GEORGE TOWN: No matter where they are, Malaysians are wearing their heart on their sleeve especially during this National Day month.
Among them was Australia-based Karen Chan, 48, who decided to make Jalur Gemilang-themed angku kuih (red tortoise cake) and pineapple tarts in celebration of both National and Malaysia Day this year.
“Angku kuih is usually served at celebrations from the birth of a baby to weddings.
“This year, with the pandemic, the word ‘Merdeka’ has brought new meaning.
“I first made a Jalur Gemilang kuih platter comprising red, white and blue angku, and a deep-blue bunga telang pulut tai-tai with caramel kaya as the yellow star and crescent.
“Then I was inspired to apply the Jalur Gemilang to the angku kuih. When I completed that, the inspiration expanded to a Jalur Gemilang pineapple tart, ” she said in a phone interview on Saturday.
Chan, who works at an executive search firm in Melbourne, said the challenge when making the angku kuih was to find the right ingredients.
“I wanted to use natural colours and it was challenging to find the right ingredients. In the end, I used beetroot juice for red, bunga telang for blue and pumpkin for yellow.
“The basic dough is glutinous rice flour, steamed sweet potato or pumpkin puree, sugar and oil. The filling for angku is usually sweet mung bean paste but you can put anything in angku and my favourite is pistachios.
“The first angku took me 15 minutes to arrange and assemble before pressing into an angku mould. Once I got the process and flow, the next ones only took me two minutes per kuih, ” she said.
Chan said her family moved to Melbourne in 1999 from Petaling Jaya, adding that she has two children.
“Kuih-making is a dying art. I hope to inspire others to learn, cook and pass it on.
“With that in mind, I share my passion and cooking journey through my social media platforms and YouTube channel.
“Occasionally, I bring kuih to the office for morning tea and my Australian colleagues will give their thumbs up for my pineapple tarts and peanut cookies, ” she said.
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