Apr 28, 2010

Putu Piring

@ Pasar Malam, Section 17, Petaling Jaya

One of my all time favourite snacks - the humble putu piring. Made from rice flour that is packed into a metal container and filled with gula melaka (palm sugar), it's utterly delicious. I often stop to taste this snack whenever I see it since I have been on a quest to search for the perfect one. Most places I have eaten just don't make it up to standard. For instance, the stalls in front of Giant Kelana Jaya like to pre-make theirs with a quick reheat when a customer orders them. This means you don't get a fluffy cake but one with a sub standard taste to it. Although the girls in front of Bangsar TMC are pretty good, I often find they skimp on their ingredients as the balance of gula melaka (palm sugar) versus the rice flour was not in proportion.

I stumbled on to this stall located inside a roadside van at this night market. The market is popular among students from the nearby Islamic University Matriculation College and the University Malaya students who reside in Section 17 searching for a cheap meal for dinnertime. Run by a couple, the lady has the task of packing the rice flour and gula melaka into the tiny metal container which resembles a "piring" i.e. a plate. It's then placed in a specially built steamer with conical inserts on top of white cotton cloth. Then it's covered with a conical metal lid and left to steam for a while.

As and when orders are placed, they will reach into the steamer and remove the metal containers and cotton cloth squares. Grated fresh coconut is placed on the putu piring and then covered with a square of banana leaf. This is all packed in a plastic and newspaper parcel, ready for you to take home. For additional flavour, this stall covers the stack of putu piring with a square of banana leaf before folding the parcel. Best eaten piping hot, this putu piring was fantastic - the right balance of sugar and flour coupled with a fluffy texture and the fresh grated coconut. Simply sublime for a mere RM0.40 per piece.



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