Kuih Peneram: A Crispy and Sweet Malaysian Delight

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Kuih Peneram, a jewel of Malaysian cuisine, is a sweet and crispy snack that tantalizes taste buds with its contrasting textures. Often gracing night market stalls and enjoyed by locals for generations, this delightful treat boasts a rich heritage and simple preparation.

A Blend of Cultures

The exact origin of Kuih Peneram remains shrouded in mystery, but many believe it stems from South India. Over time, it seamlessly integrated into the vibrant tapestry of Malaysian flavors. Known by various names like Kuih Denderam, Peniaram, and even Telinga Keling on the east coast, its versatility shines through its diverse naming conventions.

Ingredients Unveiled

The beauty of Kuih Peneram lies in its simplicity. Rice flour, the hero of the dish, provides a base for the sweet melody. Brown sugar adds a rich caramel depth, while a touch of white sugar (adjustable for sweetness preference) rounds out the flavor profile. Some recipes incorporate all-purpose flour for a slightly different texture.

To create the batter, brown sugar and white sugar dissolve in a gentle dance with water. This sugary concoction then embraces the rice flour (and all-purpose flour, if used) in a warm hug, resulting in a thick batter. Patience becomes key as the batter rests for a few hours, allowing the flavors to meld and mature.

The Art of Cooking

Traditionally, a unique mold with intricate flower-shaped cavities is used to cook Kuih Peneram. However, resourceful cooks can utilize donut molds to achieve a similar effect. A light touch of oil ensures the mold is prepped for the batter, which is then carefully poured into each cavity. Low heat is the secret weapon, allowing the Kuih Peneram to transform into golden brown pockets of crispy delight.

A Moment of Sweet Bliss

Kuih Peneram is best enjoyed fresh and warm, when the contrasting textures come alive. The exterior boasts a satisfying crisp, giving way to a soft and delightful chew within. It’s a star on its own, but a drizzle of honey or palm sugar syrup can elevate it to new heights of sweetness.

Kuih Peneram is a testament to the beauty of simple ingredients and traditional techniques. So, on your next Malaysian adventure, seek out this delightful treat and experience the perfect harmony of crisp and soft, sweet and simple.

Article by Mika Natalia