Talam Kacang Merah (Steamed Cake with Red Beans)


Talam Kacang Merah

Talam Kacang Merah

Talam refers to a tray or in Malay, a dulang whereas Kacang Merah means Red Beans or in this case Red Mung Beans. So I guess the name refers to Red Mung Bean cake in a tray. But  you may say isn’t a cake a kueh in Malay? Honestly, though I am a Malay, I am just as confused between a kueh and a talam. As far as I know, a kueh in Malay typically refers to a snack or dessert. So my guess is, back then it was given this name due to the fact that this kueh is cooked in a metal tray or some may say a wide cake pan which was also used as a tray for serving. Well at least that’s my take on this issue.

I hope I didn’t confuse you with my explanation. Now, the word kueh is more well-known than a talam so you will be understood if using just the word kueh.

I have explained to you the characteristics of traditional Malay kuehs in my previous post and Talam Kacang Merah is no different. It is a steamed cake, made primarily  of rice flour, coconut milk and sugar. It has two layers, one of which contains red beans and is sweet and is usually the bottom layer. The top layer is usually unsweetened, in fact, has a tinge of saltiness, to balance the sweet bottom layer. This top layer is usually thinner than the bottom layer. As for the color, you can color both which ever way you want but rule of thumb is to color each layer differently.

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Kueh Lompang


Kueh Lompang

Colorful Kueh Lompang

My daughter had an Eid celebration in her school. Days before the event she kept reminding me to bake something for her to bring to class. The refreshment for the event is supposed to be potluck. So I had to come up with something fast.

I decided to make Kueh Lompang because it is sweet and colorful and the children will love it. It is also a simple dessert to make. On the day of the event, I made the Kueh Lompang and she brought it to school. It was a hit. The kids loved it and there were no leftovers.

Kueh Lompang is a traditional Malay cake. It is usually the size of a small cup with a little dent or a small well  in the middle. It is a sweet cake topped with steamed grated coconut that had been seasoned with little salt. This is to balance the sweetness of the cake and give it a creamy taste. It is a colorful cake.

The cooking method is by steaming the batter in little cups until cooked or firm. To store any leftovers, the cakes should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. You need to microwave it if you intend to eat it after it has been chilled. Store the grated coconut separately from the cakes.

It is great for children’s parties and you can add flavor to the batter.

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Selamat Idul-Fitri


It has been a festive, cheerful and joyful occasion for all Muslims all over the world. We are celebrating Hari Raya Idul-Fitri to mark the end of the fasting month. Welcoming the month of Syawal and at the same time sad to say goodbye to the month of Ramadhan, the holiest month.

For the sake of my non-Muslim readers, let me shed some light on Ramadhan and Hari Raya Idul-Fitri. For more festivities that are celebrated by the Malay-Muslim community in Singapore please read my page, Malay Festivals.

Ramadhan is the holiest month in the Muslim calendar. It is mainly a time of discipline and self-control. Muslims undergo a fast  during daylight hours in this holy month abstaining from food, drink and any sexual activity.

The preoccupation to satisfy physical needs or fulfilling your desires are suppressed to encourage spiritual reflection. This is the month where you set aside for worship, sadaqah or contribute to charity, perform as many good deeds as possible, repent, seek forgiveness and recite the Quran as much as possible, these are also strongly encouraged for other months. Continue reading