Sunday, November 3, 2013

Recipe: Pulut Tai Tai (Nyonya blue steamed glutinous rice)

We bought some glutinous rice for making lo mai gai 糯米雞, a type of savoury steamed glutinous rice dish commonly found in dim sum restaurants. We had some leftover rice after that, so we decided to try our hand at making Pulut Tai Tai, a popular Nyonya dessert/snack.

Pulut Tai Tai is made using steamed glutinous rice and is usually coloured blue using food colouring or natural colouring from blue pea flowers. Luckily for us, we had an abundance of blue pea flowers growing in our garden, however for our first try the blue colour was not too prominent, hence in the recipe below I have doubled the amount of blue pea flower you should use.

Pulut Tai Tai


Blue pea flower, also known as bunga telang in Malay is easy to grow and the flowers are said to have a holistic quality to them. They are usually dried (under the sun) and can be stored until required. Of course, you can also just pluck and use them fresh. To extract the colour, I usually boil them in a small amount of water for about 5 minutes to release the colours from the flower.


Pulut Tai Tai is usually served with kaya, however it is also good eaten on its own. The best pulut tai tai I've eaten was from Malacca, which is what I'm trying to recreate in my own kitchen. The glutinous rice is first soaked for 4 hours, then steamed with thin coconut milk and blue coloring until soft. Once cooked, thick coconut milk is mixed in to create a dessert which is sweet and rich with every mouthful.



Pulut Tai Tai (Nyonya blue steamed glutinous rice)
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
350g glutinous rice, soaked for 4 hours
1/2 cup thick coconut
1 cup thin coconut milk
1 tsp salt
3tbsp sugar
20-25 blue pea flower (bunga telang)

1. Over low heat, boil the blue pea flower with 1-2 tbsp of water for 5-10 minutes for the blue colouring.

2. Mix the thin coconut milk with salt, then pour in the blue colouring and mix well. Pour the glutinous rice into a flat tray and pour over the thin coconut milk mixture. Steam over high heat for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is soft.



3. In the meantime, heat the thick coconut milk and sugar over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Once the rice is ready, pour over the thick coconut milk mixture and stir using a chopstick until well combined.




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26 comments:

  1. Love the natural colour even it is not so visible!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Learning from experience, must use more flowers next time! :)

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  2. Hi Yen,
    Such a pretty heart shape Pulut tai tai,
    Love natural colouring from blue pea flowers.

    I use to dried them on a kicthen towel in the microwave and store them for later use if I have lots of flower booming. Later if I wanna extract their colors from the dried ones just add some water and a few drops of vinegar and soak for 15 minutes. Just sharing a tip here :D

    mui

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Doreen, thanks for the tip. Just a quick question - will you taste the vinegar if you use it for sweet dishes?

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    2. Yen, Only need 2-3 drops. No vinegar taste at all.

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  3. Rico ,original y lindo color me gusta ,siempre me ha gustado teñir el arroz y lo hago con productos naturales también ,abrazos.

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  4. That blue pea flower sure makes a natural and gorgeous food color ! It looks wonderful though a bit muted on your glutinous steamed rice :D Just yum !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IN Malaysia, they use it a lot to make nasi kerabu, a Malaysian rice dish.

      Delete
  5. envious of the said blue pea plants in your garden! i do not have those plants but i managed to get some dried ones from my last bkk trip. Yeah, the glutinous rice is good on its own too even tho i prefer to hv some kaya to go with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me know if you want some blue pea flower seeds!

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  6. Replies
    1. Those very "lemak" desserts, I don't think I can make them at home cos I will get scared after seeing how much sugar and coconut milk going into it and may never ever eat them again.

      Delete
  7. Glutinous rice is probably my favourite rice! This is such a pretty way to serve it! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe I like glutinous rice too, but too much aint good for the waistline.

      Delete
  8. i love this one! it's one of my favorite nyonya ingredients, and it absolutely reminds me of childhood. beautiful presentation that you've worked out here! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I managed to make this with some help from my mum. So glad tht I can make my own at home.

      Delete
  9. yen, i like the name of this dish, "tai tai" means "shao nai nai" in mandarin, which means housewives who don't need to work & also have maids around, hahaha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessie,my husband calls me a "tai tai" whenever I go for things like afternoon tea. Haha!

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  10. I love that you are using natural colours for this rice recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I try to avoid food coloring if possible.

      Delete
  11. Yen, I have not eaten Pulut Tai Tai for a long time. Thinking about it now after seeing it here. My neighbor has bunga telang but I am too shy to ask for some :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe I'm sure she wouldnt mind giving u some.. they flower so easily and the more you pluck, the more it grows!

      Delete
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