The Malaysian Peranakan cuisine is famous for sweet treats. This marriage of the aromatic pandan leaf with deep brown palm sugar and coconut is a harmonious combination familiar throughout Southeast Asia. Each of these tender yet slightly chewy confections oozes rich sugar syrup. Outside, stark white resilient strips of coconut encase the gem. Freshly grated coconut elevates this treat to its highest potential, but the moist unsweetened grated coconut sold in stores is fine. Malaysian and Singaporean cooks color the dough with green coloring for dramatic looks, but I don’t. Pandan leaves are available fresh or frozen from Asian grocers. Pandan extract is available online. Making these take a bit of dexterity, just take your time until you get the hang of forming the sugar centered fragrant spherical dumplings.
© 2008 Robert Danhi. All rights reserved.