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Pulut Tai Tai

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Pulut Tai Tai


Total Time
Total Time
Prep 20 M / Cook 01 H 20 M

22 Servings

Grace Teo
Grace Teo   thegraceteo
Published on March 14, 2015

  Based on 758 ratings  Watch Now


1 tbsp
butterfly pea flowers (dried)
800 g
glutinous rice
800 ml
banana leaves
pandan leaves  
250 g
coconut milk
0.25 tsp


Pulut tai tai is served as a dessert or a delicacy during the Straits Chinese weddings. Also known as pulut tekan to the locals, this ‘kuih’ is made of glutinous rice steamed in coconut milk, then compacted into a wooden frame. Hence, pulut tekan as it translates to ‘pressed glutinous rice’. The glutinous rice is divided to into desired shapes to be slathered with a sweet coconut jam which is known as kaya.

Why is it “Pulut Tai tai”?

It is also known as “Pulut Tai Tai” for its elegant outlook. Tai Tai refers to a rich man’s wife who enjoys a life of leisure. It is said that this specific kuih is only served to the wives of rich men.

Glutinous rice must be pressed hard

Glutinous rice must be compacted as much as possible. Do not be afraid to spoil the rice. The rice grains meant to stick to one another. If it is not done correctly, the compacted glutinous rice will fall apart. When glutinous rice is well compacted, it will not break when sliced and should be very flexible.

Rest in room temperature or refrigerator?

After steaming and compressing glutinous rice, it should be left in room temperature to set for at least 4 hours. Allowing it to set in the refrigerator will cause the glutinous rice to harden.

What is kaya?

Kaya is a slow cooked coconut milk jam which is made with eggs and sugar. Check out there recipe here for pandan-flavoured kaya. It tastes equally good with either the pandan-flavoured or the usual brown kaya. The slight tinge of saltiness from the glutinous rice coupled with the sweetness of the kaya makes this kuih a delight to savour.

The contrasting colour of the coconut jam together with the vibrant blue and white of the glutinous rice makes it delightful and pleasing to the eyes of the beholder. Seriously, it is really tough not to like this kuih once you have sampled it. Truly irresistible, if you ask me.

Pulut Tai Tai is also known as: Glutinous Rice with Coconut JamPulut TekanPulut Bunga TelangPulut TetalPulut Tetai



Step 1/3

  • 1 tbsp butterfly pea flowers (dried)
  • 800 g glutinous rice
  • 800 ml water

Soak dried butterfly pea flower in 300 ml hot water to extract the colour. Remove flowers from the liquid. Soak 250g of glutinous rice in the blue coloured water and the rest of the glutinous rice (550g) in 500 ml plain water overnight.


Step 2/3

  • banana leaves
  • 3 pandan leaves  
  • 250 g coconut milk
  • 0.25 tsp salt

Place banana leaves on a pan. Stir salt in coconut milk until it dissolves. Put soaked glutinous rice (without water) into the pan and add in 3/4 amount of the coconut milk. Steam glutinous rice together with 2 pieces of knotted pandan leaves for 20 minutes. Then, add the remaining coconut milk to the glutinous rice. Steam for a further 20 minutes or until glutinous rice is cooked.


Step 3/3

Mix the white and blue glutinous rice to create the marbled effect. Then, compact glutinous rice to prevent it from falling apart. Store the compacted glutinous rice in a cool area. Cut into desired shape and have it with Kaya. Pulut Tai Tai can be kept for a couple of days if stored in the refrigerator. Before consuming, steam or heat the glutinous rice in a preheated oven (70 degrees Celsius) for 10 minutes to soften it.

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