Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Put one foot in front of the other

In Malay tradition, Kueh is a form of traditional "cake" or bite sized dish, that is either sweet or savory, and is especially abundant during holidays or celebrations. In this part of the world kueh is seen in such a large variety of offerings that there really is no description I can think of that perfectly describes these lovely morsels. Virtually all of the ethnic food traditions here have their favorite kuehs. They are a notable feature of the foods offered during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan for the Buka Puasa (breaking of the day's fast) each evening and the celebration of Hari Raya AidilFitri that follows, as well as during the Hindu celebration of Deepavali. So, given its prevalence here, I'm not sure why I had the preconception that it is difficult to make kueh, but it explains why I have not made any after I had attempted "chwee kueh" many months ago. 

If you would like to get the recipe, just click on the picture.

So why am I blogging a kueh now? It's because I decided to participate in this month's Aspiring Baker #12 which calls for traditional kueh. I was looking for a relatively simple kueh to make and since my mum likes pumpkin, I decided to make pumpkin kueh.  It was very fortunate that both the look and the taste were quite good after my first attempt.  I was very pleased.  Having said that, I remembered a post I had read recently from my friend, David’s blog, Pen to Page. It was a very simple picture but very powerful.  It showed a few steps of stairs and below it these words: "Things that seem hard are not always that hard. Put one foot in front of the other, and you’ll get to the end". I will keep this in mind and,the next time when something seems very hard to do and I procrastinate because of that, I'll remember to take that first step. It is pretty simple really. Just make yourself lift up that one foot and keep on putting one foot in front of the other. Very soon, you will complete a task which seemed difficult and perhaps come to realize it is not so hard after all. I did and it works! When I served a piece of this pumpkin kueh to my mum with a big grin, she said to me, "世上无难事,只怕有心人." (where there is a will, there is a way.)

Pumpkin Kueh
(Based on Madam Kwan's recipe with modification)

Steam pumpkin kueh
Largely adpated from Madam Kwan's recipe

100gm green bean powder/flour
250ml thick coconut milk
200gm sugar
300gm pumpkin

Steam 250gm diced pumpkin and 50gm sliced pumpkin till cooked. Mashed diced pumpkin. Add green bean powder to cononut milk and mix well. Add in sugar gradually and mix well. Add in mashed and sliced pumpkin, cook over moderate heat till thick. Transfer to a pan or mould and let cool. Refrigerate and serve cold.

Note: If you do not want to have sliced pumpkin, just mash them all for a more consistent texture and mouth feel. 

I am submitting this recipe to Aspiring Bakers #12 Traditional Kueh (October 2011) hosted by Smallsmallbaker


  1. this looks and sound s delicous,, beautifully presented as well.

  2. This pumpkin kueh is sure to be delicious and healthy. I have not really use pumpkin to make any cakes or kueh before. I like your plates.

  3. That looks good ! I love using coconut milk in both sweet and savoury dishes so yours must be delicious :)

  4. Love the natural coloring from the pumpkin...It makes the kuih looks even delicious!

  5. Kuih is new to me but if your photo is any indication - I certainly would love to try one! I love your friend's philosophy - one step at a time. Annie LaMott (writer) wrote a book "Bird by Bird" which has that same philosophy - one step at a time and it's not so overwhelming.

  6. This looks easy enough.. and since I like pumpkin.. gonna try this out! Thks for sharing as always...

  7. I dun really like the taste of pumpkin. But that chwee kueh really brings back childhood memories. Until today, I have yet to find a delicious chwee kueh that I'd used to eat when I was a child.

  8. It looks so pretty. I love the color.I've never had green bean powder, but the kueh sounds good.

  9. Lovely orange colour to your kuih. I like 'chwee kueh' very much too. When I go back to KL, a few trips to Nyonya Colours is a must, I love the kuih-muih there!! :)

  10. OMG, this sounds amazing, wowsers :)

  11. Looks delicious! I love the flavour of coconut milk and pumpkin.

  12. I must remember your advice: Put one foot in front of the other.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe and words!

  13. Thank Quay Po Cook, this pumpkin recipe is the one that I want. I like it very much. I will sure try one day. I am a pumpkin lover.

  14. The color and pumpkin flavor must be wonderful here. I love how pumpkin is so popular everywhere now...sweet and savory. I would love a taste, and every journey starts with ine step, and you help us keep going.

  15. Hi Quay Po, this pumpkin kueh is so intriguing and to read about it leaves me inspired. Thank you for sharing the recipe and the traditions behind it!

  16. Wow, I'm surprised at how few ingredients are involved in making this pumpkin kueh. I think I would probably mashh all the pumkins cause it sounds easier that way and I'm so lazy....teehee. Either way, I'll bet this will taste as good as it looks. I'm a fan of pumpkin anything. Glad your mom liked the kueh as well.

