Kuih Talam

by Kiran on June 3, 2014 · 15 comments

in Desserts, Gluten Free, Vegan

Hi Friends!

I’ve cribbed about not having access to enough exotic ingredients here in Orlando in order to satisfy my cravings for Malaysian food or dessert.

Cribbing is over, thank god! Time to steam some great Malaysian delicacies, all thanks to frozen ingredients.


Kuih Talam | @KiranTarun

I’ve said it many times — nothing beats the aromatic scents and flavors of Malaysian desserts. What’s not to love when coconut milk reigns? And to take it up a notch — pandanus leaves — which imparts a distinct sweetness and delectable fragrance.

Malaysian desserts are usually incomplete without pandanus leaves. And unfortunately, there’s no substitute. If you want to make it, you’ve got to track down for some pandanus leaves. Fresh is better, so ship some to me. Please?

Kuih Talam | @KiranTarun

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe


Green bottom layer-

  • 3 0z rice flour
  • 1.5 oz tapioca flour
  • 1.5 oz green bean flour
  • 4 oz sugar
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 10 to 15 huge pandan leaves, chopped

White top layer-

  • 2 oz rice flour
  • 1.5 oz green bean flour
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1.5 cups of thick coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Preheat a large steamer that would fit a 7 inch pan. Grease a 7 inch, square cake pan. Set aside.
  2. Blend 2 cups of coconut milk and chopped pandanus leaves until fine. Using a fine mesh strainer, sieve the coconut milk of any fibrous bits from pandanus leaves. Add the liquid into a large bowl and combine the rest of ingredients for the green bottom layer. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Add the liquid green bottom layer into a large non-stick saucepan and heat the pan on low. Stir continuously for 5 to 7 minutes or until liquid begins to thicken.
  4. Gently add the greased square cake pan into the steamer. Carefully drizzle the thicken green bottom layer into the greased cake pan. Cover and steam for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Repeat the steps for white top layer while waiting for the bottom layer to steam.
  6. Once the green bottom layers is firm to touch, use a paper towel to blot any access moisture from the surface before adding the white top layer. Steam for another 15 to 20 minutes or until top is set and firm.
  7. Once kuih talam is done steaming, remove the cake pan from steamer. Allow kuih to completely cool in the cake pan before cutting.
  8. Lightly grease knife before cutting into kuih, each time. Serve with a side of teh tarik or coffee. Enjoy!


Kuih Talam | @KiranTarun

Oh, kuih talam… it’s one of many reasons why we make an effort to travel all the way back to Malaysia whenever possible. In order to devour our favorite Malaysian desserts, of course.

And also to spend time with the parents. Naturally 😉

Have you tried Malaysian desserts before? It’s a revelation, I promise!


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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa June 3, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Oh, I love that sweet treat! Your Kuih Talam look so pretty and delicious. Malaysian desserts are heavenly. I really love Kuih Dadar…




2 Laura (Tutti Dolci) June 3, 2014 at 8:29 PM

I’ve never tried Malaysian desserts. So pretty, I love the layers!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently posted..black forest cookie bars


3 Angie@Angie's Recipes June 4, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Gorgeous green…and I love it’s made with coconut and pandan.
Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Quark Cheese Berry Popsicles


4 Shibi@FlavzCorner June 4, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Loved the color and the distinct layers of the dessert. Unfortunately I never got a chance to try Malaysian desserts 🙁
Shibi@FlavzCorner recently posted..Braided Nutella Coconut Bread


5 Archana @ The Perfect Zest June 4, 2014 at 1:50 PM

never tried it – this is a whole new world you are opening up for me. And its the perfect bite size dessert. Looking forward to being introduced to more Malaysian desserts..
Archana @ The Perfect Zest recently posted..Charred Zucchini + Quinoa Pasta + Cilantro Lime Dressing


6 Mallika June 4, 2014 at 5:44 PM

I never got to explore Malaysian cuisine. But this one looks so simple and beautiful. True, what’s not to love about coconut and its milk. Wondering if there were substitutes for Pandan leaves?
Mallika recently posted..TonDekayi MeNasina HuLi (Ivy Gourd in Spiced Coconut Curry)


7 laurasmess June 5, 2014 at 12:54 AM

These are such beautiful little delicacies Kiran! I’ve never heard of them before but I love the sound of their exotic flavours. Glad that you could track down the ingredients you needed, albeit frozen! Yum (gorgeous photos as always!) xx
laurasmess recently posted..Rosemary, Sea Salt and Macadamia Oil Crackers


8 Helene D'Souza June 5, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Can one ship pandan leafs from Asia to the US? We have/had a pandanus bush in our garden. We had to cut him now before the rain so he is a bit small right now but I can send you some in september. One thing I am not sure, in India we have pandan but I think the flavor is slightly different because I had asked my friend to bring from Thailand and I compared the flavors. Not sure if it’s like the Malaysian one.btw gorgeous dessert Kiran, I still don’t know exactly how to use pandan in food so I am happy about a good recipe. =)
Helene D’Souza recently posted..Useful road trip tips for India


9 Amy @ Elephant Eats June 5, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Oooh, these sound so interesting…i’d love to try some!
Amy @ Elephant Eats recently posted..A Tasty Clafoutis and Pregnancy Update Weeks 24, 25, 26


10 Simi Jois June 5, 2014 at 10:50 AM

You have enticed me into trying this…I need to locate pandanus leaves. My husband loves Malaysian food and I was wondering if you had some Malaysian curries on your blog?

Do i Have to say it, your photography is inspirational.
Simi Jois recently posted..Strawberry shortcake in a shot glass


11 Karen (Back Road Journal) June 5, 2014 at 7:17 PM

What a beautiful and vibrant green dessert…I love it. If you think it is hard to get ethic ingredients in Orlando, you should try living in rural New Hampshire. 😀
Karen (Back Road Journal) recently posted..Three Years On The Back Roads


12 Tanvi@SinfullySpicy June 5, 2014 at 8:54 PM

Such a pretty green! I want to steal some from the screen 🙂
Tanvi@SinfullySpicy recently posted..Chole Paneer


13 Daniela June 6, 2014 at 8:20 AM

I’ve never tried Malaysan sweets before but yours look so tempting, Kiran that now I will:)
I understand your happiness when you finally got all the ingredients needed for this gorgeous sweet treat.
Daniela recently posted..Pesto Rosso & Pesto Verde- It’s All In The Family


14 Mandy @ladyandpups June 15, 2014 at 1:18 AM

Oh I LOVE pandang! The first time I went to malaysia I brought back 3 bottles of pandang essence! But it’s not as good as the real stuff.


15 H L Kon October 6, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Love to have this kuih. Cannot get the real McCoy in London. Have wait for my Penang trip to eat one.


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