Make your own delightful Nonya kueh

By Debbie Teoh
17 May 2011 9:00 AM Updated 16 May 2011

Make your own delightful Nonya kueh

Nonya kueh is commonly eaten in Singapore and Malaysia. Kueh means cake in Malay and normally is served at breakfast or tea or even as a dessert. For those familiar with the culture, these colourful kueh brings to mind the beautiful kebaya and sarong (traditional costumes) of Peranakan men and women.

Here are three types of Nonya kueh that would awe any guest. Pulut inti, glutinous rice served with coconut filling is wrapped with banana leaves. The rice is coloured with a beautiful blue pea dye to enhance its attractiveness.

The “talam chendol” is steamed in a tray before being cut into small pieces. Gula Melaka or palm sugar is then used to enhance the flavours of this dessert, which comes in three colours: brown, green and white.

Lastly, sweet potato gems. As its name suggests, this dessert uses lots of sweet potatoes which explains how it got its bright orange colour.  

So, wait no more, get your steamers out and start making these colourful and delicious kueh!


Talam chendol

Pulut inti

Sweet potato gems


With more than 10 years experience in the food industry, Debbie is a true-bred Nyonya who hails from Malacca. She is the author of numerous cookbooks, including “UNDERWRAPS” by Marshall Cavendish Cuisine and “Penang Food Guide & Cookbook” and “Nyonya Flavours” by Star Publications. Debbie develops and tests recipes for companies, and contributes to magazines. She is also a Nyonya food consultant for Tourism Malaysia.

For more recipes, check out our recipe section.

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