Kuih Akok: Crafted to Grace the Palates of Royalty
Kuih Akok (or simply called Akok) is a traditional sweet snack hailing from Kelantan and Terengganu that can be traced back to the 15th century during the reign of Kelantan Sultanate.
This simple snack was, and still is, made with only a few humble ingredients which are eggs, coconut milk, sugar, and flour. However, since Kuih Akok was created for the royals and nobles to be enjoyed, you can imagine the pressure the chefs were under. They had no choice but to master their craft and create culinary magic with just those ingredients. Thus the soft, fluffy, creamy and spongy Kuih Akok was born, and we get to be the ones enjoying it a few centuries later.
Traditionally, Kuih Akok is cooked in special little brass molds over open fire. The old way calls for it to be cooked with a brass lid cover, where burning coconut husks are used as the heat source, cooking Kuih Akok from bottom and top, which also impart an irresitble smoky aroma to the final product.
Nowadays, some makers of Kuih Akok would use pandan leaves in the cooking process, infusing a fragrance and green hue into this delightful treat. And for some, they would add brown sugar or palm sugar to the mix, which not only creates a darker hue variant of Kuih Akok, but also one that is richer in caramel sweetness. Kuih Akok also comes in many different shapes now. Most commonly found ones resemble tiny Kuih Bahulu. They also take on the shape of rectangles, and even blossom into exquisite flower-like patterns, known as ‘Akok Kemboja’. There is a savoury variant of Kuih Akok known as Akok Berlauk, which includes a filling made from minced meat, curry powder, chillies, and fried onions.
Where can you find Kuih Akok, you ask? Traditional markets, roadside stalls, and food fairs in Kelantan and Terengganu come alive with the aroma of freshly baked Kuih Akok, especially during Ramadan. They are usually produced for daily consumption because they don’t have long shelf life and need to be refrigerated for longer storage. They are usually produced only for personal use or retail sales based on orders, not for wholesale purposes.
So if you ever find yourself in Peninsular Malaysia’s east coast, make sure to seek out and indulge in the magic of Kuih Akok.