  17. The first dish looks very good. At first I thaught these were scallops


  18. I enjoy looking at all kinds of pumpkin and now this is Asian pumpkin sweets! Yay! I don't think I've tried Kueh before but looking at these photos and recipe, I would definitely enjoy these. ;-)

  19. Ok, now this recipe looks quite simple and if I don't try it, I'm gonna regret soon. Love all types of kueh, sweet or savory :)

  20. Although I'm not a pumpkin lover. Your pictures makes it look so appetizing!

  21. This is knew to me and will make it.Pumpkin slowly disappearing from my garden..as it is spring here now;))

  22. your sweet pumpkin kuih, sound nice! also very nice colour.

  23. This sounds delicious. There are now lots of pumpkin dishes, this ones quite unique

  24. Lovely colours & I'm sure it's tasty too.

  25. The pumpkin kueh looks delicious, like the colour too :)

  26. Ah, you're joining in as well. I've just recently joined up too and I'm glad I did. I'm learning to make more local kuehs now. This kueh sounds and looks fantastic! I'm taking this down. Will make it soon. I have some mashed pumpkin in the freezer.

  27. Lovely! Won't u pass me some pleeeeeeeese??

  28. I like the pumpkin in those kueh...beautiful colour and so seasonal!

  29. It is very intriguing. I love learning the stories behind food traditions!

  30. i love ur plate so much,haha^^
    thx for sharing:)

  31. Your Kueh certainly look enticing, I not much of a kueh person but can't stop drooling over your pumpkin kueh.

  32. Oh, this is the sweet pumpkin kueh, very interesting.The color was so beautiful.

  33. The colour combination is very "striking"... love anything with pumpkin.. today my colleague gave a loaf of japanese pumpkin cake with lots of pumpkin seeds inside... :)

  34. Very creative...it looks delicious! Miss all the kueh in Malaysia.

  35. This cake is cause for celebration in itself.

  36. Put one foot in front of the other.. I really needed that today! Thanks for this post and a delicious-looking kueh recipe!

  37. I've never had kueh before, but your Steam pumpkin kueh looks absolutely delicious! And congrats for nailing this recipe in your first attempt :) Loved the story behind this recipe, it's really inspiring. Sometimes, it's taking the first step that's so daunting, but once you take it, the rest just falls into place.

    Do pick up your award on my post, 3 Awards...whoa!, when you have time.


    A Single Girl's Musings

  38. Loved the pictures and post- I love pumpkin in about anything. I am tempted to try this soon but was wondering if there is anything I might substitute for the green bean powder since I have not seen that before around where I live.

  39. Veronica-this is absolutely gorgeous, colorful and oh, so delicious. I love any recipe made with pumpkin, and your Kueh, is so yummy!
    Beautiful presentation, and photos, as well!

  40. hi Quay ..lovely page indeed!! and nice photography! and good recipes! :) I've never tried this particular pumpkin queh before, only the one that;'s cooked like yam kuih. Perhaps..if I can overcomethat first step, I might give it a shot. :)

  41. I've been learning so much about kueh the last few days. Very inspiring and oh so versatile. I love the addition of pumpkin. I can see how it would bring out the earthy flavor.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Veronica...

  42. Love the pumpkin kuey... Looks so tempting!

  43. I never had pumpkin kuih before. These looks good

  44. WOW..your kuih looks good and yummy, the chwee kuih is my son's favourite, I think I should try it one day...(I am very lazylah,hohoho...)

  45. How pretty! Glad you tried it!

  46. Wow, your chwee kueh and pumpkin kueh looks awesome! Both are my favorite! Love the bright colour...

  47. Both kuehs look delicious! It is hard to believe that they are home-cooked because they look very professional made.

  48. hi quay po! the orange colour is very attractive, can i know is the texture of this kuih resembles a kuih talam?

  49. Veronica,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and your sweet words.

    I have never heard of kueh before, but yours is lovely. I like the texture of the kueh with the diced and mashed pumpkin. Great presentation!

  50. Beautiful color and looks very delicious.

  51. Yum! Yum! They look heavenly... I love kuihs!!! Not difficult to make...but then, you end up with a lot to eat - easier to buy from outside and eat a piece or two...but then again, those bought outside can never be as nice as one's own-made ones. Sighhhhh!!! Heads you win, tail I lose...

  52. i can read all but one word in that quote!! :) So proud of myself :D tehehehe.....

    I've never had kueh before, but I've seen in on a lot of blogs!! One day I'll have to try make some just to see what it tastes like ;) This looks delicious though!!

  53. I absolutely love your blog ;) Thanks again for visiting Cool Bean Mommas!

  54. @laurie
    I love encouraging words! Thanks.

    I love coconut milk too but got to be careful not to consume too much. hehe

    @Yee Ling
    Yes the golden color of the pumpkin brightens up my day. I have tried to go your blog many times but it is not accessible.

    Oh thanks for mentioning Annie LaMott's book. I got to go get a copy and read it.

