Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Easy Peasy Kuih Cara

'Kuih' (Coo-ayh) is any small bite sized dish normally eaten as a snack. It can be savoury or sweet.

'Cara' (Cha-rah) literally means 'way', but actually I don't know why this particular dish is called such. Perhaps it's actually short for 'Acara', which means 'event' and this dish was originally created for a special event? *shrug*

This is a particularly easy dish to make, if you have the right tools. The only tedious bit is pouring the batter into the mold and waiting for it to cook and then taking the individual pieces out. The mold is often made of copper or steel for even heat transfer (it has to be set on your stove top), and consist of oval indentations where you'd have to pour the batter in to cook it. What comes out would be oval shaped individual kuihs (cakes). The easiest I could describe it is like a small, fat, oval pancake with filling, either sugar or savoury minced meat.

I was inspired to make this dish when I had a chat with Jeni and Nurique the other day. Jeni, the culinary goddess that she is, mentioned that she was going to make this dish using her muffin pans. She shared with us the recipe, and instructed that to make it in a muffin pan, we'd have to pour the batter, then cover with tin-foil, then bake in a 185°C oven for 30 minutes.

I was thinking, 30minutes?? That's quite a long cycle. So the next time I was at an Indian grocery store, I looked out for a proper steel pan that I could use, and I found one for SR16! yay! I just set the pan on my electric stove top and used one of my existing pot lid to cover it. It has round molds instead of oval, but the result is similar to the kuih cara my mom makes ;)

The Kuih Cara Pan

Well, on to the recipe:

Easy Peasy Kuih Cara


  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 egg

  • salt and sugar to taste (I used 1/4tsp and 1tbsp respectively)

  • yellow/green food coloring


  • In your blender, mix all wet ingredients and then mix in the flour bit by bit to prevent clumping. Make sure batter is smooth. If your blender has some kind of spout, you can use your blender container to pour the batter into the molds. Else, you can pour into a jug with a spout.

  • To cook the cakes, heat up the pan under medium heat. Brush the molds with some cooking oil (traditionally, the brush is made using screwpine (pandan) leaves, but I just used a clean paper towel).

  • Pour the batter into the molds halfway, spoon in the filling (sugar or spicy minced meat), then cover with more batter. Cover with a pot lid to let cook. 

  • You can press the tops of the cakes with the flat side of a fork to test whether it's done (cake tops should be even colored and firm to the touch). It should come out of the mold easily with just a push of the fork at the edges when it's done.

  • Makes roughly 3 dozen. 

Easy Peasy Minced Meat Filling


  • 500grams minced meat

  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce

  • 1 large onion chopped finely

  • 1 pip garlic, minced

  • 2 tbsp curry/korma spice powder

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

  • salt&pepper to taste


  • Marinate mince meat with oyster sauce

  • Saute onions and garlic in oil till fragrant

  • Add spice powder with a little bit of water and let it simmer till pecah minyak (a thin film of oil surfaces)

  • Add in the mince meat, breaking it up as you cook. Season to taste.

You can also decorate the savoury cakes with slices of fresh chillies and scallions, adding them in together with the filling. The filling can also be used in samosas or egg rolls.

Easy Peasy Kuih Cara


Happy trying, and remember - If I can do it, You can do it, too!

(or as they say in Ratatouille, "Anyone can cook!")


  1. Jeni would be so proud!! ;-)
    Your kuih cara looks so yummy...very creative of you to use the steel pan. Hmm..I guess my turn is next huh!!

  2. Alamak...makin bertambah resepi you yg nak dicuba..tapinya kan...bila lah ya nak buat. Kena tunggu kita join Famy jadi sahm kotnya.

  3. thank you
    i will try to make it today
    Saudia A rabia