The Chinese community in Malaysia has a kuih called WooTauGou 芋头糕 or some call it as Yam Cake or Taro Cake. Usually sold at old fashioned breakfast joints, or tea break stalls, or some even sell it as supper fare. It’s a flavourful savoury kuih loved by many.
This talam keladi berlauk, translated as ‘Taro Tray with Savoury Toppings’ is not the same as the Chinese version. The flavour is richer, much richer, although it looks similar.
I was introduced to this kuih by Fazi and Nurul, my colleagues from SMK Selancar, Rompin. I fell in love with it at first bite. A bunch of us will chip in then they will order a few trays of this from a lady who makes it in the village nearby. I have never seen this anywhere else. It’s not something common in Malaysia.
Talam Keladi Berlauk
200gm taro, diced （keladi 芋头）
170gm rice flour (Erawan brand)
200gm coconut milk
2/3 tsp salt or to taste
2/3 tsp sugar
4 shallots, sliced
1 heaped Tbsp dried shrimp, soak and finely chop
125gm minced beef*/chicken
1/4 tsp garam masala or curry powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Salt to taste, if needed
Generous amount of white pepper powder
1/4 cup sliced chinese celery (daun sup 芹菜）
1/4 cup sliced spring onions
Sliced red chilli
1. In a wok/pan, put in 4 Tbsp oil and fry sliced shallots until slightly golden. Add in chopped dried shrimp and fry every thing until golden. Remove from the frying oil. Use some of the oil to grease your tray/pan.
2. With remaining oil in wok/pan, cook minced meat until meat turns opaque. Add in spice powder, sugar, soy sauce, pepper and salt to taste. Cook until the meat looks dry and fragrant.
3. Bring 250gm water to boil in a saucepan and put in diced taro. Lower to a simmer for 15 minutes, covered.
4. Meanwhile, mix the other batter ingredients together in a bowl.
5. Pour the boiling taro and water into the flour mixture. Stir well. Pour this back into the saucepan and cook it until it thickens to the consistency of ketchup. Turn off the heat.
6. Pour the batter into a well grease 8 inch square pan, or 9 inch round pan. Level the cooked batter.
7. Sprinkle half of all the toppings, half of the chinese parsley and spring onions onto the batter. Gently press the toppings into the batter (just don’t let it stay floating ON TOP of the batter).
8. Steam on medium high heat for 30 minutes.
9. Remove the pan from steamer and let it cool down slightly and sprinkle the remaining toppings onto the cake.
10. Slice when the taro cake has fully cooled down.**
*Beef tastes better than chicken in this cake.
**Cake stayed well in room temperature for up to 18 hours. Never tried any longer than that.