Saturday, April 01, 2006

Kuih Talam

I have never made Kuih Talam here before because the bottom layer of this kuih depends on the juice of pandan leaves for its flavor. Since i have made so many other types of kuih using pandan paste for flavor and it is a success, decided to give kuih talam a try. Viola, it is better than the juice. This recipe is from and i found that for a better height kuih, i would prefer a 7 inch round cake pan and i reduced the rice flour to the top layer. I increased the water in (A) by 20 ml to replace the pandan juice.

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For bottom green layer:

70g rice flour
30g green bean flour
300ml water

250g sugar
250ml water
1 tsp pandan paste
A few drops of green colouring
3/4 tsp potassium carbonate & sodium bi-carbonate solution.

For top white layer:

40g rice flour
1 1/2 tbsp green bean flour
1/2 tsp salt
300ml coconut milk


Mix (A) and leave aside to soak for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Cook sugar and water until sugar dissolves. Mix in the pandan paste,green coloring and potassium carbonate & sodium bi-carbonate solution(kan sui).

Pour syrup into (A). Cook in microwave for 1 minute on high , stir continuously with a whick, keep cooking for 1 minute at a time on high until batter becomes fairly thick and translucent but still runny.

Pour the hot batter into a greased 7 inch cake tin. If batter has turned too thick, you would have to smooth and level the surface with a plastic spatula.

Steam over rapidly boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes.

To prepare the white layer

Mix ingredients (C) together and soak for 10 minutes.

Cook in the microwave for 1 minute on high, stir and then another more minute. Batter must be runny.

Scratch the surface of the green layer before pouring in the top layer.

Pour the topping layer over the cooked green layer. Steam for about 10 minutes.

Cool the kuih well.

Slice into small diamond-shaped pieces.



FooDcrazEE said...

pandan paste - dont think i know what that to elaborate...auntie dear...chuckle

Unknown said...


pandan paste is artificial. it is mush thicker, comes in green and you can get from any of the cake supply stores. the brand i like best is the indonesian brand - koepoe koepoe

Unknown said...


guessed lily is a very common name in malaysia. I have a cousin who is always known as lena,discovered that her name in the birth cert. is lily ng. now we have 3 lily ngs.

i would have to take a pic of the bottle the alkali water and mung bean starch for you

Anonymous said...

Yalah, I got the same prob...dunno where to get alkali water...can you post the pic of the bottle pls. I am in Vancouver, Canada...lots of asian stores, but dunno what to ask for!!!

Unknown said...


Vancouver's china town is very much bigger than denver and the community from hong kong must be vast, therefore you should be able to get 'lye water'.

ask for 'kan sui' in cantonese

the brand is koon chun sauce factory - potassium carbonate & sodium bi-carbonate solution - product of hong kong

VeggieHead said...

Hi Lily,
I was wondering if i can use pandan essence rather than the paste. I've been looking all over the web. Can you use essence and paste interchangeably or is the essence stronger? Thank you

Unknown said...


i have not used the pandan essence since i discovered pandan paste.

the essence is very strong and will depart a strange taste if too much is use. use sparingly if you have to use it.

which state are you in?

Anonymous said...

can i just ignore the potassium and sodium? or is there any substitute? will it effect the taste of kueh? keen to known and try out



Unknown said...


if you leave the 3/4 tsp potassium carbonate & sodium bi-carbonate solution, the texture will not be good.

I think you can sub with a teaspoon of .diluted baking soda

ZirodZen said...

Hi Lily, I just got a call from a friend who lives in Dawson Spring asking about kuih talam. Told her I will browse around here and walllaaa.. I found your blog! It was amazing how much you've put into your blog. I've linked it to mine, so if ever I need to eat great malaysian food, I will definitely think of you. I've got this Betty Yew's kitchen secrets recipe book, but your website have more of what I need. Thanks again.

Zara in Germany said...

hi you can substitute alkaline water with corn starch..good luck!

Unknown said...

zara in germany

you can sub alkaline water with baking soda

Ruth said...

Can I DIY green bean flour? Can't find it here in UK, or does it have another name?

Unknown said...

ruth - the cotton candy

green bean flour is also called mung bean starch.

hong kwe flour which is from indonesia is also the same

in cantonese it is called - look tau tang fun'

17 Day Diet Newbie said...

Hi I hope you can help. I made this kuih on Thursday night and by Friday morning my top white layer started to become dry and harden slightly.

