Lopes Mak Cik Gah
I felt like a little girl who got a whole bunch of balloons when Makcik Gah stayed for a whole day to teach me 'warisan' dishes. I really loved cooking this Lopes with her from scratch. I guarantee it tastes heaps nicer that the bought ones.
Mum said, "A person of Makcik Gah's knowledge of the true traditional authentic food is rare & few. Treasure her." And I did. I appreciated every second I spent with her & everything she shared with me. I pray for her good health & long life.
- 1/2 kg glutinous rice, washed
- 2 cups of water
- 1 tsp air chang/air abu*
- 35 pieces of banana leaves cut into 5"x10" rectangle sizes, wilted briefly over flame
- 7 raffia strings cut into 2'5" lengths
*I'm not sure why it's called air (as in water) when it actually is cups of powder
- Pour the water over the glutinous rice.
- Sprinkle with air chang evenly over the rice.
- Mix it in well until the air chang dilutes.
- Put the rice aside & allow it to rest for about 1 5 minutes or until the rice bloats a little & turns slightly yellowish due to the air chang mixture.
- Pour the rice into a pot & heat it on medium fire.
- Cook & keep stirring for about 10-12 minutes until all the liquid evaporates. The rice should still have the crunch when eaten at this stage.
- Transfer it to a bowl.
- Roll the banana leaf into a cone, shiny side out.
- Fill it in with 2 heaped tablespoons of rice. Press tightly until the rice is snug.
- Flatten the cone to now look like a triangle.
- Flap the final opened side over, to complete the triangle & seal in the rice.
- Arrange the filled triangle in stacks of three, with all the corners not in alignment.
- Tie the stack of three triangles with one rafia string at each corner of the triangle.
- This will keep the triangles tightly together when boiling it.
- When all the triangles have been tied up into 7 batches, place it in boiling water.
- Make sure the Lopes are submerged under the boiling water. Cover the lid.
- Boil on medium heat for an hour.
- Remove the Lopes form the water and place it in a strainer. Allow it to cool.
- When ready to consume, peel off the banana leaf, coat the Lopes with Grated Coconut & drizzle generously with Palm Syrup.
Palm Sugar Syrup
- 1 cup chopped palm sugar
- 1/2 cup coarse sugar
- 2 cups of water
- 2 pandan leaves, knotted
- 1 tsp sago flour diluted in 1/4 water
- 1 whole grated coconut (white only)
- 1 tsp salt
Palm Sugar Syrup Method
- Put the palm sugar, coarse sugar, water & pandan leaves in a pot.
- Boil over medium heat.
- After about 10 minutes, pour the sago mixture gradually over the palm sugar syrup.
- When it thickens, put aside until ready to serve with the Lopes.
Grated Coconut Method
- Steam the grated coconut over boiling water for about 8 minutes.
- Remove from steamer & immediately sprinkle with salt.
- Toss it around until the salt combines.
- Sprinkle over the lopes when ready to eat.