Tag Archives: Leaves

Wajik – Sticky Rice in Palm Sugar and Pandan Leaves Recipe

Wajik – Indonesian Sticky Rice in Palm Sugar and Pandan Leaves.

Wajik is a traditional Indonesian snack/cake made with steamed glutinous (sticky) rice and further cooked in palm sugar, coconut milk, and pandan leaves.

The cooked rice is then spread and flatted in a baking tray. Once it cools to room temperature, we cut this into small pieces in the shape of a diamond (er, okay, a rhombus or a parallelogram to be geometrically precise).

Incidentally, in a card game, the diamond is translated as a wajik. So, you are not supposed to cut your wajik into squares. ♥

Ingredients and the step-by-step guide to prepare wajik (Indonesian sticky rice in palm sugar and pandan leaves).

Ingredients and the step-by-step guide to prepare wajik (Indonesian sticky rice in palm sugar and pandan leaves).

What you need to prepare wajik (Indonesian sticky rice in palm sugar and pandan leaves).

As far as Indonesian snack/dessert/cake recipe goes, wajik is one of the simplest one to prepare. You need only 4 ingredients:

All four ingredients are critical and should not be substituted with anything else. Well, if you must, you can use black sticky rice (black glutinous rice) instead of white sticky rice, but you absolutely need the other three ingredients and these three should not be substituted at all.

Wajik - Indonesian Sticky Rice in Palm Sugar and Pandan Leaves.

Wajik – Indonesian Sticky Rice in Palm Sugar and Pandan Leaves.

A steamer and how to properly steam sticky rice

To make wajik, you will need a steamer to steam the white sticky rice. You can use a bamboo steamer, a stainless steel steamer, or even the steamer basket that comes with your rice cooker if it is large enough to hold the rice. Regardless of choice, here are my tips for successfully steaming sticky rice:

  • Make sure there is enough water in the bottom pot for around one hour of steaming. I would suggest about 2″ of water in the bottom pot.
  • Make sure that the water is already boiling and there are plenty of steam visible before steaming the sticky rice.
  • Just to be safe, line your steamer basket with either a clean kitchen towel, or a parchment paper riddled with tiny holes (smaller than the size of sticky rice) before you add the sticky rice. You don’t want the sticky rice to all end up falling down into the bottom pot instead of staying in the steamer basket.
  • Make sure to steam the sticky rice until al dente (soft and tender to bite). I cannot stress this point enough. Since I cannot be sure that we all have the same temperature on our stoves and depending on the size of your steamer (and hence the depth of the rice), steaming time will vary. To test for doneness, grab a tiny spoon of steamed rice and eat it. If you like the texture, then that’s when you should stop steaming. Just for reference, on my 8″ stainless steel steamer pot, I need 1 hour of steaming over medium high heat.
Wajik - Indonesian Sticky Rice in Palm Sugar and Pandan Leaves.

Wajik – Indonesian Sticky Rice in Palm Sugar and Pandan Leaves.

How to serve wajik

Like I mention earlier, wajik means diamond, as in the diamond suit in a pack of cards. The cake gets its name from this particular shape, so be sure to cut them into diamonds instead of squares or rectangles.

Wajik is always served at room temperature, so although you can refrigerate any leftovers, be sure to take them out from the fridge and only serve them once they have return to room temperature.

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Salted Egg Yolks Curry Leaves Cookies Recipe

Chinese New Year is fast approaching, and as usual, I am busy baking cookies and cakes to celebrate. Today, I have a very delicious Chinese New Year cookies recipe to share with you, salted egg yolks and curry leaves cookies.

These cookies are super easy to prepare, and yet, very delicious. If you plan on having plenty of guests coming for the Chinese New Year house visit (拜年), you will definitely want to bake a double batch, at the very least. These will be gone in a blink of an eye. 🙂

(1) Ingredients for salted egg yolks and curry leaves cookies. (2) Cream butter and sugar. (3) Sieve in flour, milk powder, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. (4) Add mashed steamed salted egg yolks and finely chopped curry leaves.

What do I need to prepare salted egg yolks and curry leaves cookies?

The ingredients for these cookies are quite unique, unlike your typical cookies. You will need:

  • salted egg yolks. These are from duck eggs and not chicken eggs. My neighborhood Chinese market sells vacuum-sealed packets of steamed salted egg yolks, so I can immediately use them as is. If your market is selling the raw eggs, you will need to crack the eggs, then steam the egg yolks for 10 minutes to cook them.
  • fresh curry leaves. My neighborhood Chinese market carries this in their fresh produce section along with other fresh herbs. You may also see these in an Indian or a Middle Eastern market.
  • milk powder. I use Nestle Nido dry milk powder since I find this to be the closest to the kind we get in Indonesia and most other Southeast Asian countries. You can use baker’s milk powder, or even malted milk powder too, if that’s what you have.
  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • unsalted butter
  • cornstarch
  • sugar
  • salt
  • egg yolk, to apply egg wash
  • black sesame seeds, to garnish the cookies
(1) Wrap and chill the cookie dough. (2) Roll the dough. (3) Cut the cookies. (4) Apply egg wash and garnish with black sesame seeds.

(1) Wrap and chill the cookie dough. (2) Roll the dough. (3) Cut the cookies. (4) Apply egg wash and garnish with black sesame seeds.