    @Food Dreams
    No worries about sharing. I always will when for it gives me joy. I am glad you will try making this kuih. Since you love pumpkin, I know you will love this kuih.

    Me too, I am no a big fan of pumpkin like my mum and my Quay Lo but I like this kuih. You might want to just give this kuih one chance and it might change your mind about pumpkin. I love chew kueh and I still get it from outside when I want to eat it. It is not as good as home made but "boleh tahan lah" (can do) because I am lazy to make it..hehe..

    Green bean powder was new to me too before I made the "Ngoh hiang" http://quaypocooks.blogspot.com/2011/01/ngoh-hianglobak-five-spiced-pork-rolls.html some months ago. I am sure you can get it from the grocery stores or a cake supply shops. If you really can't find the green bean flour, substitute with corn flour. The texture will not be as soft as using the green bean flour then.

  55. @David
    Wish you live nearby and I can send some to you:D

    Taste amazing too.

    It is a good advice.

    @Sheoh Yan
    If you are a pumpkin lover, this is the kuih for you my dear:D

    I think it is the pumpkin season and also because of Halloween around the corner. That's why we see pumpkins flooding the food blogs.

    I am glad the kuih intrigues you. That is what all your bakes did to me too.

    If you are a fan of pumpkin, you must not miss trying this one. I think mashing up all the pumpkins will give the kuih a smoother texture. You probably will like it better. The most rewarding thing about this kuih for me is my mum's like it:D

  56. definitely sings autumn to me. pumpkin is so versatile, i love it either sweet or savory... but these kuih looks irresistable. if only i could grab one off my screen right now hehe.


  57. Wow - that looks SO delicious and your plating is stunning! Nicely done!

  58. Your photos are beautiful. The recipe sounds very good.

  59. @Filip
    haha, I don't blame you for mistaken the chwee kuih as scallops

    You should try some Asian kuih, there are so many to choose from.

    Yes, you will if you don't.

    Like I have said before, I am also not a pumpkin fan but I will eat this kuih anytime.

    No worries, wait till the next pumpkin season.

    Haven't you made any pumpkin kuih before? I am surprise:D

    Yes, I see pumpkins in almost every food blog I visited.

  60. @i-lostinausten
    Yes it is.

    @Ah Tze

    I can see that you are. Love your chai kuih you recently made. I am going to try making them too.

    Sure can but would you move to stay nearer to me? hehe

    The strips of pumpkin in the kuih put a nice touch to the kuih but I am not so sure if everyone will like the bite feel.

    Yes, me too, when I see a kind of food, I would love to know the history of it.

    Those are very old plates bought from a sale.

    You have to eat it to know how tasty it is. Try making some.

  61. @yummylittlecooks
    I have not tried any savory pumpkin kuih. This is the first pumpkin kuih I have tasted and it is delicious. I think I should try making a savory one to compare.

    Your colleague is very thoughtful.

    Come back and visit. Give early notice of the time you will be here, maybe we can meet up and I can take you go eat all the kuih kuih.

    @That Girl

    Most welcome.

    You got it!

    Yes, you can substitute it with corn starh but then the texture will not be as soft as using green bean flour.

    Thanks and HUGS!

  62. @Martha
    I am sure you can. I did"D

    It is a wonderful feeling to share especially with someone like you who is so supportive.

    Hope you will try making it someday.

    @Small Kucing
    Me too before I made this.

    haha, get over that and lift that one foot.. hehe

    I am glad I did.

    @Honey Bee Sweets
    So are you going to try doing both soon?

    Wow, thanks for the compliment.

    How to describe the texture to you… let me think… I think it is a bit softer than kuih talam.

  63. @Becky
    I was thinking of you yesterday so I pay you a visit. So nice of you to come by.

    @Yummy Bakes

    You are right. So make at home and if too much for you and your family, share with you neighbors lah. Then it will be a win-win!

    Yes, if you make it, do share your experience with us.

    Thanks for dropping by. Hope to see you around.

    If only I can sen you a piece:D

    So good to see you again. Thanks

    @Words of Deliciousness

  64. omg omg... those pumpkin kuih look so tempting.

    I'm afraid I don't do both. I don't eat kuih (much) and of course I don't make them. hehehe gotta watch my sugar intake. But I loved them. *drool*

  65. @lina
    You are wise to watch your sugar intake:D

  66. nice amazing kueh with the pumpkin and must say very creative one too.

  67. I love the color and the texture! Hope I can make this one day but don't know where to find green bean powder. hehehe! Is there a substitue? By the way, I'm a new follower. Have a great week!

  68. @Nava
    Thank you. It is nice to see you again.

    You can replace with corn flour except the texture will not be as soft. Thanks so much for your following. I hope you will enjoy your time here when you visit.

  69. I recalled that kue back home, kue labu kuning. :)

    Since we grew from the same root, I don't celebrate halloween until now :)


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