A traditional Malay dessert, it is actually a pandan and milk coconut pudding with water chestnuts inside. It is made of mung bean flour or more popularly known as hoen kwe flour in this region. This pudding is beautifully encased in a pandan leaf box for its aesthetics and its aroma. What I like about our local kuih-muih is its simplicity and diversity. Most of them do not require much technique or baking but tastes fabulous. And most often, it comes in vibrant colours.
Whenever the Ramadhan month approaches, I will see lots of these selling in temporary bazaars. This is a surprisingly refreshing dessert, flavoured by its natural pandan juice. It has water chestnuts at the bottom to give the pudding an additional crunchy texture. Not too heavy and not too light, it is especially delicious when served cold.
It is even more delicious if you make your own as the ingredients used are fresh and natural, especially the pandan juice. I do love the little basket. It is authentic and artsy. It looks dainty and cute. Making the baskets is well worth the trouble. Too tedious for you? Chill the pudding in little glasses to give it a more chic appearance (like the picture above). Ain't it a beauty? You could actually save a lot of work too. Whichever way you prefer, the bottom line is, this is addictively good.
Water Chestnut Coconut Pandan Pudding/Kuih Tako 香兰马蹄糕Adapted from WendyinKK
25 g green hoen kwe flour (also known as mung bean flour)
250 ml pandan juice (2-3 pieces pandan blended in 250ml water)
50 g sugar
3-4 waterchestnuts, peeled and diced
20 g white hoen kwe flour
250 ml fresh coconut (one coconut added with water until 250 ml)
50 g sugar
1/4 tsp salt (a pinch)
1. Make tako cases from pandan leaves (see illustrations below).
3. Add everything except water chestnuts into a saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly. Mixture is cooked when it turns transparent and bubbles. Remove from fire immediately.
4. Using a spoon, scoop mixture into pandan cases. Fill up half the case only. Repeat until finish.
5. Using a fresh saucepan, mix everything for the coconut layer. Stir constantly until mixture is cooked. Mixture is cooked when it thickens and bubbles. Remove immediately.
6. Using a spoon, scoop mixture onto green layer. Fill up the case. Repeat until finish. Chill in the refrigerator. Serve chilled.
*pandan leaf = screwpine leaf
*garnishing = srewpine leaves, not edible raw