Sunday, May 10, 2009
How to make Ang Ku Kuih aka Kim Ku Kuih
The Kim Ku Kuih aka Ang Ku Kuih was made in our kitchen with the help of a couple of friends, last month. We named them “Kim Ku” which means golden tortoise in Hokkien because it derives this golden hue from the mashed Kumara (orange-coloured sweet potato) which we kneaded in when making the dough. We were very pleased with our variation from what is normal “ang ku” that we were talking about how to patent the kim ku kuih. Of course, we were joking. Traditionally, they are coloured red, hence the name “Ang Ku Kuih” (red tortoise cake).The dough of the "red tortoise cake" is dyed red, because red colour is a sign of happiness in Chinese culture. And it is molded to shape like a tortoise which signifies longevity in Chinese traditional belief.
We always question the use of food colouring in our food. We may be given the assurance that certain food colorings have been banned after many years on the market because they were found to be carcinogenic. I am still cynical about certified food colours used today. But if you removed food coloring, wouldn’t the food taste the same? I am sure it does, but for commercial reasons, food manufacturers are adding toxic food colorings so that their highly processed and artificially colored foods beckon you to buy.
Here is the homemade and naturally coloured Kim Ku aka Ang Ku Recipe:
300g split mung beans, soaked overnight
4 tbsp oil
500g glutinous rice powder
250g kumara (orange sweet potato) peeled, steamed and mashed.
5 tbsp sugar
1 pc banana leaf, (if unavailable, use grease proof paper) cut into size to fit mould.
1 tbsp oil for greasing cooked angku.
To prepare filling,steam mung beans over boiling water for 30 minutes. Combined steamed mung beans and oil in a pan and stir continuously over a medium heat until beans and sugar form a smooth texture and does not stick to hand. Set aside to cool.
To make the pastry skin:
Combine all the ingredients together and adding a small amount of water each time to knead until a smooth dough is obtained. Form dough into balls to fit the size of the mould.
Flatten a piece of dough to ½ cm thick with hand and put a ball of filling in the centre and wrap the pastry skin around the filling to cover it completely. Roll it lightly in the palms to smoothen the surface.
Dust the mould lightly with glutinous rice powder and press the ball into the mould. Dislodge the uncooked angku from the mould by tapping the side of the mould on the table. Place the Angku on a lightly greased banana leaf or grease proof paper and steam over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Lightly brush steamed angku with oil to prevent sticking. When cooled, trim the banana leaf neatly around the base of cooked angku,