From cultural festivals to holiday seasons, almost every celebration is not without its traditional dish. For our year-end Celebration issue, Gabriel Aloysius Chong Teck Hin, executive chef of The Social Kitchen, shares an easy to prepare local sweet dish that is versatile for any occasion: Pulut Hitam with Longan.
Indeed, it is a popular glutinous rice pudding with many locals. Believed to have originated from Indonesia, this dish has grown to become a local dessert mainstay at local heritage restaurants.
Chong explains his choice of pulut hitam as a celebratory dish: “The smooth texture of the black glutinous rice is complemented by the dash of sweetness in the coconut flavour, bringing a refreshing end to each meal.”
Here’s a look at how you can recreate this warm dessert in the comfort of your home.
300g pulut hitam (black glutinous rice)
100g glutinous rice (white)
150g longan pulp (or dried longan)
270g gula melaka
1 separate pandan leaf (for coconut cream)
1 bundle of 5 pandan leaves
250ml fresh coconut cream or UHT natural coconut cream
3.8 litres of water
To prepare in advance
1. Soak black and white glutinous rice together in water for an hour.
2. Soak sago separately for 25 minutes.
3. Soak longan pulp or dried longan for one hour.
4. Soften gula melaka with 15ml of water in microwave for 45 seconds.
5. Add a single pandan leaf to coconut cream and microwave for 45 seconds. Take out and add a pinch of salt. Leave aside.
1. Bring water to a boil.
2. Drain water from black and white glutinous rice, and add to boiling water for 40 minutes. Turn fire to medium (stirring at 10-minute intervals).
3. Add longan, gula melaka, sago and bundle of five pandan leaves. Turn fire to low and boil for 25 more minutes (stirring at 10-minute intervals).
4. After 25 minutes, add a pinch of salt. Stir well and turn off the fire.
5. Discard pandan leaves.
6. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Tips to keep in mind
1. It would be ideal to cut the gula melaka into small pieces before adding to water.
2. Watch the heat closely.
3. The chef’s choice of compressed dark longan pulp is preferred as its flavour is more intense.
4. When kept in freezer, this dessert can be good for six weeks. But if kept in chiller, it is good for only four days.