Tuesday, November 30, 2010

MY NEW OBSESSION - MAKING KUIH TALAM

Kuih Talam or Tray Kuih as what the name indicated is another steam local traditional kuih popular among the Malay and the Chinese. The Chinese Peranakan made a good kuih talam. Originally kuih talam consist of two layer coupled with pandan flavored, palm sugar or tapioca. The base texture of the Kuih Talam are make of rice flour and tapioca flour.

This is my favorite and I always envy those who made good talam. I have encountered a few failure while mastering the talam making technique and almost give up however, I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel after I discovered one recipe from Chef Liza. I used her recipe as the base for all my talam. Alhamdulillah, my dedication was rewarded as the resulting talam was amazing. Not that perfect, but as an amateur talam maker and after so many disappointment I am happy now.  

My mum is a good talam  maker.Her talam was superb, but one thing for sure I failed to inherited her skills, not that I refused to learn but it was difficult for me to follow when the method of cooking was by "agak-agak"- (approximation). Amazingly  those days most cooking were judged by its look and texture. Today talam has taken a new twist. Many  different types of talam has been created by adding flavors, colors  and layers. If can recall there are more than a dozen of talam this day. I called this the New Era Talam. I am constantly amazed with the new era talam and have been following the trend, in fact today there are many cooking classes specializing in making a perfect Talam. Those graduated from the talam courses made beautiful talam.  I wish I could have  the time to attend such classes, who knows it could be a good retirement plan for me - A Talam Supplier. 

Literally hundreds of thousands of fantastic talam recipes and everyone has their favorite recipe they got from their grandmother, mother. aunt or friend. However as I mentioned earlier, the recipe from Chef Liza never let me down, the recipe is easy to follow and it allows creativity and experimenting new ingredients without worrying whether it gonna works or not.

Have you ever thought of experimenting with the new era talam? They are a sure way of revolutionizing your cooking. All you need is a little bit of creativity and you can make various versions of this delicacy. So, switch on your right brain and see what you can pull off with the new era talam!! It all depends on the style of talam you want. Using pumpkins, yam, sweet potatoes, cendol, sago etc.... is not a strange idea if you are creative! It is all about being creative and trying out various things. The choice is all yours!  The trick is to follow the standard recipe for making talam and then include any additions you may want.  

Enjoy these easy recipes! Use them, modify them, and make them your own! 

Here are the basic talam recipes.

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INGREDIENTS

Bottom Layer

2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup cornflour
3/4 cup sugar
3.5 cups medium santan

Combine all ingredients, I normally blend, sieve and cook over low heat, stirring slowly all the time until it thickens slightly. Pour into a 8 " round tray or 7" square pan. Steam batter for 20 minutes. Batter is cooked when it is firm to touch.

Top Layer
3 cups thick santan
1 cup rice flour
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp Hong Kue flour
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients and cook over low heat, stirring slowly all the time until it thickens slightly. Pour batter over cooked (bottom layer) and steam on medium heat for 20 minutes. Open the cover and let the fire on for another 10 minutes to dry up the surface. Off the fire and cool the kuih completely before cutting.

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14 Talam in a month! Don't you think I'm crazy. I experimented all that during the month of Ramadan. I’ve been obsessed with making them. There’s something really satisfying when you see the results. It’s very satisfying to have made talam from scratch.  I still have 12 more talam to try and I  guess it will take a lot more practice to get the perfect smooth surface talam. Anyway I'm still perfecting my skills and wish to enroll in courses held by the expert. I need to learn more on the cutting techniques and to prepare talam in a big volume.


For those who have had phobia in making talam try the basic recipe above, I believe it will change your thought, so give yourself another chance, after all the key word to perfection is practice......practice.....practice.


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Segalanya bermula pada bulan Ramadan baru-baru ini. Buat pertama kali dalam hidup saya, saya berkesempatan untuk memasak untuk anak-anak. Kebetulan saya sedang dalam proses untuk berhijrah ke tempat kerja baru, jadi ada banyak cuti tahunan, saya habiskan untuk menghidupkan semula dapur saya yang telah lama berkubur.


Saya memang sudah lama mencari resipi kuih talam yang sesuai setelah beberapa kali gagal membuatnya. Biasalah orang selalu mengaitkan membuat kuih Melayu ini memang susah, banyak ragamnya, tetapi sebenarnya anggapan itu tidak betul. Apa yang penting dalam membuat Kuih Melayu ialah adunannya mesti betul tetapi masalah bagi kebanyakan kita ialah bagaimana mendapat adunan yang betul sedangkan kuih-kuih ini banyak dipelupori oleh ibu dan nenek moyang dengan menggunakan method "agak-agak". Tapi kini tidak lagi, dengan kemurahan hati rakan-rakan blogger kita dapat berkongsi dan mencuba resipi yang telah berjaya diusahakan oleh rakan-rakan kita. Saya meletakkan diri saya sebagai pembuat talam amateur  yang baru bertaktih untuk menghasilkan talam yang baik. Alahamdulillah berpandukan resipi yang dikongsikan bersama saya berjaya menghasil 14 jenis talam dan sedang dalam proses untuk mencuba lagi 12 jenis talam.


Menariknya tentang kuih talam ini ialah ianya telah melalui evolusi baru di mana hari kita bukan lagi dihidangkan dengan kuih talam evergreen iaitu talam pandan, talam gula merah dan talam ubi, malah terdapat lebih dari 1 dozen talam era baru yang mempunyai wajah dan citaras yang baru.  Ini yang menjadi kegilaan baru saya. So bagi sesiapa yang pernah mengalami kekecewaan seperti saya, jangan putus asa, saya sarankan sebagai permulaan cubalah resipi yang disarankan oleh Chef Liza ramai rakan-rakan blogger yang lain telah berjaya  malah saya sendiri telah berjaya menghasilkan talam yang agak baik, walaupun masih banyak ruang yang diperlukan untuk memperbaiki mutu talam saya, saya jadikan kegilaan baru saya sebagai suntikan semangat untuk terus belajar dan mencuba. Insyallah.
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Next Post - Steam Bread Pudding

   

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