Kueh Seri Muka





Recipe is adapted from Travelling Foodies

Kueh Sarlat aka Seri Muka Recipe (adapted from Travelling Foodie who adapts from Rohani Jelani’s “Malaysian Cakes and Desserts)

Ingredients listed below makes a 8″ square tin

Ingredients for the bottom “pulot” glutinous rice layer

450g glutinous rice, rinsed
300ml thin coconut milk (mix 100ml thick coconut cream with water to get 300ml)
1.5 tsp salt
3-4 pieces of pandan leaves (omit this if you do what I did in step (5) for rice preparation)
25-30 bunga telang (blue butterfly pea flower), can be replaced with blue food coloring or omitted totally
100 ml hot water, omit if blue food coloring or no coloring is used

Ingredients for the top “kaya” custard layer

4 large eggs (65 g each)
300 ml thick coconut milk (I used fresh coconut milk)
200g fine granulated sugar
20-30 pieces of pandan leaves, rinsed and cut into small pieces (use young leaves-more fragrant and juicy)
150 ml water
10g corn starch ( 4 tsp)
25g  plain flour (2 tbsp + 1 tsp) , for a slightly firmer custard texture which is more manageable for first-timers, flour can be increased to 40g. (I used 40g to get the texture as in photos)


First attempt, heat not low enough, resulting in bubbles in the middle!



Preparation work starts the night before the actual cooking, clean the rice and do the following:-

(1) Steep bunga telang in the hot water to extract the dye from the flowers.  Cool it before soaking about 1/3 portion of the rice in it for several hours (overnight is best). Make sure all the rice is covered with the water.

(2) Place remaining rice in a large container and add water until at least an inch above the rice. Leave to soak as per step (1).


The next day :- 

(1)  Drain the glutinous rice that had been soaked and spread out onto two separate plates for steaming. Crush or shred the pandan leaves slightly and stuff them between the rice grains. (I placed both the rice in one big tray) ~ omit the leaves if you use pandan water saved from step no. (5)

(2) Add salt to the diluted coconut milk and stir to dissolve.

(3) Divide the coconut milk into 3 parts, and drizzle 2 parts into the plate with “white rice” and one part into the plate with “blue rice”. Stir thoroughly to combine coconut milk with rice grains. (I just pour the liquid in one direction around the rice)

(4) Place the plates into a steamer and steam at high heat for 20 min.

(5) While waiting for the rice to steam, begin with the preparation of the “kaya” custard layer by first placing snipped pandan leaves and the 150ml of water in a food blender and blitz until a fine pulp is obtained. Squeeze out the juice on a cheese cloth or with your hands (strain the juice if using hands). Measure out 150 ml. (This step can be prepared ahead.  Just keep the prepared juice in the fridge. Pour out the top clear part of the pandan juice that has separated from the heavier paste and use it to dilute the coconut milk used to steam the rice.)

(6) In a mixing bowl, add eggs and sugar. Whisk slightly to break the eggs and proceed to add coconut milk, 150 ml pandan juice, plain flour and corn flour. Stir well until smooth and free from lumps. Set aside (NOTE: do not be tempted to use more than 150ml of pandan juice as too high a liquid ratio would make it difficult for the custard to set)

(7) When the rice is cooked, combine the two parts into a slightly greased 8″ square tin and press down with a “penekan kek” (kek lapis legit press) or the back of a sturdy metal spoon. (I used a plastic rice scoop). Try to press until very compact, especially around the edges and corners.  Place the tin back into the steamer and top up the water in it if necessary. Turn on the heat and continue steaming the rice over low flame.

(8) Return to work on the custard layer, strain the mixture in (6) into a heat-proof or metal bowl and sit this bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir continuously until custard just begins to thicken. Note that the custard batter should still be very fluid and not viscous. (I cook directly on very low fire, keep stirring and lifting the pot out of the fire if it is too hot. Mine curdled slightly but it turned ok once steamed.)

(9) Pour the slightly thickened custard mixture carefully over the rice layer in the square tin and steam over barely simmering water until the custard layer sets. (My first attempt, the heat was not low enough, resulting in a bubble forming in the middle of the kueh!). It should take about 25-30 min. Wrap the lid with a large towel to catch any condensation.

(10) Leave the kueh to cool completely (about 6 hours) before unmoulding and cutting





  1. Alan (travellingfoodies) said

    well done! so glad that yours turned out so beautifully. 🙂


    • jeannietay said

      Thanks to you I finally made one that is of the right texture:D


  2. Grace said

    Hi Jeanie,

    These are so beautiful! May I know where do you get the blue pea flowers from?



    • jeannietay said

      I grow the plants myself after facing difficulty getting the dried ones.


  3. smd said

    Hi Jeannie I tried making this yesterday n steam the kueh for 30 mins but the custard layer still looks uncook so I steam another 20 mins n take out then let it cool down n leave in fridge. This morning I cut the custard layer still looks uncool so sad 😢😢😢

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeannietay said

      Sorry to hear that, did you cook your custard until it thickens slightly before pouring on the cooked compressed rice and steam?


  4. chamairis said

    Hye Jeannie!

    How are you? I am a new blogger and just started to blog about Malaysia traditional food. As i was searching for recipe i found your blog. I hope you don’t mind linking your recipe in my blog. Im humbly inviting you to look at my blog and give feedback since your the expertise in food.
    If you like it please do share and support.


    Have a great day!

    My warmest wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeannietay said

      Hi! I have visited your blog and read some articles. Keep up the good work. However, I did spot quite a few grammatical mistakes. Get someone to proof read before posting.Some readers will comment on that sooner or later. Just trying to help, hope you are not offended. I know my English is not that good, so if I can spot it, someone else will too!


  5. […] Kuih Seri Muka recipe […]


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