Monday, 11 February 2013
A Pancake By Any Other Name - Kueh Dadar / Ketayap (Nyonya Pandan Pancakes With Palm Sugar And Coconut Filling)
Sometime I think the world is unfair. Why does pancake day always falls on a Tuesday? Uhm...before you start, that was the rhetorical question. The last thing I need right now is a lecture on the fact behind this tragic arrangement. Does the world not realised that there are people like me who get up early in the morning for work? And when I say early, I meant at 5.30 in the morning. At that time in the morning, the last thing on my mind will be sifting flour and making my pancake batter, let alone flipping it. I simply do not have the time! But yet, I do love pancakes and that poses a perpetual dilemma.
Cold pancakes are never really that nice, so prepping them the day before is completely out of the question. It is at times like these that I wish we have a well equipped kitchen in the office. But no...oh no! All we have are some run down industrial microwaves which are fine if you want to zap up your packed lunch (mmm...something smells burnt) but try making pancakes using these (now that's an idea) is almost impossible. Believe me, I've tried. And any attempt in reheating pre-made pancakes in these microwaves will simply result in pancakes so chewy that you will still be working you way through them come Easter time.
So the next best thing is......my nan's secret weapon - Nyonya Kueh Dadar (also known as Kueh Ketayap). At first glance it might not look like your conventional pancakes but on closer inspection, all the usual suspects that make great pancakes are there.
You have deliciously light pancakes which you made by flipping (mind the ceiling!) - Tick!
Sugary syrup in the form of the palm sugar infused grated/dessicated coconut filling - Tick! Tick!
And last but not least, this can be made in advance and eaten cold the following day - Tick! Tick! Tick!
Well, I'm not sure about you, pancakes or no pancakes, this is it! Give it a go.....you know you want to.
See also my Apom Balik (Gula Melaka pancakes with sweet banana caramel sauce) for another great alternative.
Ingredients (Makes 8-10 )
For the filling:
300g gula melaka (palm sugar)
1 tbsp caster sugar
350ml coconut milk
4 pandan leaves, tied into a knot
250g desiccated coconut
For the pandan liquid:
20 pandan leaves
For the pandan pancakes:
250g plain flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp tapioca flour (optional but will give you a lovely bouncy pancakes)
1 tsp salt
4 whole free range eggs. lightly beaten
450ml coconut milk
natural green food colouring, optional
Place the gula melaka, sugar, coconut milk and knotted pandan leaves in a pan slowly bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, until the sugars dissolve. Turn off the heat and add the desiccated coconut. Toss to mix well. Leave to cool before discarding the pandan leaves. Set this aside for at least 1 hour or preferable overnight so the coconut can absorb all the liquid and turn into moist clumps.
For the pandan liquid, blitz the pandan leaves and water in a blender. Pass through a sieve to remove pandan fibres. Set aside.
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the tapioca flour, sugar and salt. Make a well in the centre and whisk in the eggs, a little at a time, before pouring in the coconut milk, pandan liquid and green colouring, if using. Whisk to a smooth batter. Rest the batter for 30 minutes before frying.
To prepare the pancakes, heat a nonstick frying pan, about 20cm in diameter, over medium-low heat. Pour in a ladleful of batter and tilt the pan or using a spatula to spread out the batter thinly across the pan. Once tiny craters start forming on the surface, flip the pancake over and cook for a 30 second, until cook through. Remove from the pan and repeat with the rest of the batter.
To roll the kueh dadar, lay a pancake on a work surface. Fill the middle with 1-2 tablespoon of the filling. Fold the lower half of the pancake over, the fold the left side over , then the right. Roll up to form a cigar shape. (see pics below). Repeat with the rest of the pancakes and filling.
Serve preferably on the day but this will also keep, if wrap well, for a day or two.