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An American friend on a visit to Singapore some time back stumbled upon colourful and delicious gooey desserts which he had never tasted or heard before teatime results. I said to him those were called Kuih or sometimes spelt as kueh, and these kuihs originated from the Malays, a race of people from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore .

My friend thought it remarkable that these kuihs were little known to the western world, especially in the USA and Europe, where people love cheesecakes and puddings and fudge, they too would love to not only eat these kuihs, but make them as well. And so of course I packed for him a nice box of kuih as a gift when he left which I am sure he must have eaten them all at the airport.

If you must know, these kuihs were created in the deep Malay villages by resourceful grandmothers who created recipes made from whatever ingredients that were available then like tapioca flour, palm sugar, coconut milk, glutinuous rice, green beans, banana leaves, pandan leaves etc. And of course they had plain flour and sugar as well. They did not have ovens back then, so these kuihs were mostly steamed or grilled.

The end results are moist, rich, chewy desserts and for those that have palm sugar in them, would guarantee the equivalent of chocolate melt. And the colours will make any chef pleased and happy.

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