When Friday night came about the kuih was considerably drier and harder. How do I stop this from happening?

Unknown said...

kitchen disasters

this kuih has to be eaten fresh and it should be left in the fridge in an air-tight container. when you need to eat it, nuke in the microwave for 1/2 - 1 minute, to bring it back to room temp.

Rachel said...

hi lily, i have a packet of green bean flour and it is yellow in color. is this the correct one? coz i read somewhere before that there is a difference between green bean flour and green bean starch as one is yellow and the other is white in color. please clarify. many thanks.

Unknown said...


green bean flour is whole green bean milled into flour but green bean starch is green bean flour of which the gluten is removed. green bean flour is yellowish and green bean starch is white

Rachel said...

thanks for the explanation, lily. so the green bean flour called for in this recipe is the white or yellow one? thanks again, rachel

cyndibluebell said...

Hi Lily, was browsing for cendol recipe but found your web instead. Wonder if you have any trust cendol recipe for me? Is it the same recipe as your kuih talam but done differently? Please help.


the disappointed said...

Hi again, have been looking for pure creamy lemon tart but dont seemed to find one that can be trusted though. i wud like one that does not contain cream cheese. u know the pure lemon tart? i would prefer with biscuit base maybe. not really into pastry and i find it tedious to prepare. Thanks Lily..


Anonymous said...

I cannot find mung bean flour. Can I substitute that by boiling green peas and mashing them? There are no Asian stores here in this kampung that I live. Thus I have to substitute pandan paste by using vanilla essence. In fact, I am making my own rice flour. I am making this kuih from scratch. I am not making the top white layer. I will try the green layer only. What do you think???

Unknown said...


if you want to try the bottom layer only why don't you give kuih lompang a try.

i don't know how to make mung bean flour/starch and cooking mung beans and mashing them does not give you flour. Sub with cornflour/starch or tapioca flour/starch.

i use pandan paste cos fresh pandan leaves are not available, if your kampong has fresh leaves, all the better, pound the leaves and squeeze the juice.

good luck

kamyuenw said...

Hi Lily

I tried making kuih talam but i encountered the following difficulties:

1. Batter in A form small clumps. What should I do to get it evenly mixed?

2. Can i reduce the amount of sugar suggested?

3. Will the kuih becomes firm once it's steamed? or do we have to wait till it cools down? Mine seems to be still rather sticky after i steamed it.

Please advice.


Adrian Wong

Unknown said...


1. Batter in A form small clumps. What should I do to get it evenly mixed?

>> Yes, the batter should not have lumps, it should be thoroughly mixed.

2. Can i reduce the amount of sugar suggested?

>> sugar can less or more to your taste

3. Will the kuih becomes firm once it's steamed? or do we have to wait till it cools down? Mine seems to be still rather sticky after i steamed it.

>> the kuih will be firm when it is cooked and firmer when cooled. if the recipe is right, it should not be sticky and perhaps you have used the wrong rice flour - it should be rice flour and not glutinous flour

Anonymous said...

Dear Lily,

I've used pandan juice from frozen pandan leaves but the bottom layer of my Kuih Talam turned out bitter. Could it be possibly due to the leaves itself or maybe the 'kan sui'? What should i do to remove the bitterness?


Unknown said...


the bitterness definitely came from the 'kan sui'. did you use more than the required amount in the recipe?

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joyce said...

Dear LIly,

My top white layer gets blended into the bottom green layer when I pour them. How do I get a clean white top layer ?

Unknown said...


you must got the surface of the green layer caught with some condensation. Dry the surface with kitchen towel before pouring the top white layer. remember to scrape slightly so that the top layer will adhere. also, when pouring the top layer, try pouring it over a spoon and not directly onto the green layer.

good luck

Lee Meng See said...

Dear Lily,
I just read your recipe and was wondering if you use the green bean flour for the top layer, wouldnt it be greenish bec the green bean flour i bought is green. I used it for the bottom layer but use hon kwee for the top layer.
TQ just need some clarification
Meng See

Unknown said...

lee ming see

i see that you have bought the hon kwee flour that is colored green, white color is available and use that for the top layer. btw, i buy my green bean/mung bean starch by the pound and it is white cos it is a starch and not flour. green bean/mung bean flour is skinless green bean/mung bean ground.

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