Steamed Marble Talam

Talam Marmar

Kuih talam(steamed cakes), in Malay are more often steamed than baked, and thus very different in texture, flavour and appearance from Western cakes or puff pastries.

Kuih Talam can be easily found as desserts at food stalls on the sideways, night markets or hotels.Kuih talam normally has two flavour appearance which is sweet and salty. The top white layer is made from rice flour and coconut milk, while the bottom green layer is made from green pea flour and extract of pandan leaf.
Some kuih talam do come sweet on both layers.It does look delicate and petite but it has been a favourite with the locals for breakfast or tea time.The kuih talam comes in a lot of variation and colours. Through out the years the original recipe have seen changes with added ingredients such as yam , sago,chocolate etc.
The most famous kuih talam that one can come across would be Talam Seri Muka.
Kuih serimuka is a two-layered dessert with steamed glutinous rice forming the bottom half and a green custard layer made with pandan juice (hence the green colour). Coconut milk is a key ingredient in making this kuih. It is used as a substitute for water when cooking the glutinous rice and making the custard layer.
To get the best taste out of the Kuih Talam, be sure to bite into both layers simultaneously so that the sweetened part will blend delightfully.

This kuih talam recipe is something that I created with trial and error. LOL
There were many times that I fail to get the correct texture. I can recall back my first attempt in trying to do Talam Seri Muka many years back. Sad to say the top layer did not set as required that I stopped from trying back the recipe.
But now that I have a blog..I started again my adventure in kuih talam, and what we must have is …. patience. Yes, that is something you need ,to get a good textured kuih talam .The secret to your kuih talam comes from how long you cook in medium heat the batter. If the batter is not thick enough , the kuih talam would not set nicely after steaming. So you must know or get the feeling as too how long you need to cook the batter before steaming it.Its always advisable to use medium heat assuming that you have a small and high heat stove. The timing that I have given for this recipe is based on this assumption.
Beside that another secret is to always leave your talam to cool down after steaming ,the most 5 hours.
Then only you can cut out beautiful slices to serve. Leaving the talam overnight in the fridge also is a trick to get a nicely cut out slice.
This talam marmar is sweet on both layers. If preferred you can replace the sugar to ¼ tsp salt for the green layer .

Bottom Layer
160gm rice flour
1 tbsp green pea flour(Hoen Kwee flour)
1 tsp salt
100gm castor sugar
1000ml thin coconut milk
1 tsp green colouring
2 screwpine leaves (cut into small parts)

Extract coconut milk from 3 cups grated coconut. For this use a blender.Its easier to follow this method. Add lukewarm water and screwpine leaves to the grated coconut. Blender and sieve .To the thick coconut milk add water to get the required amount of thin coconut milk.If want you can again add water and blender again the coconut to get the 1000ml thin coconut milk.

Mix well all the ingredients ,cook over medium heat till steam appears which takes about 15-20mins.Stir continuously and do not leave the mixture at any time since the mixture will burn if left unattended .

Pour into a steaming tray lined with polythene sheet or banana leave greased with oil.Steam for 20mins.

Top Layer

Ingredients A

100gm green pea flour
30gm rice flour
280gm castor sugar
1500ml thick coconut milk
½ tsp agar- agar powder

Lemon yellow colouring
½ tbsp chocolate emulco or 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Mix well all the Ingredients A , cook over medium heat for about 20-25mins or until its almost thick.
Take 2 ladle full of mixture and mix to it chocolate emulco . Mix in lemon yellow colouring to the second part.

Drop the yellow layer on top of bottom layer. Then put in spoonful of chocolate layer.Stir with a chopstick into marble pattern.
Steam again for another 30-40mins.

Note: Use a steaming pan which has a diameter of 27cm -30cm.This will reduce the steaming time since the surface is larger.You can use smaller steming pan but then the steaming time will vary.

Am contributing the above recipe and 3 other recipes
Spongy Steamed Eno Cakes
Kuih Lapis Nyonya
Mortar Steamed Cakes/Kuih Lompang

for the event Steamed Treats hosted by
When I play Chef...


  1. Thanks for the recipe. It doesn't seem all that difficult. Must try it out.

  2. Thx Roslee.
    Vinita, hope it comes out well, let me know.

  3. This looks really good. Thanks for the recipe


Post a Comment