Sunday, April 5, 2009
COCONUT-FILLED CREPES - KUIH DADAR
Since starting this blog I have come to realize that decisions aren't made sitting down. Uh Uh. 'Cause the sooner I get my bottom off this seat the sooner I'll make something edible and blog worthy.
I've been vacillating in virtual reality between a multi layered cheesecake, pocket pitas, elaborately decorated cupcakes (I so roll mine eyes), puffin muffins, an Indian briyani, a daring baker's homemade bicep-forming shoulder-broadening spinach lasagna, a Chinese steamed fish, spicy roast chicken, long cheese sticks, a rustic apple roll, a choc chip mocca cake and a zillion other foods that have been bookmarked but which have yet to become a reality.
Decisions too become very hard when you're trying to please everyone and you're trying to kill/feed 2, 3, 4 or 5 birds/humans with 1 stone/recipe. It becomes difficult too when there are a million excuses to not make them. But since pragmatism is the stepping stone to progress move forward I must and move forward I will.
So the only inexcusable food that would be inexcusable not to make would be a coconut filled crepe. As simple as only simple could get because a Malay crepe is rustic and covered with all the indentations that ineptitude would allow.
Unlike the western crepe where fineness, silkiness and the laced tidemark-like lines are the hallmark of a skilled crepe maker a Malay crepe maker would consider all that crepe-crap. We want the holes. We want the holes. We want to burst our bubbles. And of course........... we want it green.
Some of my friends/non-friends would probably raise their eyebrows and scrunch their lips at this little observation especially the one about the holes and bubbles but for as long as I have lived that is what I've seen. Holey crepes. Well to be more exact, indented, pock marked, burst bubble crepes. Beautifully indented, pockmarked, burst bubble crepes. After all, beauty they say is in the eyes of the beholder.
Kuih dadar (crepe cake) reminds me of old world sarong-clad and generally overweight mak ciks (aunties) swirling and rolling holey crepes with their chubby, greasy and shiny fingers in the wet kitchens of Malay homes. And if the filling that they make is darkly moist and a touch salty and quite sugary sweet with the slightest hint of a crunch from the coarsely shredded coconut it makes them all the more memorable. The crepes. And the mak ciks too.
So holey crepes here I come.......scrunchhhh.......stretchhhh......yaaaawnnn.....finally I've ripped my bottom off this chair.
1 cup of plain flour
250 ml fresh milk or coconut milk(the consistency of fresh milk)
*50 ml pandan juice (made by blending 4 pandan leaves with 50m ml of water and strained)
1 egg (you could use 2 for a thinner batter 'n it would work as well) (I didn't for health reasons)
pinch of salt
Blend all ingredients for the crepes in a blender or use a wooden spoon or whisk. If necessary strained to rid of lumps. Let rest for 20 minutes. It will thicken slightly upon resting.
*If you decide to use green colouring or pandan paste do substitute the 50 ml of pandan juice with 50 ml of water or milk or coconut milk.
2 cupsof fresh shredded coconut
1 disc of coconut palm sugar or 3 Tbsp of muscovado sugar
2 - 3 tbsp water
Place sugar and water in a small pan (if using solid palm sugar do crush to coarse pieces first). Heat just until the sugar melts. Add a pinch of salt and then put in the shredded coconut.Mix well until the coconut is completely coated with the sugar. Taste and if necessary add white sugar to sweeten.
Making the crepes......
Heat a teaspoon of oil in a 7 - 8 inch non stick pan until hot. There is no temperature limit unlike in a western crepe. The hotter the pan the more holes and bubbles you're going to get. Pour in a small ladleful of batter into the pan and swirl or use the bottom of your ladle and spread the batter in a circular motion with it. That's is what is usually done. Lower the heat and cook until done and the mixture solidifies. It will be obvious. When done you could flip it over for good measure and keep it aside on a plate for rolling later. The crepe should be about 6 inches in diameter.
Check to see if the 'right' side of the crepe has holes or indentations. If there are congratulate yourself. If there aren't heat up the pan a by a few degrees so that the oil sizzles when you pour on the batter. For each crepe you make put a half teaspoon of oil in the pan and heat it up.
It is the hot bubbling oil that causes the 'holes' or indentations and makes the crepe look porkmarked. It sounds awful but that's how it's been done. It would be strange to see a smooth as silk, 'bald' Malay crepe.
The crepes can be stacked up until the last crepe is done.
Filling and Rolling......
Roll up the crepes like you would a spring roll. Make them nice and snug and neat.
Because this is an almost ideal world I managed to make 9 crepes from the batter and had enough filling for 10 crepes.