Monday, 1 October 2012

Kuih Seri Muka (Kuih Sala) Recipe

This green coloured kuih has been a familiar delicacy to my family since when I was very small, mainly because my sister really loves it and is a must-buy everytime we buy any kuih. I decided to have a go making it the other day and they turned out great except that they are so hard to cut. I ended up killing them with my butchering! Haha! The green custard layer I made was a lil soft IMO even though I surveyed the recipes online and everyone roughly used the same amount of flour. I would definitely double the amount next time.

Bottom layer:
150g glutinous rice
2 tbsp grated coconut
Pinch of salt
200ml santan
50ml water
Knotted screw pine leaves (pandan leaves)
Some blue bunga telang (optional)

1. Soak glutinous rice overnight or a minimum of 4 hours. Actually this step is optional if you are short of time but soaking allows faster steaming.
2. Put everything on a steaming plate and steam on medium high for about 15-20 minutes. Remember to leave the pandan leaves on top of the rice while steaming.
3. Use hot water to rinse the blue bunga telang and then leave the hot water to soak the flowers for about 30 minutes. Squeeze out the flower and remove them.
4. When the rice is done, drizzle the blue water obtained in spots over the rice. Give the rice a quick stir to get a marbled effect. Flatten the rice in the dish again. This step is optional but is the vital step in distinguishing between nyonya style and non-nyonya style seri muka.

Drizzling my blue bunga telang coloring
Custard layer:
250ml thick santan
20 stalks screw pine leaves cut into 1 inch length
100ml water
2 small/medium eggs
40g all purpose flour
2 tbsp corn flour
A pinch of Salt
80g sugar

1) Blend the screw pine leaves with about 100ml water and strain. You can leave them in the fridge until you wanna use them. By then, some of the chlorophyll would have sunk. Slowly tilt and throw the excess water as we only wan the essence. This step can be omitted and replace with pandan paste/essence.
2) Mix the corn flour, all purpose flour and sugar together with the eggs. Add in the santan slowly to make sure there are no lumps and stir followed by the pandan essence you made.
3) On medium heat, simmer them all until they thickens. Quickly remove from heat and using a strainer, strain all the custard liquid onto the glutinous rice layer. Use a knife to smoothen out the surface a little but if you used a strainer, the surface should be pretty good-looking already ;P
4) Steam on low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until custard is hard.

My kuih seri muka turns out fine but the custard layer is a little soft. I prefer mine slightly harder so IMO there should have been more all purpose flour. I would suggest double the amount used. Also, the eggs give a slightly eggy kaya-like smell to my custard layer. I think the next time I do this I would either omit the eggs altogether or just use 1 egg. I couldn't imagine what some other people's custard tasted like since they use 4 large eggs with pretty similar amount of flour, sugar and pandan essence like mine.

The final result! Before I uglified it by cutting it up
The sorry looking seri muka :P

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