Nonya Kueh 娘惹粿 @ Glory Catering

After a heavy lunch at Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice, we still had room for kopi and some kueh (also spelled as kuih). Glory Catering is just down the road so we went there.

There are several types of kueh and in Singapore, the two most popular kueh origins are the Chinese Kueh (some found in dim sum menu) and the *Nonya Kuih (this category include Indonesian/Malaysian).

I’m not sure if Kueh originated from the Chinese word 粿 (guo) or if it is a Malay term. We have such harmonious cross-cutlural influences so much so that many things are taken for granted until we have to explain it. I think it is likely from the Hokkien dialect word which sounds like… Kueh! Hehehe…

Kueh (usually bite-sized snacks/desserts) is never an entrée with a few exceptions i.e. the Kueh Pie Tee (Top Hats) or Popiah parties; and that’s when these snacking items become the main course.

Many hotels include kueh kueh in their “High Tea” menu except that in Asia, eating kueh is not confined to a certain meal time – they can be consumed throughout the day. They are an integral part, especially of Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean festivities such as Tahun Baru Imlek, Hari Raya and Chinese New Year. We are lucky to not have to wait to eat kueh kueh once a year. And oh, when Asian children grow up and have an income they give some money (from their salaries) which is either known as ‘Kopi lui’ or ‘Jiak kueh lui’ where kopi (Malay) = coffee, jiak (Hokkien) = eat, kueh (Hokkien) = snack, lui (Hokkien) = money. In English, pocket money (monthly allowance) for their elders i.e. parents and/or grandparents.

In almost all Malay and Peranakan kuih, the most common flavouring ingredients are grated coconut (plain or flavoured), coconut cream (thick or thin), pandan (screwpine) leaves and gula melaka (palm sugar, fresh or aged). While those make the flavour of kuih, their base and texture are built on a group of starches – rice flour, glutinous rice flour, glutinous rice and tapioca. Two other common ingredients are tapioca flour and green bean (mung bean) flour (sometimes called “green pea flour” in certain recipes). They play a most important part in giving kuihs their distinctive soft, almost pudding-like, yet firm texture. Wheat flour is rarely used in Southeast Asian cakes and pastries.

For most kuih there is no single “original” or “authentic” recipe. Traditionally, making kuih was the domain of elderly grandmothers, aunts and other women-folk, for whom the only (and best) method for cooking was by “agak-agak” (approximation). They would instinctively take handfuls of ingredients and mix them without any measurements or any need of weighing scales. All is judged by its look and feel, the consistency of the batter and how it feels to the touch. Each family holds its own traditional recipe as well as each region and state.

*Nyonya (Peranakan) and Malay kuih should not be distinguished since Peranakans have settled in the Malay Peninsula. They have adapted to Malay culinary and cultural heritage. Therefore there are many kuih native to Malay culture which have been improvised and retained by the Peranakans.

Nonya kuih come in different shapes, colours, texture and designs. Some examples are filled, coated, wrapped, sliced and layered kuih. Also, as mentioned earlier, most kuih are steamed, with some being boiled or baked. They can also be deep-fried and sometimes even grilled. – Wikipedia

Glory Catering @ Katong

Some of the Nonya snacks we tried at Glory Catering.

Glory Catering @ Katong

This is Popiah or fresh spring roll (as opposed to the deep-fried ones normally served as hors d’oeuvres during parties).

Glory Catering @ Katong

Kueh Pie Tee or Top Hat is one of the favourites at a Nonya’s home party.

Glory Catering @ Katong

Nonya Kueh 娘惹粿.
Clockwise from front:
1) Kueh Lapis or 9 layer kueh (娘惹九層糕) should not be confused with Cake (kek) Lapis. The latter is a baked product very much like western cake. Lapis means layers in Malay.
2)Kueh Sarlat (娘惹咖椰粿) has glutinous (here we have one with white and the other with black glutinous rice) bottom and kaya (coconut egg custard) topping. The green looking custard is due to the use of Pandan juice extract and a bit of green food colouring.
3) Onde Onde (椰木薯) dough skin usually contains sweet potatoes and flour. It has gula melaka (palm sugar) filling inside and the outer is coated with fresh desiccated coconut.

I was just happy to be greeted by rainbow coloured kueh kueh the minute I walked near the shopfront. As for the taste of the kueh kueh I had that day, it was not the best I have tasted (the best ones are those home-made which I order well in advance) but Glory Catering is certainly better than most of the mass producing commercial outlets I have come across in Singapore. Glory also serves nasi padang and hot one dish meals. If you don’t have a Nonya relative or one who will cook for you and you do like slow-cooked heritage food, Glory Catering could be a friend when you plan your next party.

Glory Catering Pte Ltd
139 East Coast Road.
Singapore 428829.

Tel: (+65) 6344 1749

Happy eating and bonding 🙂

Recipe for Popiah Filling and Kueh Pie Tee:
Kueh Pie Tee (Top Hat Pastry)

One Response to “Nonya Kueh 娘惹粿 @ Glory Catering”
  1. Sugar, any color, will do just fine, thank you…
    Let’s have dessert first the next time …
    Love, hugs and think thin… ME

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