Kue Lumpang Ijo are little steamed sticky cakes with signature green color and little dimple on top. Top these with savory grated coconut for the sweet and salty combination.
When we are talking about shopping for fresh products in Indonesia, we usually go to traditional markets or pasar. And every time you go to Indonesian traditional markets, you will see so many little desserts or snacks lined up at the front of the market. You will usually find dozens of different kinds of traditional snacks there and you will probably find Kue Lumpang Ijo there.
These little steamed green cakes are usually sold with a separate plastic bag containing freshly grated coconut on the side. I remember I did not really like this dessert when I was young, but I became to love the taste as I get older. They have soft, chewy, and sticky texture because they are made from tapioca and rice flour. They taste sweet with a slightly grassy taste from the suji and pandan leaves. You can eat them plain, but I love eating these with lots of grated coconuts because the savory taste of coconut enhances the flavor of the cake.
About Kue Lumpang Ijo
Kue Lumpang Ijo comes from Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia. It is also known as Kue Ijo and Kuih Kosui in Malaysian. Kue or Kuih is a fairly broad term for desserts in Indonesia and Malaysia. Lumpang means mortar, a bowl-shaped tool used to hold the substance to be ground, and ijo means green color in Indonesian. It is named so because the dessert is green in color and has a little dimple on top which resembles the shape of mortar.
This sweet cake is usually enjoyed as a companion when drinking tea or coffee. There are actually three types of Kue Lumpang. The white one is plain, green for pandan flavor, and brown for palm sugar flavor. But we will feature the green one in this recipe.
Tips For Making Kue Lumpang Ijo
1. Substitute the suji leaves with pandan leaves
To achieve the nice bright green color, I use suji (Dracaena angustifolia) and pandan leaves extract as a natural food coloring. Suji leaves look quite similar to pandan, but they do not have a sweet fragrant aroma like pandan leaves and they give darker natural green color to foods than pandan leaves do. But if you do not have suji leaves, you can alternatively use pandan leaves. Keep in mind that the extract made from all pandan leaves will result in paler green color.
2. The molds alternatives
Kue Lumpang Ijo is usually steamed in small Chinese teacups, but you can also use small cupcake molds like me. I used 2-inch/5cm in diameter and 1-inch/2.5cm depth cupcake molds for this recipe. I do not recommend anything bigger than. The dimples on top tend to get smaller and shallower when you use bigger molds.
3. Always Stir the batter
When you are ready to pour the batter into the molds. give the batter a good stir because the flour tends to sink to the bottom.
4. Pour the batter into the molds when you are ready to steam
The flour tends to sink at the bottom after some time. If you fill the molds and let them sit in the steamer for too long, your cake will not cook properly. Make sure to pour the batter into the molds only when you are ready to steam.
How to Store Kue Lumpang
Make sure to consume Kue Lumpang Ijo on the same day they are made. You should keep them at room temperature since they have quite high water content. The cake will harden and dry out when stored in the refrigerator. If you have leftovers, they are best stored straight in the freezer. To thaw, warm them in the microwave until they are soft to touch and serve immediately.
More Indonesian Traditional Desserts
If you don’t know, I also have more Indonesian traditional dessert recipes to try at home.
- Putu Ayu (Steamed Pandan Coconut Cakes)
- Klepon (Pandan Glutinous Rice Balls with Palm Sugar Filling)
- Pandan Coconut Ice Cream