  1. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  2. Sieve in all-purpose flour, milk powder, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Mix well with a spatula.
  3. Add mashed steamed salted egg yolks and finely chopped curry leaves, mix well with a spatula.
  4. Gather the crumbly mix to form a soft pliable dough. I usually just use my hand. Then wrap the dough with a saran wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Salted Egg Yolks Curry Leaves Cookies.

Salted Egg Yolks Curry Leaves Cookies.

How to shape and bake the cookies

To shape the cookies, please do the following:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and line baking sheets with parchment papers.
  2. Roll the chilled dough on a well-floured work surface into a 3 mm (1/8″) thick. Then use a cookie cutter to shape the cookies.
  3. Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, making sure there is about 1″ of space around the cookies.
  4. Brush the top of the cookies with egg yolk and garnish with black sesame seeds.
  5. Bake the cookies until golden brown. This should take about 15 minutes.

What if I don’t have any cookie cutter?

In that case, the easiest is to first shape the entire batch of cookie dough into a log. Then wrap the log with a saran wrap and chill for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours. Just prior to baking, use a sharp knife to cut the cookie dough log into 3 mm (1/8″) thick slices and arrange on prepared baking sheets. Apply egg wash, garnish, and bake as per the recipe. 🙂

How long can I store the cookies?”

Before storing the cookies, make sure you cool them on a wire rack until completely cool. Then transfer the cookies to an air-tight container. The cookies should stay fresh at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.

Salted Egg Yolks Curry Leaves Cookies.

Salted Egg Yolks Curry Leaves Cookies.

Other Chinese New Year cookies recipes to try

Usually, we bake and prepare many kinds of cookies to celebrate Chinese New Year. You may want to bake these popular CNY cookies to fill your cookie tray:

We usually bake a cake or two as well to celebrate the new year. Here are some of the popular choices:

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Gulai Daun Singkong – Cassava (Yam) Leaves Curry Recipe

Ingredients to prepare gulai daun singkong: cassava/yam leaves, coconut milk, shallots, garlic, red chilies, ginger, galangal, candlenuts, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, coriander, turmeric, salt, and sugar.

Padang cuisine is definitely one of my favorite Indonesian cuisines. And whenever I have the chance to visit a Padang restaurant, it is almost a certainty that I will grab some gulai daun singkong among the mountain of dishes to choose from.

I mean, have you ever walked into a Padang restaurant? The display of so many dishes, stacked like mountains, is the main draw, and the smell, of course.

It is always so difficult to decide which dishes to get, but this unassuming curry is so full of flavor, and to me, a proper nasi Padang is not complete without it.

What do I need to prepare gulai daun singkong Padang?

Like most Padang dishes, the ingredients list for this dish is quite long. You will need:

  • daun singkong (yam/cassava/sweet potato leaves). These are sold as yam leaves in my nearby Asian market. For this specific dish, kale is the best substitute if you cannot find daun singkong in your grocery store.
  • coconut milk
  • ground coriander (Indonesian: bubuk ketumbar)
  • ground turmeric (Indonesian: bubuk kunyit). You can use fresh turmeric too if you wish.
  • shallots. I use smaller Asian/Chinese shallots, but feel free to use regular French shallots too. Just go by weight measurement to make sure you don’t use too many shallots. 🙂
  • garlic
  • red chilies. I use red Fresno chilies, but you can use red cayenne, or even red bird-eye chilies if you really love spicy dishes.
  • ginger
  • galangal
  • candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri). You can substitute this with the same amount of macadamia nuts.
  • lemongrass
  • daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves). These are not the same as regular bay leaves. If you can’t find these, it is best to omit.
  • kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk). Added at the very last minute to impart some fresh citrus note. This is optional and can be omitted.
  • salt
  • sugar
Top: cassava/yam leaves. Bottom: ground spice paste for the curry.

Top: cassava/yam leaves. Bottom: ground spice paste for the curry.

How do I prepare yam leaves?

From the market, yam leaves are sold attached to their stalks. Try to break the stalks, if they are fibrous looking, simply use the leaves. If the stalks are tender and not fibrous at all, feel free to include the stalks too in the dish. Regardless, please do the following to prep your yam leaves:

  1. Pinch off each leaf and its stem from the main stalk.
  2. If the main stalk has tender parts, usually more towards the top near where all the leaves are, pinch of those parts too. Probably 50% of the time, you will find that the main stalk will be too tough/fibrous to be used.
  3. Wash and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove dirt.
  4. Set aside to drain excess water before cooking.
Gulai daun singkong - cassava (yam) leaves curry.

Gulai daun singkong – cassava (yam) leaves curry.

How do I cook gulai daun singkong?

Here is how I cook gulai daun singkong at home:

  1. Prep the daun singkong (yam leaves) as described in the previous section.
  2. Grind the spice paste. I use a food processor for this. You can use a blender, or even traditional mortar and pestle if that’s what you have.
  3. Heat cooking oil in a wok/pot/deep skillet (I use a wok), and fry the spice paste until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add daun salam (if using) and lemongrass, cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add yam leaves and water into the wok, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Add coconut milk, salt, and sugar. Continue simmering for 5 minutes.
  7. Add kaffir lime leaves (if using), and stir for 1 minute. Turn off heat, and serve immediately with steamed white rice.
Gulai daun singkong - cassava (yam) leaves curry.

Gulai daun singkong – cassava (yam) leaves curry.

Other Padang dishes recipes to try

If you love this gulai daun singkong and would love to try cooking other Padang restaurant dishes at home. Please give these recipes a try:

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