Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Perfect Nian Gau (Ti Kueh) for the Kitchen God.

Of all the most traditional sweets eaten during the Chinese New year, the Nian Kau or Ti Kueh is the most important as it has festive standing. The art of making Ti Kueh has almost disappeared in Singapore and it is also rarely made at home.these days. Not only its time consuming preparation has made it unpopular, but rendered with its finicky and unpredictable end result to cook a perfect ti kueh for the gods and family could be the main reason for its demise in the kitchen. Its preparation was predominated by the whims of superstitions (pantang) that I remembered my mother scattered rice and salt around the stove to ensure a perfect end product. Fortunately, these days excellent sweet Nian Kau (Ti Kueh) are commercially available.

Sweet Ti Kueh Recipe:

600 gm glutinous rice powder
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups boiling water
Banana leaf (if unavailble, use cellophane paper)

Mix 2 cups of brown sugar with 2 cups of boiling water and stir until disolved. Add glutinous rice powder and mix well into a gluey rice paste. Lined a 8-inch bamboo steamer with banana leaf or cellophane paper.Pour rice paste into bamboo steamer and steam for 2 1/2 hours over high heat. Insert a skewer to test whether it is done. Remove and set aside until cold. Let it sit for 2 days in the bamboo steamer to set.


  1. Thank you Uncle Phil, I will keep this. In KL, they sell it during the CNY, but even the small size costs around RM6 to RM6.50, the kuih seller will pull a face "very very difficult to make, and we used the best glutinious rice..."

    1. Thanks for your visit and comment. I hope you can tell the kuih seller that you make the best home-made
      Ti Kuih without a fuss..hehe

    2. hahaha, to her, it is well guided trade secret, but she's living in her era. She forgot that now with internet age, every good recipe is made possible via google. In fact, there is no need to buy those colourful cookbooks. However, to be in biz, it is different ball game all together, which need perseverence, consistency, rain or shine, the store must be opened at the fixed time, then, you will get regulars, but to prosper via ti kuih, again, different game at all...

    3. You are absolutely right. But these days, the younger generation think fast and act fast and only interested in fast food. HeeHee. No longer have interest on slowfood.