Sunday, April 10, 2011

MALAYSIAN SWEET POTATO DOUGHNUTS ~ KUIH KERIA



These actually made it to the Top 9 on Foodbuzz. Scabs and all! Thank you Foodbuzz community :) Happy Buzzday.


I remember sugar scabs being made in a black, heavy, demented looking wok in our wet kitchen. On a gas stove right below a chimney. My god. We actually had chimneys!?!

Anyway, for years I never could figure out how those sweet scabs  materialized. It looked easy and obvious enough but when you expected them to stick to the fried doughnuts when you chucked them in they wouldn't. Not unless you put the doughnuts in at just the right moment. While the crystallized sugar was still damp and bubbly. 

When the bubbly sugar solidified and if too much caked the doughnuts like an armour you could always knock or peel the excess scabs off the doughnuts before serving. 


(This is getting a little too rustic for comfort)



Anyway, I think we, as in Malaysians,  may be the inventors of sugar scabs. I haven't seen it anywhere else except on Malaysian Sweet Potato Doughnuts. I am so glad we did. It gives such an exciting contrast in textures. Crunchy vs chewy.

These are the doughnuts I grew up with.





If you were expert enough like our maid of old you would know to make just enough sugar scabs for the amount of doughnuts you had fried earlier. If you didn't, like me, you could provide a year's ration for the Malaysian Ant Army. Ten times over. 

Recipe..........my version

Yield : 6 medium doughnuts


1 1/2 cups of steamed, completely cooled and mashed sweet potatoes ( I used slightly more than 1 1/2)
About 3/4 cup of plain flour or less
1/2 tsp salt


Mix all above ingredients together. Press together until you get a soft but firm ball of dough. There is no need for any liquid. (I used the red/purple skinned Japanese sweet potato for this. It is less fibrous than the local yellow variety so you don't need to press it through a sieve). You could add less flour if you prefer a less chewy doughnut. If the mixture is sticky flour your hands while shaping if you don't want too chewy a doughnut.


Shape into rings or roll out on a board to about 1/2 inch thick and cut using a doughnut cutter. (This is what I did).


Heat a pan. Add about 1 inch of any vegetable oil and heat the oil till hot. Drop the doughnut dough rings in gently and fry until golden on one side. Turn over and fry till other side is golden as well. Lift out and drain on kitchen paper.

Sugar Scabs.........

You might want to halve this recipe.

1 cup sugar
2 T water


Pour one cup of sugar into a heavy based pan. Add the water. Heat over medium heat and stir until the sugar melts. Keep stirring until the sugar thickens, gets gloppy and shows signs of becoming crystallized. Drop in the doughnuts and mix into the thick sugar paste. Cook a little while more until the sugar crystallizes completely and solidifies and turns completely white. Lift off the doughnuts and and knock off excess sugar scabs. Serve.


Note :

If the sugar crystallizes before it adheres to the doughnuts simply add a few drops of water and stir again.




As much as I dislike posting dull and un-sharp photographs I have to. It's been really grey outside from morn to dusk. For many many days. Especially on days that I decide to make, bake and photograph. Please bear with me. 

I am submitting this to Muhibbah Monday. Find out more here...


25 comments:

Pam said...

Sugar scabs! Never heard of them, but I want them...now!

La Table De Nana said...

Oh my you could make a fortune sellig those here! Honestly:)

terri@adailyobsession said...

i love these!! thnx for the recipe, will start cracking on it.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Mmm this sounds/looks so delicious! And great styling, especially in the 1st photo.

Anncoo said...

Zurin, Your sweet potato doughnuts looks so yummy. I think it is great to make this for family day :)

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious sweet looks wonderful

Junglefrog said...

Those looks absolutely delicious! I had never heard of sugar scabs before although I do think I have actually eaten them while in Malaysia years ago. Gonna try and attempt these myself!

Through My Kitchen Window said...

I love this post Zurin. Using just a couple of ingredients and look at the gorgeous results. Sugar scabs is a new phrase for me too. It doesn't sound appealing, but fortunately your photos clear up the impressions. I made pumpkin and sultana scones yesterday. They are getting to be a real hit around here. There is so much moisture and natural sweetness that lends itself to the end result. A bit like your sweet potato I guess. Thanks for teaching me yet another staple from your cuisine. And I always enjoy any childhood nostalgia thrown in. Mariana xxx

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

I am trying to recall if I have had anything with sugar scabs on them... I would have probably liked them as a kid but possibly not so now. You've flakes gem so nicely over the doughnuts!

Aleida said...

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little...creeped out at seeing the word "scab" in a recipe. Thankfully it looks delicious and not like what I was picturing! It's like a basic sugar glaze, isn't it?

Deeba PAB said...

I love the rustic goodness, and I have to say that the pictures are beautiful Zurin. These are absolutely intriguing, sugar scabs and all!

Joy said...

I love love this recipe. Rustic is the best way a lot of the time.

Janine said...

This is yet another favorite for me! I used to always buy this from the pakcik selling kuih near my home :)

And I think you're too harsh on yourself! Your photos look great still!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

my kids ask me to do this again and again, this is simply good!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I've never tried these but I've heard so much about them. They look absolutely delectable!

Sinful Sundays said...

These look great and the sugar on top of it makes me want them even more! I will definitely make these since they look so simple but delicious!

Sherry @ JustAPinch said...

Yum! My sweet-potato-pie-making mom will have a new favorite! Thanks for sharing!

Le said...

Wow so simple yet it looks so tasty! Haha sugar scabs make this dish!

Natalia - a side of simple said...

Dull photos?! Maybe I'm just too smitten with this recipe and all the talk of sugar and chimneys but these photos are stunning!

Sarah-Jane - SiliconeMoulds.com said...

hi Zurin

these look fun and tasty too. Bet you cannot manage to eat one without licking your lips :-)

Doughnuts is something I've never yet got round to making. IT really should be put in my 2011 to do list.

Don't know what you are on about - photos are fab as always

Lisa @ Tarte du Jour said...

Sweet potato doughnuts, nice to meet you! You look truly delectable!

Gwenevere said...

Hey I can eat these! I'm on a very restricted diet and salt, sweet potatoes and flour are on the list! I'm not sure about the sugar, but I know my kids will appreciate that part...If I can figure out when to toss the donuts in. Do you toss all the donuts in at the same time or one at a time and then just add more water with each donut so that the sugar can re-crystalize?

Zurin said...

Gwenevere, tq for dropping by. It all depends on the size of your pan. If its too small to put in all the doughnuts at once dont worry. Just add a few DROPS of water and toss some more in . the sugar will start to bubble n get moist and re crystallize as it dries.

happy cooking and glad you can eat these. :)

shaz said...

Ha ha ha ha kak Zurin, I never heard of these being called sugar scabs before but I so understand what you mean :) I love to peel the sugar from the kuih keria, yummmy. Congratulations on making the Top 9, bravo!

babe_kl said...

Hi I came over via Muhibbah Monday round-up. This is my fave doughnuts too and yours looked so pretty!

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