9 layered kueh is one of the Peranakan cuisine in both Singapore and Malaysia. Peranakan refers to people group who has Chinese and Malay heritage, sometimes also known as Nonya. 9-layered kueh as per the name, has 9 layers which the number 9 is quite an auspicious number to the Chinese meaning longevity.
Each layer is a mixture of coconut milk, tapioca flour, rice flour, sugar, and food colouring. The layers are then steamed on top of one another, creating distinct separate layers that stick together. When you are eating it, you can either eat the whole chunk or peel layer by layer to slowly savour and enjoy the kueh.
Prep time 15 mins
Cook time 1 hour
Serving 20 pieces
Ingredients for the 9 layered kueh
- 600 ml water
- 400 g castor sugar (I reduce this to 150 g, using SIS brown raw sugar)
- 8-10 pandan leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 250 g tapioca flour
- 200 g rice flour
- 600 ml coconut cream (Santan) chilled (I used the Kara brand)
- 7″ Square tray (I used the Pyrex brand glass tray)
- 4-6 pandan leaves (for garnishing)
- 1 tsp green and red food colouring respectively
- Wash the pandan leaves and drain dry. Then twist the leaves to break up the veins, and tie the pandan leaves into a bundle. Place into the pot of water, sugar and salt to bring to boil. Simmer for 5 mins for the sugar to completely dissolve.
- Sieve out the sugar syrup into a large glass bowl. Add the chilled coconut milk into the sugar syrup to help cool it down.
- Measure the tapioca flour and rice flour into a separate bowl and mix well. You can increase the proportions of tapioca and rice flour accordingly to how springy the constituency you desire. More tapioca flour will make the kueh springy and chewy, though the total amount of tapioca and rice flour must add up to 450 g.
- When the sugar syrup is cool, add in the flour mixture a little at a time, and stir with a hand whisk until completely mixed well. Sieve the batter to remove any lumps for a smoother batter.
- Divide the batter into 3 equal portions. Add red and green food colouring to two of the portions, leaving the last portion white.
- Fill up the glass tray with the white portion of the batter and put to steam under boiling water for 5 mins. Once the layer is firm, add in the green portion over the white layer, steam for 4-5 mins. Continue the same for each layer. Steam for 15 mins for the final red layer to ensure that all layers are cooked and firmed.
- Leave aside to cool for 4-6 hours. Once it is cooled, remove the kueh by using a knife to loosen the side of the tray. Turn it upside down onto a baking parchment paper. Using a sharp knife greased with oil, cut the kueh into smaller rectangles to serve. For the remaining pieces you can wrap them in plastics and store in the fridge. Steam them to soften before eating again.