Sunday, March 11, 2012

Info: Gula Melaka

Gula melaka, otherwise known in English as Palm Sugar or 'Malacca Sugar'. Gula melaka is made by first extracting the sap from the flower bud of a coconut tree. Several slits are cut into the bud and a pot is tied underneath the bud to collect the sap. Then, the sap is boiled until it thickens after which, in the traditional way, it is poured into bamboo tubes between 3-5 inches in length, and left to solidify to form cylindrical cake blocks. Alternatively it can be poured into glass jars or plastic bags.

Gula melaka is used in some savoury dishes but mainly in the local desserts and cakes of the Southeast Asian region. A bowl of Gula Melaka Sago. Gula Melaka Sago pudding, is one of many desserts made with Gula Melaka. It is among some of the more popular gastronomic delights of Peranakan (Chinese-Malay) origin. 

Basically, this dish consists of a bland sago pudding served with Gula Melaka syrup. In some ways it resembles the international Creme Caramel and differ only in the ingredients used. It can be served either chaud or froid. To enrich the pudding, coconut milk or 'santan' its Malay name, is added to it.

Santan is the South-East Asian non-dairy counterpart of the dairy cream, the latter either whipped or in liquid form, is used mainly in Western cuisines but both add richness or provide viscosity when these are required.

Although Cendol can be found in most parts of Malaysia, tourists and Malaysian still find Melaka Cendol is better. Ondeh-ondeh or Buah Melaka is a ball shaped popular dessert made from glutinous rice flour and filled with Gula Melaka, covered in shredded coconut.