Not many Malaysians know the state of Sarawak shares something in common with West Kalimantan.Their ethnic groups,for example,are very similar to Sarawak.We both have the Dayak,Iban and Orang ulu in the state.
One of the food we share in common is the ‘lempok’ or ‘lempuk’ in Malay,a local durian toffee.Dodol in West Malaysia is different in that the glutinous rice flour is added to the dodol but for the people in Sarawak and Kalimantan,durian kueh means 100% durian pulp with or without sugar.
When I was young,my mom used to make durian kueh for us during the durian season.That would be towards the end of the year when she spent a lot of her time in the kitchen,peeling durian pulp from the seeds and cooked durian kueh or tempoyak with it.Those were the days,my friends,we used to have boatloads of durians along the big rivers.Quite often my mom gave brand new sarongs to the Ibans who gave us durians.She told me it was not nice to accept the durians for free.
I was asked to help whenever I walked into the kitchen looking for food.It was time consuming and hard work to keep on stirring durian flesh in the big and hot wok with a long and heavy wooden spoon.Most of the time we took turns to keep on stirring the durian pulp otherwise it would be burnt.Durian kueh cooked this way could take 8-9 hours.They are also very sweet and firm to touch.I remembered once I complained to my late mom why did she cook so much durian kueh.She explained that those durian kueh were Chinese New year goodies for relatives and friends.Nowadays,these durian goodies are sold at steep price and sourcing them becomes more and more difficult.
The picture above shows durian kueh cooked without sugar.As you can see,the color tone is lighter,almost light green and the texture is softer and more sticky.Durian kueh cooked without sugar can only last for one week in the fridge and that explains why some people prefer the other durian kueh cooked with sugar.This sugar free durian kueh are mostly not for sale and kept for family consumption only.
Durian kueh recipe
- 1 kg of durian pulp- To be mashed and mixed well before cooking.Can prepare early and keep in the freezer.
- 250 gm of brown sugar (optional)
Cook the mixture over medium low fire.Keep on turning and stirring with a big wooden spoon until the mixture becomes dough-like.For 1 kg of durian pulp,it may take 1 hr to complete the cooking process.Kneading of the toffee should start immediately after it is cooler.
The sugar free durian kueh takes shorter time to cook and in fact tastes better with stronger durian flavour,softer and less sweet.However,durian kueh with sugar added has longer shelf life and is therefore more favored commercially.
Knead the toffee into rolls, cut at equal lengths and wrap with grease paper.Home-cooked goodies are ready,yummy!
Try your cooking skill on this simple recipe,no fuss at all!
Durian season is coming.Let’s cook for New Year !