Getting to know Bingka Ubi

Many of the Malay kuih we inherit from the older generation are traditionally being served until today.

Malaysian can easily find all sorts of Malay delicacies sold by stalls at the roadside. 

Usually, our older generation creatively makes kuih from the ingredient that is easily available.

Bingka Ubi is one of them. It is made from tapioca that easily grows in our tropical weather. 

In the early days, they plant the tapioca around their compound and in six months they can harvest it. 

They have to dig it to get the tapioca which is basically a cassava root that grows in soil. 

Out of tapioca, we can make a lot of food.

Introduction of the Bingka Ubi

The Malays love to name their kuih specifically on how it cooks. 

Sometimes, according to the place. 

Bingka Ubi Using Grated Tapioca
This is Bingka Ubi made from tapioca.

The kuih that is made from tapioca mixed with coconut milk,  sugar and salt that has been baked is called Bingka Ubi.  

Not all Malaysian refer to it as Bingka Ubi

The term Bingka Ubi is used by those living in the West Coast and the Southern state of Malaysia while those living in the Northern and Eastern Coast name it as Bengkang Ubi

So if someone travels from the Southern and West Coast to the Northern or Eastern Coast of Malaysia, they have to switch it to Bengkang Ubi if they wish to buy it from the seller. 

Otherwise, the seller does not understand.

So this tapioca mixture cake has two names, Bingka Ubi and Bengkang Ubi but following Malaysian standard language is Bingka Ubi.

Three type of Bingka Ubi

To make Bingka Ubi, we had to add ingredients such as sugar, coconut milk and salt to taste better. 

There are three types of Bingka Ubi

The difference is according to the sugar and tapioca that we used. 

Brown Bingka Ubi

The white tapioca using a combination of palm sugar and coarse grain sugar makes the Bingka Ubi brown in colour after baking. 

This brown Bingka Ubi is common for older generations. It is a classic menu and rare to see it now at the kuih stall. 

Yellow Bingka Ubi

Another type of Bingka Ubi is using coarse grain sugar only with a few drops of yellow food colouring in the white tapioca. After baking, this Bingka Ubi looks beautiful when displayed.

Natural Yellow Bingka Ubi

The third type is using yellow tapioca with coarse grain sugar. The natural colour of tapioca makes the Bingka Ubi yellow in colour.

The Difference

The brown Bingka Ubi takes extra effort to bake because we have to cook the palm sugar separately before mixed in the tapioca mixture. 

That is why people prefer to bake the yellow Bingka Ubi and is a common sight at the kuih stall.

The Natural yellow Bingka Ubi is seldom to find because there are not many yellow tapiocas in the market. The alternative is by using white tapioca and yellow colouring. 

To make yellow Bingka Ubi is much easier compared to the brown Bingka Ubi.  We mix the tapioca mixture with coarse grain sugar.

I used to make brown Bingka Ubi but now, I bake yellow Bingka Ubi because it is much easier while both taste the same.

With my recipe, I put butter cut in cube on top of the mixture before baking. It makes the Bingka Ubi look shiny and taste better when done. 

If I want to make Bingka Ubi, I dig the tapioca tree as we plant it in our garden.

How to make Bingka Ubi

Bingka Ubi is made fresh from tapioca or cassava root as scientifically known. In Malay the tapioca known as ubi kayu.

Peel tapioca and cut into three centimetre each piece while discarding the hard and fibrous parts.  

Grated the tapioca or you can blend it using a blender.

I used to grate the tapioca manually as my late mother did, but now, I am using blender as it is easier and faster.  

Then, mix well the grated or blended tapioca with thick coconut milk, sugar and salt.

Pour the mixture in a baking tin without oily it because the thick coconut milk produces oil and the mixture is not sticky to the mould.

Bake the mixture in the oven for one hour. If you find the cake is not fully baked after you test, return it into the oven to continue baking until completely done. The texture remains the same. 

In the older generation, Bingka Ubi was baked using charcoal in a self-made oven but now we use a modern oven as it is much easier.

Cut Bingka Ubi after it cools at room temperature to get a beautiful cutting.

How to cut Bingka Ubi traditionally

The sweetness from the sugar and coconut milk make Bingka Ubi delicious to eat during tea time or breakfast. It has a better taste if the outer layer of the Bingka Ubi is crusty. 

More than that, the beautiful cuttings make Bingka Ubi tempted to eat. Traditionally, Bingka Ubi was cut like a diamond shape in bigger pieces.

Now, Bingka Ubi is cut into a square or rectangular shape as it gets more pieces and serves more people, especially in receptions.

Bingka Ubi makes its way into the hotel and serves during Ramadan buffet or high tea in their restaurant.

Conclusion

Bingka Ubi is an older generation baking recipe but still loved by younger generations. The recipe is simple and delicious to eat as a family get together or for a reception. 

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