Tepung Pelita, Kuih Tako & Kuih Limas: Which is which?
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Did you know that the staple kuih during Ramadan is Tepung Pelita? Of course, other kuih-muih are popular too but there’s just something about this month that people would queue in long lines for just to get a taste of the famous Tepung Pelita.
You don’t know Tepung Pelita? Well, it’s the type of kuih with a soft and gooey green bottom and a creamy white top, in small little box-shaped green leaves.
But which is which? The truth is, for Malaysian Kuihs, these descriptions are still ambiguous. There are actually three kinds of kuih matching these characteristics!
Thanks to a Twitter user @dr_chaku in his recent tweet, here are some easy ways to figure out the difference between the three.
1. Tepung Pelita
Hailing from the east coast of Malaysia, this kuih’s main attributes are the rice flour ingredient used and banana leaves boxes used.
The Green Part: The ingredients used are rice flour, water, pandan leaves, limewater, sugar and green colouring.
The White Part: The ingredients used are coconut milk, salt and rice flour.
A good thing to note for this is that this kuih can be steamed until it’s done or can be cooked separately on the stove and poured directly into the boxes without steaming.
The kuih is layered into pliable boxed banana leaves with a thin layer of sprinkled sugar (the sugar will dissolve with heat to add the watery and melts in your mouth taste).
The texture of this tea time snack is very soft and rich and it’ll likely feel like it’ll melt in your mouth. It should be eaten with a spoon and you’ll notice the gooeyness texture when you scoop it out.
Next, hailing from Perak, Kuih Limas is actually just the same as Tepung Pelita but with wheat flour instead of rice flour.
The Green Part: The ingredients used are the same as Tepung Pelita but substitute the rice flour with wheat flour and add coconut milk with salt too.
The White Part: Same as Tepung Pelita, just with wheat flour instead of rice flour.
For this particular kuih, it has to be steamed in a steamer instead of cooking and pouring it separately. It also uses the same pliant banana leaves for the boxes.
For the texture, it is said to be the same watery and melts in your mouth kinda taste, similar to Tepung Pelita.
Lastly, Kuih Tako is popular in the southern part of peninsular Malaysia. The main attributes of this kuih are the water chestnuts or jicama (sengkuang) bits.
Kuih tako also uses a different flour which is cornflour.
The Green and White Part: Same as Tepung Pelita except for the cornflour instead of rice flour.
Additionally, you can also use the method of cooking Tepung Pelita to cook this kuih (don’t need to steam). For this particular kuih, the boxes used to put the layers in are pandan leaves folded in a distinct way.
For extra crisp, Kuih Tako requires some small bits of water chestnuts mixed in the bottom green part. The texture of the bottom part is said to be a bit like jelly, harder than the softer Tepung Pelita.
Now can you tell the difference between the three? Which one got you lining up the long lines?
The key differences between the three lie in their type of flour (Tepung Pelita – Rice Flour, Kuih Tako – Cornflour, Kuih Limas – Wheat Flour) and the type of boxes (Tepung Pelita – Banana Leaves, Kuih Tako – Pandan Leaves, Kuih Limas – Banana Leaves) they’re put in.
Do you think you would notice if someone substituted your Tepung Pelita with Kuih Limas? Or would you just eat it all the same?