Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Ban Chang Kuih aka Mee Chien Kueh
Also called apom balek in Malay, this is a popular hawker snack in Singapore when I was a child. Traditionally cooked in a cast iron pan over charcoals, this sweet pancake with crumpet- like texture is usually eaten for breakfast but it is also enjoyed throughout the day. I do not know whether ban chang kuih are still traditionally made and sold in Singapore, as late as the 1970s ban chang kuih were "called" in Singapore streets everyday. The ban chang kuih man paddled his tricycle around the neighbourhood with a cast iron pan on top of a stove fashioned from a disused 44 gallon oil drum and called his wares by ringing a handbell to a repercussive voice of "ban chang kuih... ban chang kuih."
This afternoon, I cooked this fluffy pancake filled with roasted peanuts and sesame seeds for tea but could only give myself six out of ten for the end result. I didn't manage to get the crispy edges like the ban chang kuih from the hawker. Nevertheless, I have gave it a go at this popular street snack.
Ban Chang Kuih Recipe:
2 cups Plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 egg beaten
1 tbsp oil
21/2 cups water
100g raw peanuts, roasted
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sugar.
For batter, mix together flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Make a well in the centre of flour and add egg, oil and 21/2 cup of water, then mix into a smooth batter. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 2 hrs.
In the meantime, roast the raw peanut over a very low fire until slightly brown and set aside to cool. Do the same to the sesame seeds. Place the peanuts in a mortar and using a pestle crush coarsely. Combine peanuts sesame seeds and sugar in a small bowl.
Heat a non stick 15cm frying pan over low heat. Pour in 1/2 cup of batter into the heated pan and spread evenly, cover and cook for 2 minutes or until bubbles appear. Sprinkle peanut mixture over the surface, dad with butter and fold the pancake into half. Cover pan and cook for another 1 minute or until pancake is crisp on the outside and cook and soft on the inside. Serve hot with your tea or coffee.