Simply made from all ingredients found in the ulu the Iban mother can literally make the best kuih penganan in the world! Today it is a popular street food all over Sarawak - in the capital Kuching and along the streets in Engkili and even in Kapit and in a kitchen deep in the jungle and up the river Rajang. It is found every day in Miri and we have it for breakfast or afternoon tea.
Originally this was made for spirit worshipping or Miring. But today it is home cooked food. A comfort food which keeps the human soul happy and at peace with the world and fellow men. Its basic ingredient is freshly ground ( hand pounded I heard is best). Gula apong added to it gives it a beautiful colour and fragrant aroma.
Freshly made penganan is drained of its oil. A small kuali is needed for this small kuih. Mother has to deep fry one by one and slowly to bring out the best texture and taste. A foreign writer had written ,"The palm sugar and the rice flour mix well to bring out a tropical rainforest flavour."
Home recipe given by a friend:
l cup of plain flour
l cup of rice flour
1/2cup of sugar
2cups of warm water or enough to make a pancake batter consistency
1 cup gula apong or gula melaka
1) Mix both the flours (some people use slightly more rice flour - you need to have your own trial and error) together with the sugar and mix evenly.
2) Melt sugar in the water (Some people boil the gula apong and then strain the sugar to get rid of little bits of processing materials)
3) Mix the sugar+water mixture with your flour mixture and let it sit for preferrably over night.
4) Prepare a small and heavy wrought iron (if you have) wok with a deep base so it allows the side to come up fluffy (hence why mine doesnt)
5) When ready to cook, heat up enough oil to partially deep fry it. I use a small plastic cup to scoop the batter so that all the kuih will be the same size. Turn over when slightly brown to fry the other side.
N/B a small kerosene stove is the best to give you a small fire. Gas fire should be slow and steady.