Sunday Ramblings on Brunei Kuehs

There are days when I get completely stumped as to what to write. Today is one of those days. Plus this morning I went to the golf course for the first time in about 4 months, so it was an extremely early morning and coupled with a very late night last night after coming back from my wife's nephew open house in Muara. Plus too yesterday was a mentally tiring day trying to find savings from practically every single agency's next financial year budget. It's funny when you asked all the head honchos where you can find savings and everyone replies that they can't find anything to deduct. ALL the projects are important and NO, NO, you can't cut anything. But the fact is no matter how much money is allocated, at the end of the year we get a few hundreds of millions unspent. So what happened to all those 'important' projects?

Anyway, that's digressing a bit. I am not supposed to be talking about that even though that's a topic on its own right. And since I can't talk about that I will have to talk about something else. Normally I try to put up a controversial topic on Sundays as the number of readers are the worst today and by tomorrow it would have been covered up by another topic and lose its sting or at least its controversy. But today I am not ready to write anything controversial, so you all have to read my ramblings at nothing for the last two paragraphs and we will see where the next paragraph takes us.

But I always promised to leave one fact everyday. Okay... So how many Brunei Malay kuehs do you know? My gym manager friend would know the answer to this one as he has been studying for the citizenship exam. I wanted to visit the museum as I was told that there was a Brunei Malay kueh replica on display but my better half who accompanied a group of senior officials' wives went there in March told me that the Brunei kueh display at the museum does not resemble anything edible and looks a little bit tattered too. Perhaps the dust mite found the kuehs replica edible. Anyway, how many Brunei kuehs do you know?

One of the kuehs that we all eat is called Puteri Mandi. It is nothing more than a ball of dough in green colour being fried and then being rolled in sweet dessicated coconut. At the tamu, you can find about three or four of these balls being sold on a skewer. If you were to travel back in time to the time when the padians are still selling their wares along the riverbanks and in between the houses at Kampung Ayer, they would be saying, banyak kueh ni, calak lambai, biraksa, penyaram, chuchuk dayangku, wajid.... Puteri Mandi used to be known as Chuchuk Dayangku. I don't have the history of the kueh as to when it changed to become the more socially acceptable name of Puteri Mandi.

Kuehs and food changed names over the years. Some appear out of fashion, nowadays, there are a number related to the AF3 singer Mawi, even though he is not a Bruneian but a number of biscuits and cakes are sold with his name. I saw a Laksa Johor Mawi on the menu this morning at the Amanah Harath in Jerudong, a famous eating place in Brunei. Some names are in a transition. Another Brunei kueh, up to now, I am not sure what to call it - I heard it being called Jelurut but at times I also hear Selurut. This is the green stuff they sell in a cone shaped banana leaf. One kueh definitely has changed name. When I was a small boy, I used to accompany my dad to the tamu and his favourite was the Apam Balik which I was told is a Malaysian kueh but I am not sure about that. What I do know is that it is sold by a Malaysian lady at the Tamu. Nowadays I can't find anyone calling it Apam Balik. Everywhere I look, it is now called Kueh Malaya. So someone out there better start compiling these original Brunei kuehs and their names before they too become something else in the future.


Anonymous said…
Dear Mr Br,

It's sometimes good to talk about the kueh brunei, esp to those young people like me (if you could considered 23 yrs old as young).

This recently my colleagues brought some kueh brunei into the class. The lecturer (from Malaysia) said that the Brunei one tasted much better (since some of them also have in Malaysia). We also happenned to have a German colleage in the class that fortunate enough to have had tasted these rear kueh.

About the changed of name of the kueh,i also have something to share with you. In my family, we called the kueh malaya differently. We called it 'Tumpah-tumpah'. I don't know if only my family called it that way. But, I think my late grandfather also called it as 'Tumpah-tumpah'. I don't know,is it only my family??

Anonymous said…
i still call them apam balik, because that's how my mum told me that. i'm chinese by the way.

In Chinese, what I call 'Kueh Malay' as a substitute name for a kueh is something like a pancake that's made on the circular pan. raisins, sweetened milk, molten butter, sugar, crushed peanuts is scattered on it. Then you fold and cut it.

Do you know what's the actual name for that?? Because in chinese, it could also mean Kueh Malaya when translated.

I know another favourite of mine would be pinyaram.
Anonymous said…
Kueh Malaya is still called Apam Balik in KL, if I'm not mistaken, that is. It's been called Kueh Malaysia to me as far back as I can remember. I only knew that it was called apam balik in KL when I went there.
Anonymous said…
Hai Mr Br, there is a book published by Dewan Bahasa, it is a recipe book of all Brunei's kueh. Such a good move by them :)

I need to get a copy for myself :)
Anonymous said…
most of the cakes n kuehs nowadays are named following the trends... the same cake can be named from cheesecake lapis to cheesecake Mawi AF3 to cheesecake Datuk K to cheesecake Diana Kulai... no originality there... i also can make my own recipe and name it Donut Parishiltonbrunei and sell it to the public... too bad i'm not famous, kalo nda, laku tu eh :)
s@s: i asked my driver to go to dbp to get it about a couple of weeks back - they said they no longer have it and don't know when they will publish another one. let me know if you find one.
Anonymous said…
Mr. BR, how about blogging about Bahasa Brunei?
p o t a t o said…
I always like Buahulu. I came across a different spelling for that kueh, Bauhulu. Bua or Bau, they taste the same. =)

There's a set of photographic recipe cards of Bruneian kuehs at home. If I'm not mistaken, the set was published a decade ago. I'll look for it when I get back to Brunei.
Anonymous said…
I need to correct on 2kuehs that Mr. BR mentioned on how they are prepared. As far as 'kueh puteri mandi' is concerned, I remembered making it by putting the balls into a boiling water BUT definitely not fried! What we fried is the desiccated coconut with sugar until turned golden brown to roll the balls. The other one is the 'jelurut' and if I am not mistaken, most people use 'daun pucuk'and sometime in green colour and some time in a mixed of green and brown colours. what I use to eat in a banana leaf is called 'dara lamu' which looks like jelurut but shorter in terms of size and nicer than jelurut! Eventhough a lot of changes have been made here in there with regards to 'kueh melayu asli Brunei' by the younger generation BUT originality still stands!
Sinah Bisc. said…
Puteri mandi bewarna putih direbus didalam air mendidih. Bila ia masak ia akan timbul. Kemudian baru disaluti dengan kelapa parut yang sudah digoreng bersama gula tanpa minyak. Kemudian bebola putri mandi dicucukkan pada sebatang lidi macam sate. Mungkin BR ani confuse dengan kueh melaka + onde-onde.. :D mungkin banar BR perlu mencari kueh tradisi Brunei yang diterbitkan DBP kitani. Tapi.. kalau inda ku silap puteri mandi indahada dlm buku atu.
Unknown said…
assalamualaikum, i want to know more on history of Brunei Traditional cakes?where and who was first introduce this Brunei traditional cakes?,since now i doing my coursework investigate about this topic.
Unknown said…
assalamualaikum, i want to know more on history of Brunei Traditional cakes?where and who was first introduce this Brunei traditional cakes?,since now i doing my coursework investigate about this topic.

Popular posts from this blog

Brunei Royal Wedding 2015: Profile of Royal Bride Dayangku Raabi'atul Adawiyyah

Family Titles in Brunei

Pulau Cermin - Brunei's Historic Island