My parents lodged us at relatives in Melaka during my mid term and long term school holidays. Firstly to ease their very tight cash flow, secondly, so mom could rest and not tend to her 3 do-re-me kids.
We loved it. From the cheap matinee movies, swimming in the public pool, long walks from Jalan Pengkalan Lama to Jalan Munshi Abdullah, from Jalan Hang Tuah to Bungaraya or the Esplanade. Melaka was so small indeed.
One of my favourite snack was the Kueh Keria from Pangsapuri 9 Tingkat, located next to the tiny Savoy Cinema. My late maternal grandma called it, Kueh Gelang. My memory of this kueh, chunky, creamy sweet potatoes on the inside; flaky crystalised sugar on the outside. She will reward me with this treat whenever I was there with her during my holidays. I miss my grandma and I miss this kueh gelang from Savoy.
Although Momsie’s attempt on these keria or potato donuts wasn’t as perfect, I had loved to share the experience and key area where the pitfalls you should avoid.
I was pretty excited when Momsie was boiling some leftover sweet potatoes. This was exactly what should not take place. Always steam your potatoes as they tend to be having just enough moisture inside to form a soft dough. Boiling it was bad, and not sieving it at all was disastrous. Boiling made the sweet potato absorb unnecessary water which requires more flour to make it mouldable.
That eventually led Momsie into using more flour than it was supposed to be; potato ratio should dominate here.
Just pick up a small ball of dough. As you form a rounded shape, slowly use your finger to dig in a hole in the middle. Quite easy.
Momsie declared that she made a tray years back and there were too much potatoes inside, making the dough lipid and soggy. At this point, we conscientiously knew our little donuts will come out harder that it should be. The corrective measure was to add in a little bit more mashed sweet potatoes, we had none left.
Fry them “bangles” till golden in colour, dish out and drain oil.
There was a great debate as to whether we should do this donuts with white sugar or palm sugar. Dad was in favour of palm sugar and I seconded him without any hesitation. My thought was, real high quality palm sugar is fragrant and should be a better choice. We cooked the syrup and were too hasty. The syrup was not condensed to a right consistency and in Momsie’s term, “tak cukup kering”. Therefore, our keria gula melaka does not possess a distinct layer of crystalised palm sugar. They looked “wet” and glossy.
Please use and adapt this recipe from ALESIA
300grams of sweet potatoes (about two medium sized)
1/2 cup of all purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon *optional
a pinch of salt enough
oil for frying
For sugar coating
1 tube of gula melaka or 1/3 cups of white sugar
3 tablespoons of water
1. Peel, wash and cut the sweet potatoes into cubes. Steam and once cooked, mash them.
2. Sift flour and baking powder together and combine all the ingredients. Knead to form a smooth dough.
3. You can either roll the dough out to 1 inch and use a doughnut cutter or you can shape a ping pong size dough into a ball, flatten it and make a hole in the middle using your finger like a ring
4. Heat oil in a wok, deep fry the doughnuts over medium flame till golden brown. Dish out and drain.
To prepare the sugar coating
1.Place the sugar or gula melaka and water in a small heavy-based saucepan and heat gently until sugar melts. Careful not to caramelize the white sugar, you only need a thick sugar syrup not caramel syrup.
2. Add in the fried kuih keria, coat well. Cool them on plates.
For those who are looking for a quick fix and resides in Melaka, I just bumped into an article on Keria Antarabangsa in Jalan Tengkera. Would appreciate if readers can share with us on places around KL/PJ that sell awesome sweet potato donuts.