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Pulut Tai Tai (Blue Glutinous Rice Cake)

butterfly pea flower, coconut, coconut jam, dessert, glutinous rice, kaya, nyonya -

Pulut Tai Tai (Blue Glutinous Rice Cake)

Pulut Tai Tai, well known for its beautiful blue hue and elegant look, is a classic Nyonya dessert in Malaysia. Pulut Tai Tai is made by steaming glutinous rice with coconut milk and later pressing them into shape . Pulut Tai Tai is therefore also known as Pulut Tekan which literally mean "pressed glutinous rice". 

What gives the rice its beautiful hue? The steamed glutinous rice is tinted bright blue from the natural colouring of butterfly blue pea flowers. These blue glutinous rice is so simple to make and is best enjoyed with "kaya" (caramelised coconut jam).

You only need 6 simple ingredients: -

1) Glutinous rice (800g)

2) Butterfly pea flowers (7-8 petals)

3) Coconut milk (250ml)

4) Salt (1/4 teaspoon)

5) 2 pandan leaves (tie in knots)

6) Banana leaves (oiled)



 1. First, soak dried butterfly pea flowers in 300ml hot water until the water turns dark blue. Then remove the flowers and set aside until cool.



2. Next, wash the glutinous rice and then soak 300g in the blue coloured water and the remainder of 500g in 500ml plain water. Soak for at least 4 hours. Then drain  off the water and set aside. You may soak this overnight in the fridge to save time.


3. Next, in a separate bowl/cup, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt in 250ml coconut milk and stir the mixture until the salt completely dissolves. Set aside.

4. Then line the banana leaves on a pan and oil it. Banana leaves are commonly used in South-East Asian dishes for it's unique aroma.


5. Place the drained glutinous rice on the banana leaves, separating them by colour. Then pour in about 3/4 of the salted coconut milk and place the 2 knots of pandan leaves on top. Steam for 20 minutes.


6. Next, pour in the remaining salted coconut milk. Then, steam for a further 25 minutes or until the glutinous rice is cooked.

7. Once the glutinous rice is cooked, remove the pandan leaves. Then mix the white and blue glutinous rice to create a marbled effect.


8. Next, use a spatula to press down the rice to compact it as much as possible. Ensure that the surface is even.


9. Now, cover the top of the rice with banana leaves. Then, top with another pan (similar but slightly smaller size) and load with weight (here, we use mortar & pestle). Set aside for a few hours until completely cooled.


10. Pulut Tai Tai is now ready to be served. Cut into desired shape and enjoy the glutinous rice with "kaya".



Get the butterfly pea dried flower below: