SALT Magazine - - Lightly Salted -

In the late 1930s, a group of Chi­nese im­mi­grants to Sin­ga­pore adapted a plain, rice flour cake called song gao (鬆糕)—a street snack in China—to a small, round cake, hence birthing the lo­cal kueh tutu. Even­tu­ally, fill­ings such as crushed peanuts and grated co­conut were in­tro­duced. While the peanut fill­ing is usu­ally sweet­ened with white sugar, the grated co­conut fill­ing is fried with gula me­laka and pan­dan leaves.

The word “tutu” is said to have been de­rived from the sound the char­coal-heated steam­ers used to make when steam­ing the kueh. To­day, kueh tutu is made in small metal flower-shaped moulds with a five-cent im­print in the mid­dle. To make the kueh tutu, a layer of sieved rice flour lightly sea­soned with sugar is first placed into the mould, be­fore a small spoon­ful of fill­ing is lay­ered on. This is then cov­ered with an­other layer of rice flour, be­fore the mould is in­verted onto a piece of muslin cloth and the kueh tutu left to steam for a few min­utes. Each kueh tutu is served on a small square of pan­dan leaf, which adds a wel­come fra­grance to this sweet snack.

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