodies.
Blue Butterfly Pea Powder is available at Sweet Rita Nyonya Kueh as Rita believes in using all natural plant base colours in her food. Rita will be making various Blue Foods - her new creations including Nasi Kerabu, Blue Ondeh-ondeh, Blue Soon Kueh and Sarawak Laksa. Let’s Go There!
Nyonya Chang with a tinge of Blue Hue
PRO TIP :-
1. Saves you up to 45 minutes from this step - "Pound bunga telang (blue flowers), mix with 4 tbsp of water well, or boil the flowers and let it cool and strain to get the blue colouring - The Old Method "
2. Some recipes even suggested to use artificial blue colouring for which we do not encourage - try our Blue Butterfly Powder made 100% natural from Butterfly Pea flower - "12-20 bunga telang/clitoria flower (or a few drops of blue food colouring mixed with water)"
Blue Cendol by Sweet Rita Nyonya Kueh - another best seller
Blue Soon Kueh
One last for a modern Chinese New Year - Enjoy!
Blue Kueh Kapit - so gorgeous and YUM!
Kamkaen N, Wilkinson JM The antioxidant activity of Clitoria ternatea flower petal extracts and eye gel . Phytother Res. (2009)