‘Kuih jongkong’ – An increasingly forgotten Perak’s traditional sweet treat

‘Kuih jongkong’ – An increasingly forgotten Perak’s traditional sweet treat

PARIT: Rosnani Mohd Yunus has a deep fondness for kuih jongkong, the Perak’s traditional sweet treat, as it warmly reminds her of the precious moments she shared with her late husband.
Making kuih jongjong serves as a form of therapy for Rosnani, offering her a comforting routine to ease the longing for her late husband, Khairuddin Shariff, especially during Ramadan.

Rosnani, 62, affectionately referred to as Nani, finds comfort in upholding the tradition of making the dessert, once a source of additional income for her, as it reminds her of the precious moments spent with her late husband in the kitchen.

“When my late husband was still with me, he would lend a hand every day, helping with everything from preparing the ingredients to getting the dessert ready for sale to the villagers.
“Nowadays, I no longer sell them; I simply prepare these kuih for my children to enjoy during the fasting month, and it somewhat eases my longing for my husband,” she said when met at her residence in Kampung Seri Kaya, Bota Kiri here.

Admitting that kuih jongkong has increasingly been forgotten, Rosnani said that she began learning the traditional dessert-making process from her mother at the age of 18.
“Back then, my mother ran a small business making and selling kuih. She made various types of kuih, and I would help out by selling them to our neighbours.

“During Ramadan, kuih jongkong becomes one of the kuih my mother sells. At first, I wanted to learn to make it to help my mother and make her job easier. But, I never anticipated that over time I would develop an interest in it, which continues until now,” she said.

When asked about the process of preparing kuih jongkong, the mother of eight said that the ingredients typically include rice flour, water, sugar, salt, coconut milk, food colouring, banana leaves, and pandan leaves.

She added that the rice flour, water, and salt should be mixed well and cooked over low heat until they reach the desired consistency. “The cooking process is crucial; we must consistently stir the mixture to prevent it from overheating and changing the flavour. Then, we mix in the food colouring and pandan leaves to enhance both the colour and aroma.

“After it’s done, we let the mixture cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then blend it with sugar and coconut milk. Lastly, we wrap it in banana leaves and steam it for at least 10 minutes.
“The texture of this kuih jongkong is delicately soft and sweet, similar to kuih tepung pelita. In some places, this kuih will be served chilled,” she said.

On the difficulty in getting kuih jongkong, particularly during Ramadan, Rosnani said that it’s likely due to a lack of demand from customers and that not many people know how to prepare it.
“In addition, the younger generation isn’t familiar with this traditional dessert and prefers fried or instant food. This could be why it’s challenging for us to see this cake being sold nowadays,” she said.


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