July 9, 2010

A Malay Delicacy - Putu Piring

[caption id="attachment_1332" align="alignleft" width="315" caption="Putu Piring Stall"][/caption]

The advantage of living in a multi-racial country like Singapore is the ability to taste all kinds of food and delicacies from all walks of life and from all the different races living within. One of them which is my favorite is named Putu Piring - a Malay dessert. Just today, I chanced upon one of these stalls that make Putu Piring and I know I need to have some. Just to elaborate more, Putu Piring is a small, white cake made of flour and stuffed with gula melaka (brown sugar). For SGD1, you get 3 cottony cakes. I haven't found the meaning to the word Putu but Piring means plate. To make one of these, rice flour and gula melaka or brown sugar is packed into tiny metal containers that look like flat plates aka piring in Malay. The latter are then placed on a specially built steamer with conical inserts to hold the plates. White cotton cloth is placed between the plates and the conical steamers. Finally conical metal lids are placed above each piring and then everything is left to steam for 5 mins. To serve, the steamed rice flour now in the form of a cottony cake, is removed from the metal containers, and eventually placed over a square piece of banana leaf for added flavor. Grated fresh coconut is added to the putu pirings to be eaten together. This is best eaten piping hot - "the right balance of sugar and flour coupled with a fluffy texture and the fresh grated coconut" -- boo_licious (a blogger @ http://masak-masak.blogspot.com). A typical Putu Piring stall is shown above.

[caption id="attachment_1335" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Making Putu Piring"][/caption]

I managed to sketch the interesting contraption that is used to make this delicious Malay dessert. I have not understood how this thing work yet but the entire steamer could make about about 20 pieces of Putu Piring, if I am not wrong. My sketch is not drawn to accuracy.

[caption id="attachment_1337" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="My Putu Piring"][/caption]

My version of Putu Piring is served as sketched above - the cakes are wrapped in a large brown paper folded in the shape of a pyramid. There is a little square piece of banana leaf for added flavor, and a generous portion of grated coconut or Kelapa Parut in Malay.  :P) Yummy! I am hungry now.