Pulut Tai Tai

‘Pulut tai tai’ or ‘pulut tekan’ is a Nyonya kuih made of fluffy glutinous rice steamed in coconut milk. Pulut tekan literally translates to ‘pressed glutinous rice’. It is served together with 'kaya', a coconut milk spread.

5 stars

Preparation 20 mins
Cooking 80 mins


Glutinous Rice with Coconut Jam, Pulut Tekan, Pulut Bunga Telang, Pulut Tetal, Pulut Tetai

Malaysian, Singaporean

Nyonya Cooking on Facebook
Nyonya Cooking on Pinterest
Nyonya Cooking on Twitter

Nutrition per Serving

154 kcal
29 g
3 g
3 g

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 which is then compacted in a wooden frame. Hence, it literally translates to ‘pressed glutinous rice’. The glutinous rice is then divided into desired shapes and slathered with a sweet coconut jam known as kaya.

Why is it known as “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 was only served to the wives of rich men back then.

Glutinous rice must be pressed hard

Glutinous rice must be compacted as much as possible. Do not be afraid that the rice would spoil as the grains are meant to stick to one another. If it is not properly compacted, the glutinous rice will fall apart. Well compacted glutinous rice will not break when sliced and should be very flexible.

Rest at room temperature or refrigerate?

After steaming and compressing the glutinous rice, it should be left at room temperature to set for at least 4 hours. Refrigerating it 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 the recipe here for pandan-flavoured kaya. Pulut tekan tastes equally good with either the pandan-flavoured or the usual brown kaya. The slight tinge of saltiness of 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 the kuih delightful and pleasing to the eyes of the beholder. Seriously, it is really tough not to like this kuih once you have sampled it. It is truly irresistible.


1 tbsp
butterfly pea flowers (dried)
800 g
glutinous rice
800 ml
banana leaves
pandan leaves
250 g
coconut milk
1⁄4 tsp

Steps to Prepare

Pulut Tai Tai Step 1

Step 1 of 3

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

Heat up 2/5 of the suggested amount of water to soak the dried butterfly pea flowers for 5 minutes. Then, discard the flowers. Soak 1/3 of the glutinous rice in the blue coloured water and the rest in plain water. Leave overnight.

Pulut Tai Tai Step 2

Step 2 of 3

    • banana leaves
    • 3 pandan leaves
    • 250 g coconut milk
    • 1⁄4 tsp salt

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

Pulut Tai Tai Step 3

Step 3 of 3

Mix the white and blue glutinous rice to create the marbled effect. Then, compact glutinous rice to prevent it from falling apart. After that, leave it 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 it in a preheated oven at 70 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes to soften it.

Published: March 14, 2015

0 Discussions

Give us your opinion! Log in and start posting.