Months back, I promised a good friend of mine to make a Malay Kuih for her – Kuih Dangai. I am not sure if she still remember this but I gave a good laughed at myself because I ended up with an empty hand, nothing even a back up. I apologized and amazingly she didn’t mad at me at all !! No, I didn’t break my promise. The kuih wasn’t appetizingly edible to be presented, by it’s texture mainly. The gooey oozy and sticky result was not wasted; I forced myself and hubby to eat them all (We do this all the time so no food wasting) with the determination of I will try again till I get it . Scary thing I did to us .. sorry husband!
Honest to be told, I didn’t know how to make this kuih exactly by measurement.. how embarrassing!. Watching my grandma made this family favorite, I memorized the ingredients but the measurement is over my head, could not understand to measure by can , regular cup etc. So I have to figure out the exact consistency and of course using a standard measurement. With quite number of trial and errors and also scary moments for both me and hubby, it eventually turned out as I’ve been after for, I am so thankful for that!
The minor problem now, to make kuih dangai, there is a particular mold. I can’t remember what element the mold is made but it’s quite heavy and it comes in dual. If I can find it here, it will surely be a big party to celebrate because you can hardly find it anywhere lately in Malaysia, even. Reason? Kuih Dangai is a long forgotten kuih and not everyone makes this kuih.
No mold, No problem.. use what ever you have.. really! Sandwich toaster is what I would recommend because It looks almost the same and toast / cook the kuih evenly and nicely – crusty and toasty externally and very moist and mildly sweet in the inside.. just prefect.. just like the one with the real mold. I am pretty sure.. iA. Did you just ask me what I used for my kuih dangai? I will explain later in the method section ..iA.
If you enjoy coconut macaroon , this is pretty much the same.. a Malaysian version, A Malaysian Macaroon Pie it is. The differences are kuih dangai is more fragrant, very toasty and rich in coconut flavor, the sweetness is not overpowering. A big bonus, It is very simple to make too. You can ask your kids to make it for you, I suspect they will be amazed how easy it is to make… if only they know how to measure things!
One thing I learned though, I should make a promise something I know for sure or something I have experienced.
My promise to make that kuih dangai has yet to reach because she (my friend aka sister) has moved away. The idea of mailing this kuih to her is not even appealing either or it will get sticky oozy again or the worse.. non-edible at all . You can’t force people to eat a rotten food, it is sinful, isn’t it?
Kuih Dangai ( Makes 4 wedges)
You can definitely double the portion, just double all ingredients mentioned. For baking/toasting , you can also use a regular baking dish for this kuih. If the portion doubled, fit in a bigger pan. This kuih is great to serve warm, it gets soggy when cooled. Pop in the oven or microwave or on stove for reheating.
- 2 cups grated fresh coconut, press and drain off the juice ever so slightly until you obtain about 1/3 cup coconut milk ( keep it for other use)
- ½ cup glutinous rice flour ( sweet rice flour)
- 2 teaspoons white granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar, ( for sprinkling) add 1-2 teaspoons for sweeter but no more than that.
1- Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 205 Celsius .
2- Grease well a small cast iron pan (yes, this is what I used) with canola oil. Set Aside.
3- In a mixing bowl, mix grated coconut, glutinous flour, white sugar and salt. Stir until well combined. It looks crumbly at this point. Take a scoop of the mixture, pack it up in your palm.. if it comes together, you are good to continue the next step. If otherwise, add 1 teaspoon of glutinous flour.. bit by bit until it comes together if pressing. ( DO NOT add too much flour to the mixture, kuih dangai will be tough and taste more flour than coconut).
4- In a well greased iron cast pan, scoop half of the coconut mixture in. Press with finger or spatula to fill and fit the pan fully. (why you want to do this? So the sugar won’t oozes to the bottom of the pan while baking.)
5- Sprinkle light brown sugar on the press mixture, leave out the edges about 1/2 inch apart.
6- The other half of the mixture remained, repeat the same thing in step-4.
7- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges browned and crispy.. the top browned and toasted. Remove from the oven. Let it cool for 10 minutes so that caramelized brown sugar is settled and then cut into wedges. Enjoy while it is still warm.
Note: If using sandwhich makers/toaster, do not toast too long.. 8-10 minutes should be good enough. Sandwhich makers cooks kuih dangai much faster because the heat is direct and comes from the top and the bottom.
If using cast iron, you can also toast/cook on a stove on low heat.