Saturday, December 08, 2007

Making a cake - and taking 6-8 hours to do it


LIFE ON BANGGI ISLAND (Sabah).
Festival fare – a sticky cake called dodol.

The first thing you have to do is start grating the fresh coconuts with the aid of a small motor and a grater mounted in the middle of a basin. And be careful not to grate your fingers. (See the bare chested young man in the first photo, seated in front of the basin and holding up a half coconut.)

The ingredients are coconut milk, coconut palm sugar or cane sugar, flavouring supplied by leaves of screw pine (pandan), and glutinous rice flour – all of which has to be stirred over an open fire for eight hours or so. As the mixture cooks, the mixture gets harder and harder to stir...
Note the pit dug for the fire and the large wok placed on banana stems.

Makes baking a Christmas cake look simple.

4 comments:

hrugaar said...

Yes, even my christmas cakes don't take that long. :D Do the villagers have a kind of party while making it? Here on the rock we make a thing called black butter, which has something of the consistency of chocolate spread but is actually made from apples and licorice. It takes hours and hours preparing and cooking it, so it traditionally turns into a big late night party where everyone turns up and joins in.

Glenda Larke said...

Yep, that's about right. It becomes an excuse for a gathering - but the funny thing is that most people seem to vanish around the time that the mixture thickens up to the consistency of thick brown tar...

hrugaar said...

Is that to avoid the clearing up? :D Oddly enough, not that many people I know seem to eat black butter. Perhaps the party is main reason for making it.

Jo said...

I enjoyed the pictures of an old fashioned process with a modern plastic chair. Can these things be prepared in a modern way. Of course you wouldn't get the parties. Do they taste any good anyway?