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Monday, August 17, 2015

Sweet Coconut Filling

In Malaysian kuih, this filling is one of the basics.

It is used in various types of kuih, so many that I can't name them all.
Besides in kuih, we also find this filling in buns.

You can choose to use coconut sugar (gula melaka), palm sugar (gula kabung/apong) or jaggery (gula merah) to make this filling. As jaggery is very dark (and slightly sourish), I mixed in some white sugar. But you can use all palm or coconut sugar. There are also gula kerek, gula jawa, or Thai palm sugar (colour is really light), and if you still can't find any of these, use dark muscovado sugar. Muscovado sugar taste quite similar to jaggery as both are made from sugarcane.

As for jaggery itself, I like Indian jaggery, those that comes in bulk in a gunny sack (I'm not sure if the shop you buy from will show you the original packaging), and is moist and lumpy. The fragrance is wonderful and it's on the fruity side. I will get it from the local grocery store, weighed to my preference. I do see it in Tesco as well, at the loose spice section. Thai jaggery (comes under Star brand) are hygienically packaged and are loose grained. It's more convenient. All jaggery should be store in the fridge as they are moist and grows mould easily. Jaggery is high in iron and I consume it during post labour confinement.

As for the flour in this recipe, it gives the filling some binding powder, especially if you want the filling on the moist side. It's ok to omit it, and cook it drier.

If you choose to reduce the sugar, take note that the filling might not be glossy and it can taste quite dry. Natural sugars are usually less sweet than white sugar, so you can be more liberal with it so that the filling can stay moist and not too sweet.

Sweet Coconut Filling

Makes around 1 heaped cup of filling

60g dark molasses sugar /jaggery*
30g sugar*
Pinch of salt
Pandan leaf, torn small
1/4 cup water
120g grated coconut

3/4 tsp plain flour (or glutinous rice flour)

1. Put both sugar, salt, pandan leaf and water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until all the sugar has melted.
2. On medium heat, add in grated coconut and cook until it almost reaches the dryness you prefer.
3. Sprinkle in plain flour and stir it well. Cook it until it reaches the dryness you like.

*Or use 90gm of other natural sugars


  1. 哇! 这个用来做包子、面包或 pandan ang ku kueh 多么棒啊!

  2. i love this sweet coconut filling...especially to make dadar gulung..:)

  3. I immediately think of kuih dadar! Should be nice also as filling for roti paung.

  4. Dear Wendy,
    May I know how long can this filling lasts if kept in room temperature vs. kept in fridge? Do you know?
    Thank you.
    Loo Yi

  5. Loo Yi,
    There are a few factors to keep it well at room temperature:
    1. The temperature of your room temperature, warm like 28C usually 1 day maximum, that is if you didn't touch it with fingers, or added saliva in with a used spoon.
    2. The cleanliness of the container, air tight or not. If it was used to keep fresh raw coconut before, the coconut filling, will not last for a day, or it's been keeping other things like bread or cookies and left unwashed.

    Keep in the fridge if you're going to use it 12 hours later, to lower the risk of it spoiling, but if the filling is in a baked bun or steamed bun, it can last longer as it is not exposed--> 36 hours max at room temperature.

    I don't know exactly how long it will last in the fridge, as hygiene and temperature again plays another role. But if kept covered at 5C, a week is no problem for me. I will still use it if I don't see any mould or the taste didn't change.

  6. Hi Wendy,
    It's difficult for me to get fresh grated coconut in my area and was wondering if I could make this with desiccated coconut instead. If yes, how do I go about doing it? Should I just make it as per the above method?
    Best regards,

    1. I have never tried making this with desiccated coconut. I’m sorry I won’t be able to give you the best advice


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