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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Serimuka (Steamed Rice Cake with Coconut Custard)


Serimuka aka Putri Salat

Serimuka aka Putri Salat

This is a Malay traditional cake. It is one of the most common cakes you can find in Singapore. There are several common characteristics you will notice in most traditional Malay cakes. They are mostly steamed cakes and almost all makes use of coconut milk because coconuts are aplenty in this region and use rice flour instead of wheat flour because rice is easily and more commonly available in this region.

Traditionally, I was told, rice flour were home-made. The women would soak the rice overnight then drained and grounded to a paste the next day. It will then be wrapped tightly in a piece of cloth. A heavy object is then placed on top of it to exert pressure and squeeze out the water making it to become dry.

But we have come a long way since and now we can buy rice flour in packets from the supermarket. Thank God for that 🙂

Today I will be sharing the recipe for Serimuka or Putri Salat. It is an easy cake to make but there are no shortcuts. This cakes like most Malay cakes, have two layers. The rice layer at the bottom and the custard topping on top. Please see the recipe below.

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