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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Steamed tapioca pudding ( ketuk ubi) and my golden ratio

I ran out of red dye and left it pandan green instead.

This snack will always transport me back to my primary school days. Long before Bengawan Solo, my mum would make this. With a flat grating board , she would grate the tapioca over a old beat up basin. Then , mixed with her ubiquitous red dye , she would steam the pudding over a huge wok. It would then be cut into bite size and tossed with grated coconut.

On school fairs, she would ‘contribute’ this pudding to raise funds. Since almost every mum could make this, it was never a popular item in school and I was always compelled to consume them. Mum never knew.

Fast forward a couple of decades, tapioca is so hard to come by. It is an irony that this staple consumed during the war , because rice was rare commodity , would  be so elusive in times of peace.

This pudding or kueh ( in Malay ) is made for old times’ sake, a tribute to mum’s labor of love.

Surprisingly, it is well received by my girl’s classmates who   never had this nor know what it is called.  But since discerning palates voted an ‘aye’ to this, all the years of eating leftover school fair ketuk ubi is forgotten.

To make a soft but yet manageable ketuk ubi or tapioca pudding, the ratio of grated tapioca to liquid and sugar is very important.

For optimum texture and sweetness, here is what I found out :

1 portion of tapioca : 0.21 portion of cream of coconut : 0.21 portion of water  ( in grams ).

Or , 1 portion of tapioca : 0.42 portion of liquid ( liquid = equal amounts of water and cream of coconut )

1 portion tapioca : 0.13 portion sugar  ( by weight )

Thus, as in this case :

312 g grated tapioca = 132g ( i.e. 312g x 0.42 ) liquid

The liquid component is made up of  66g water + 66g cream of coconut i.e. 132g liquid.

312g tapioca =  40g sugar ( i.e. 0.13 x 312g )

With this ratio, it will be a breeze scaling it for any amount of tapioca.

Makes 12 medium pieces.

Pudding ingredients :
312g grated tapioca
66g water
66g cream of coconut
1 drop food dye , any color
2 drops pandan paste

garnish :
1 cup grated coconut
1 tsp fine salt

Method :

1.    Mix the coconut and salt in a microwave safe bowl.
2.    Nuke for 1-2 minutes. Stir. Cool.
3.    Grate and process the tapioca to fine bits in a food processor.
4.    Add water, cream of coconut, dye and pandan paste.
5.    Stir well.
6.    Transfer the pudding component to a lightly oiled steaming dish. Steam for 45 minutes, uncovered.
7.    Leave to cool.
8.    Cut the pudding to size.
9.    Toss in the coconut.

Leftover pudding should be chilled and kept a maximum of 1 day.

1 comment:

  1. This kueh is very tasty especially eaten with loads of grated coconut. I like it!