People bond over food. That’s a fact. We as Singaporeans love our food, and are proud of our heritage.
One of the ways to get over cabin fever is to prepare food. It can also be a fun activity to engage your loved ones during this time indoors. These recipes are likely those seniors are familiar with growing up, and you can relive your childhood memories.
1. Peanut Pancake
A longtime favourite of many and popular tea time snack, this dish is deceptively easy to make. If you’ve made pancakes before, then congratulations! You basically already know how to make this dish. Make sure to whisk the batter thoroughly if you want fluffy pancakes.
All you need to do is to make the filling, which consists simply of crushed peanuts (obviously), toasted sesame, and sugar, the last two of which are perfectly optional.
This is also the cheapest dish here, only needing ingredients that you can easily buy from supermarkets everywhere. It’ll also only take you 40 minutes at most to make a full plate of pancakes to share with your family.
2. Ondeh Ondeh
A traditional snack eaten by many in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, ondeh-ondeh (or onde-onde) are pandan-flavoured pastries filled with gula melaka and then rolled with grated coconut.
This dish is fairly straightforward to make, requiring you to make a dough of glutinous rice flour and pandan juice. You’ll then have to form little balls of dough, filling each one with a bit of gula melaka and then boiling it. Once they’re cooked, cover them in the coconut and there you have it, finished ondeh-ondeh!
Recipe: Onde-Onde (Ondeh-Ondeh)
3. Kueh Dardar
A Southeast Asian take on French crepes, this dish is another pandan-flavoured delight filled with sweet coconut. Unlike the pancakes in the recipe above, crepes are far thinner, and tend to be a bit chewier.
The filling consists of grated coconut mixed with gula melaka. After you’re done cooking the crepes, place around two teaspoons (depends on the size of your crepe) and then wrap it up like a spring roll. This, of course, prevents any filling from spilling out, and makes it look beautifully compact and easy to serve as well.
You can sprinkle some additional grated coconut to garnish.
Recipe: Kiuh Dadar (Kuih Tayap)
4. Muah Chee
If you’ve been to a pasar malam (which you very likely have), you’re almost guaranteed to see hawkers rolling tiny balls of dough in bowls of ground-up peanuts or sesame seeds. For good reason, too, as muah chee has been enjoyed by Singaporeans for generations.
While easy to make and prepare, only requiring a few ingredients that are readily available, it’s a little more difficult to get right. Your batter may not have the right consistency or your muah chee may not be very bouncy. Don’t worry, though. Given how easy it is to make, you can always try again!
Recipe: Muah Chee
5. Pandan Chiffon Cake
We end this list with a dish that’s a piece of cake to make—literally. And contrary to the saying, cake isn’t easy to make at all (though it is easy to eat).
When done right, pandan chiffon cakes are moist, fragrant, and fluffy, and of course, delicious. A beautiful shade of golden brown on the outside, and light green on the inside when you cut into it. Chiffon cakes as a whole are fluffier and softer than sponge cakes, and more moist.
A full chiffon cake can also feed your whole family. Remember, to always whisk your egg whites until they’re fluffy. Not doing so may cause your cake to become dense.
Recipe: Pandan Chiffon Cake