Kuih Bahulu Kemboja: A Culinary Delight from Southeast Asia

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Kuih Bahulu Kemboja, also known as Kuih Bakar Kemboja or simply Bahulu, is a traditional Malay cake that is popular in Southeast Asia, particularly in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. It is a type of rolled pancake made from a thin batter of flour, eggs, sugar, and pandan extract, giving it a vibrant green color and a subtle pandan flavor. The batter is poured onto a hot griddle or pan and cooked until it forms a thin, lacy layer. Once cooked, the bahulu is quickly rolled up while it is still soft and pliable.

Kuih Bahulu Kemboja is known for its soft, airy texture and its delicate sweetness. It is often served as a snack or dessert, accompanied by a cup of hot tea or coffee. The cake can also be enjoyed with a variety of toppings, such as chocolate sauce, whipped cream, or fresh fruit.

History and Cultural Significance

The origins of Kuih Bahulu Kemboja can be traced back to the Malay Archipelago, where it has been a popular treat for centuries. The cake is believed to have originated in Cambodia, hence its name “Bahulu Kemboja,” which translates to “Cambodian rolled cake.” Over time, the recipe spread throughout the region and became a staple in Malay cuisine.

Kuih Bahulu Kemboja holds a special place in Malay culture and is often associated with festive occasions and celebrations. It is commonly served during Ramadan, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, and other traditional Malay holidays. The cake is also a popular choice for weddings and other special events.

Making Kuih Bahulu Kemboja

The process of making Kuih Bahulu Kemboja is relatively simple, but it requires a bit of practice to achieve the perfect texture and consistency. The key ingredients are flour, eggs, sugar, and pandan extract. The batter is typically made by whisking together the eggs and sugar until they are light and fluffy, then gradually adding in the flour and pandan extract until a smooth batter forms.

Once the batter is ready, it is poured onto a hot griddle or pan. The pan should be well-heated and lightly greased to prevent the bahulu from sticking. The batter is spread evenly over the pan, forming a thin layer. As the bahulu cooks, the edges will start to brown and lift from the pan. Once the underside is golden brown, the bahulu is quickly rolled up using a spatula or rolling pin.

The rolled bahulu is then transferred to a plate to cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, it can be cut into individual pieces. Kuih Bahulu Kemboja is best enjoyed fresh, but it can also be stored in an airtight container for a few days.

Variations and Adaptations

Kuih Bahulu Kemboja is a versatile cake that can be enjoyed in its plain form or with a variety of variations. Some popular variations include:

  • Chocolate Bahulu: Add a tablespoon of cocoa powder to the batter for a rich chocolate flavor.
  • Pandas Bahulu: Use pandan extract and green food coloring to create a vibrant green bahulu.
  • Strawberry Bahulu: Add a few drops of strawberry extract and some chopped strawberries to the batter for a fruity twist.
  • Cheese Bahulu: Sprinkle grated cheese over the batter before rolling up the bahulu for a savory twist.

Kuih Bahulu Kemboja is a delicious and easy-to-make treat that is perfect for any occasion. With its simple ingredients and endless variations, it is no wonder that this traditional Malay cake has remained popular for centuries. So, the next time you are looking for a sweet and satisfying snack, be sure to try Kuih Bahulu Kemboja

Article by Mika Natalia