Kuih Kalakatar: The Traditional Kuih from the Banjar Community in Malaysia
Kuih Kalakatar is a traditional dessert associated most with the Banjar community in Malaysia, especially the northern part of Perak where there is a huge population of Banjar people. Kuih Kalakatar is basically a coconut-flavoured cake with custard-like texture. It is sometimes called Wadai Kalakatar, Bingka Kelapa Muda or just plainly Bingka Kelapa.
The origin of the name is not officially documented. Some speculated that “kalakatar” is the imitation sound of the wobbling and jiggling of the soft custardy cake. According to the elders of the Banjar community, the name Kalakatar is made up of “kala” and “katar” that means “while hot” in Banjar’s old language. This makes sense because Kuih Kalakatar definitely tastes better when eaten warm.
Kuih Kalakatar is quite easy and straightforward to make. Young coconut water is mixed with flour (plain flour, rice flour or a combination of both), eggs, sugar and salt to form a batter. Milk and vanilla essence are sometimes added to the batter for a more complex flavour. Once the batter is thoroughly mixed, it is poured into an oiled mould, and strips of young soft coconut flesh are added. The batter is then baked until the cake firms up and a crust is formed. This kuih can be steamed too.
Kuih Kalakatar is not commonly found in Malaysia except at places with huge Banjar population, like Kerian district of Perak. During Ramadan month, this kuih is made especially to be eaten before and after fasting.