Traditional sweets and desserts in Malaysia, as well as in Thailand, are sometimes far from what we are used to. Expectations do not always match reality. How do you like, for example, coconut ice cream with corn or red beans? So Asian desserts are suitable only for real gourmets and hunters for exotic tastes. You can try the unusual sweets described below in different cities of Malaysia.
This dessert is a real Malaysian hit. Especially in historical places like Penang Island and Malacca. There, merchants vying to invite you to try their chendol, assuring that only they have it real. It is made like this: rice noodles tinted green with pandan leaves are mixed with red beans, covered with crushed ice and poured with coconut milk and palm sugar syrup. In some cafes, corn kernels or sticky rice are added to a plate of chendol. In Thailand, a similar dessert is called “lot-chon”.
Ice Kacang (Ais Kacang)
Another dessert based on ice crumbs. The name “ice kachang” literally translates as “ice with beans”. That’s what they call it in Singapore. In Malaysia, it is better known as ABC (Air Batur Campur), which translates as “mixed ice”. As you may have guessed, red beans are the second ingredient in the dessert. This is the original recipe: sweet ice crumbs and beans. And then there is already a flight of fancy from the sellers of ice kachanga. An ice slide is filled with colored syrups, coconut and condensed milk, banana jelly is added, sprinkled with chocolate chips, peanuts or other additives, and sometimes even a scoop of ice cream is placed on top. In Phuket there is something similar – dessert O-eu.
Apam balik (Apam balik)
Pancakes folded in half are also popular in Singapore and Thailand. In Phuket, they are sold at the Naka Market and other markets. In Malaysia they are called apam balik. Traditionally, such pancakes were made with crushed peanuts, but now there are a lot of fillings: bananas, chocolate and even corn. Apam balik come in two variations – thin and thick. A thin pancake turns out a little crispy, and a thick pancake looks like a biscuit.
Small soft buns are made from eggs, flour and sugar. Bahula is very similar in appearance to Russian cookies, nuts, only in Malaysia they are shaped like a flower or a fish. The taste is not very sweet and more airy. In the markets, these desserts will be packaged in bags, they are usually eaten with tea or coffee. In Phuket Town, you can find similar small buns for sale. Even my colleagues know how to cook them.
It seems to me that pisang goreng or battered bananas are popular not only in Malaysia, but throughout Asia, especially in Thailand. Every few months I have acute periods of lack of fried bananas in the body. You can find them in markets or street stalls. In Malaysia, they are eaten as a snack during the day or with tea.
Babur cha cha
Babur cha cha
A very famous dessert of Peranakan cuisine comes from Malacca. It’s essentially a “soup” of different ingredients: sweet potatoes, colored tapioca balls, taro, pandan leaves, and coconut milk. Such a dessert can be found in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
Kui dadar or kui ketayap
Kuih dadar or Kui ketayap
Another dessert of Peranakan cuisine is thin pancakes dyed green with pandan leaves and stuffed with grated coconut and palm sugar syrup. Mmmm… Very tasty with coffee or tea.
All kinds of kui (Kuih)
The collective word kui can be characterized by the Thai word “khanom”. In Russian, I don’t even know an analogue. Something like sweet or not so snacks for one bite. Something that is intercepted on the run, and also gobbled up with tea or coffee. They are mostly made from rice or rice flour, cooked in a large pan, and then cut into small pieces. The most famous is kui lapis. It resembles small cakes with multi-colored layers. Many hotels in Malaysia serve a couple of kui for breakfast.
Onde onde (Ondeh ondeh)
Onde onde sweets are popular not only in Malaysia, but also in Thailand. I even learned how to cook them at culinary courses, as this is Peranakan cuisine. It’s very simple: glutinous rice flour is mixed with water infused with pandan leaves, the resulting dough is divided into small balls, and pieces of palm sugar are wrapped inside them. Then everything is boiled and rolled in coconut flakes. When you bite into the cooled sweets, a thick filling flows out from the inside. If you want to know the recipe, write about it in the comments.
In Thailand, dodol is called coconut candy. They are considered trendy on Koh Samui. And in Malaysia the recipe is a little different. Coconut milk, palm sugar and rice flour are boiled for many hours until a very thick mass is obtained. Then everything is cooled in molds and cut into pieces. On Koh Samui, the resulting mass is cooled and wrapped in triangles in polyethylene, adding a little sesame. There are a lot of coconut candy vendors near Grandma and Grandpa’s stones. Unlike Malaysian sweets, Samui sweets are softer.
They are known not only in Malaysia and Singapore. They can be bought in any month, but there is an especially large selection at the Moon Gingerbread Festival. Another popular Chinese holiday dessert is small ang-ku turtles made from rice flour.
Traditional Indian sweets in Malaysia
Malaysia and Singapore are multinational, which is why there are so many desserts. If you want to try more traditional desserts, i.e. sweet rather than weird, head to the Indian Quarters. This is where the “sticky ass” awaits you. There, street stalls sell sweets: burfi, jalebi, kervay, rasgula, laddu – everything is sweet and tasty.
Jam kaya (Kaya)
It is a trending product in Malaysia and Singapore. I have already told you about kaya jam toasts, they are loved to be eaten for breakfast or during the day. Sweet jam is made from coconut milk, eggs, pandan leaves and cane sugar. Its color can be yellow, light green or brown depending on the ingredients. Kaya jam is added to some rice desserts.
Of course, I have not described all the desserts in Malaysia. There are a lot of them. Some can be bought in shops and shopping centers, others can be ordered in restaurants or street stalls, and others can be found in the markets. Bon Appetit!