A Pulut Tai Tai Recipe You’ll Keep on Making

Credit: Gerald Lee

Pulut Tai Tai is a Nyonya kueh made of glutinous rice. It is also known as Pulut Tekan and is usually been served during Peranakan weddings. This delightful little kueh is prepared by pressing the glutinous rice and making it compact using a wooden frame. 

Now, you must be wondering why it is called ‘Tai Tai’? Well, Tai Tai refers to a rich man’s wife who enjoys a life of leisure. It is said that this specific kueh was only served to the wives of rich men way back then. Thank God that times have changed. It would have been a shame if we didn’t have the chance to try this kueh due to it being a Tai Tai-exclusive, right?

Preparing the Tai Tai

In this recipe, we are preparing the glutinious rice by soaking it in water and butterfly pea flower or bunga telang water to colour it.

The dyed glutinous rice will then be steamed in fresh coconut milk. Usually, the glutinous rice is separated into two batches, one blue and the other white. These are mixed together to form a single marbled white and blue hue glutinous rice block. Very simple and easy to make.

If you are planning to make this Pulut Tai Tai recipe, don’t forget to serve it with some creamy, rich kaya to take it up a notch! Perfect for afternoon tea.


  • 1kg glutinous rice, washed, drained and divided to 2 trays equally.
  • 600ml fresh coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 4 pandan leaves, cut into 2 for each leaf
  • 40 pieces of dried bunga telang, soak in 40ml hot water


1.Soak 500g of washed glutinous rice in the bunga telang juice for 4 hours.  Discard water after soaking.

2. Soak the other 500g of washed glutinous rice in water for 4 hours.  Discard water after soaking.

3. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the coconut milk and stir well. 

4. Pour 250ml of the coconut milk over the blue glutinous rice and the other 250ml to the white glutinous rice. Keep the balance of 50ml coconut milk for later. 

5. Add in the pandan leaves.

6. Bring water in the steamer to a boil and steam the glutinous rice over medium heat for 25 minutes.

7. Discard the pandan leaves and then fluff the rice with a pair of chopsticks or a fork.

4 Add the balance of 50ml of coconut milk into to each cooked blue and white glutinous rice trays and mix well.

5 Continue steaming over medium heat for 15 minutes.

6. Transfer the blue and white glutinous rice alternating each color to an 8″ square baking pan lined with banana leaves. Then press down until firm and compact.

7. Cover the glutinous rice with banana leaves, top with another same-sized baking pan and load it with weights. You may use heavy bricks or other heavy items to ensure the glutinous rice is well pressed. Set aside for few hours.

8. When cooled, unmould and cut into small pieces using a plastic greased cutter.

9.  Serve with your favourite homemade kaya. If you don’t have a recipe, try my duck yolk egg kaya recipe that I have shared earlier.

Eat Like a Tai Tai

I am sure by now, you’ll be thinking, ‘This recipe is so easy!’ and yes, I agree with you. Besides, this recipe has never failed to give the desired results of fluffy, soft glutinous rice every time I have made it. I hope it will do the same for you too!

If you love more classic Nyonya kueh recipes like this, be sure to check out Butterkicap for other Nyonya kueh recipes I have shared. A good one is my all-time favourite recipe, the Nyonya Kueh Lapis.

Follow For More Delightful Recipes!

For any inquiries or even a little chat about delicious Nyonya desserts, just slide into my Instagram DM at @justinescakesandkueh. Don’t forget to follow me and Butterkicap for more feel-good recipes and comforting heritage food that you can try and make on your own!

Justine Lim

With love for the freshest and natural ingredients, Justine Lim aspires to recreate heritage Malaysian recipes into modern, elegant-looking delicacies. Catch more of her delicious creations on her Instagram profile, @justinescakesnkueh

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