Updated: Aug 25, 2021
Pulut Inti is a traditional Malaysian Nyonya Kuih that is made with coconut infused glutinous rice and topped with desiccated coconut cooked in melted palm sugar.
A lot of times the glutinous rice are dyed blue by simply soaking them with Blue Butterfly Pea Flower.
Butterfly Pea Flower
Butterfly pea flower is also often called the Asian Pigeonwings, Bluebellvine, Cordofan pea and Darwin pea and is a nature's flower that are widely used in a lot of Malaysian dessert. Not only is it not artificial, it also gives a nice blue hue to the dessert.
How to use Blue Butterfly Pea Flower
The flower can be use picked from your garden and can also be bought dried or pulverised to powder. I personally have not used the powder before but to use the dried flower is actually pretty simple.
To colour the rice blue, simply soak the glutinous rice in water above level from the rice then stir in a few spoonful of the dried flowers depending on how deep you want the colour to be. Once it is soaked over several hours, the blue colour will very naturally get dyed in to the rice.
Glutinous rice are sometimes also called sticky rice or sweet rice and is one of the most common element used in Asian dessert. This rice mainly grows in Southeast and East Asia.
Unlike Rice , Glutinous Rice when comes in to contact with heat will start to become sticky and instead of being boiled in water to cook like Rice, Glutinous Rice are often soaked to soften before being steamed to cook.
What makes sticky rice Sticky
One of the main factor that contribute to the stickiness to glutinous rice when cooked is due to the starch in the rice. Often most starchy food contain two main component which are the amylose and amylopectin.
Amylose is a crystalized form of starch and is important in plant for energy storage. Amylose is also less easily digested by the human body compared to amylopectin.
Amylopectin is another component in starch that aids plant by supplying them with energy.
Glutinous rice predominantly have more of the amylopectin component with a small trace of amylose. The amylopectin is water soluble and when comes in to contact with hot liquid, they break apart which is what creates the stickiness to the rice.
Is glutinous rice Gluten Free
Despite its name, glutinous rice is 100% gluten free because it does not contain any of the gluten forming protein.
After Glutinous rice are cooked, it is recommended to consume them on the same day. You can however store cooked glutinous rice in the fridge but be mindful that cooked glutinous rice gets stickier by the day. It is best to consume them stored in the fridge within 2 days.
Cooked Glutinous rice can be kept in zip lock bag and stored in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.
Alternatives of Sugar
The coconut filling are often cooked in melted palm sugar or Gula Melaka but you can definitely use coconut sugar. Sugar coming from different palm can have different compositions and can range from light to deep dark brown in colour being the lightest having the mildest in flavour.
In this recipe I am using the mildest palm sugar and added some molasses to give it some deep colour. If you are using the darker version of palm sugar, you can omit the molasses
YIELD: 14 - 16 individual portion depending on the size
Blue Sticky Rice
250 g Glutinous Rice
175 g Water
175 g Thick Coconut Milk (I use Kara)
1/3 tsp. Salt
Qs. Water For Soaking
2 tbsp. Dried Blue Pea Flower 2 pc Pandan Leaves
Shredded Coconut Topping
80 g Dried Fine Desiccated Coconut
125 g Coconut Milk (if you are using dried desiccated coconuts)
70 g Palm Sugar
35 g Water
1/4 Tsp. Salt
1 tbsp. Molasses (optional)
Banana leaves - for wrapping
Qs. Vegetable oil
Before preparing the rest of the element, pre soak the glutinous rice with water that sits at least 10 mm above the rice then sprinkle in the dried blue pea flour and stir in with the rice. Cover and soak for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
1. To make the sticky rice, scoop out the blue pea flours that are floating on the top then strain the water from the rice. Knot the pandan leaves and stir into the strained rice. Cover and let infuse for an hour covered.
2. Mix the water into the infused glutinous rise then transfer it over the steamer for approximately 10 minutes or until the water in the rice starts to boil.
Over a cooking pot, transfer the steamed glutinous rice then stir in the coconut milk and sprinkle in the salt and cook over low heat until all the coconut milk have fully been absorbed. Transfer the glutinous rice over a clean bowl and set aside ready for assembly.
3. To prepare the coconut topping, if you are using dried desiccated coconut, pre soak the coconut in with the coconut milk and toss until well combined. Leave for 20 minutes until all the coconut milk have been absorbed by the desiccated coconut.
Note: If you are using fresh desiccated coconut, you do not need to soak them in the milk.
4. Once the coconuts are soaked and ready, place the water and palm sugar into a cook pot until the sugar are fully dissolved. Stir in the soaked desiccated coconut followed by the salt and continue to cook until the coconut mixture is dry. Stir in the molasses then transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside to cool for assembly.
14 x Banana Leaves cut to size
Cut 14 banana leaves to 190mm x 140mm rectangles.
Lightly brush the top of the banana leave with some oil then with a medium size ice cream scoop, scoop out the sticky in the centre of the banana leave. Gently with you hand, press it down into a flat disc. With a small size ice cream scoop, place a scoop of the coconut filling on top. Lengthwise, fold the top to the centre and repeat the same with the opposite side. The fold the other two sides under.
It is recommended to consume the Pulut Inti on the same day that it is made. You can store them in the fridge for up to 2 days and slightly warm them up again over the steamer.