Wadai Kipeng: The Traditional Dessert of The Banjar Community in Malaysia
Wadai Kipeng (or Kepeng) is a traditional dessert cherished by the Banjar community in Malaysia. This delightful treat consists of small, concave discs made from glutinous rice flour and served with a luscious, thick sauce crafted from coconut milk and sugar. The Banjar people, renowned for their fondness for sweet delicacies and rich sauces, have created a culinary gem with this dessert. In the Banjarese language, ‘wadai’ translates to ‘sweet snack,’ while ‘kipeng/kepeng’ refers to the pressed or pinched pieces that form the discs.
To fashion the Wadai Kipeng discs, a mixture of glutinous rice flour, water, and salt is kneaded into a pliable dough. The dough is then shaped into tiny balls before being flattened and pinched in the middle to form the characteristic concave discs. These discs are subsequently cooked in a sweet sauce made from coconut milk, pandan leaves, sugar (which can be palm sugar or brown sugar), salt, and water. As the discs cook, they soften and become delightfully chewy, while the sauce thickens to a porridge-like consistency, thanks to the remnants of glutinous flour on the discs.
For a touch of flavour variation, some individuals choose to incorporate pieces of jackfruit or durian into the sauce. Additionally, some opt to introduce food colouring during the dough mixing stage, resulting in visually captivating discs.
Traditionally, Wadai Kipeng was showcased during the Banjar community’s Thanksgiving ceremony. However, today it can be enjoyed at any time of the day, offering a delightful treat for dessert or a sweet snack. The resemblance of Wadai Kipeng to Javanese Bubur Candil and Kelantan’s Bubur Biji Nangka is worth noting, as these dishes share similarities in terms of ingredients and preparation methods.