Rice Discrimination

It has been years since I last ate one “kee chang” (碱水粽) and decades since the last occasion when we made them ourselves.

Back then, we had to sort out the glutinous rice first.  For some unknown reason, the “pulut” rice was always adulterated with perhaps up to 10% of ordinary rice.  Maybe glutinous rice was much more expensive then, so the rice millers tried to make some unethical gains.

The family would gather around the dinner table, and painstakingly pick out the unwanted grains with a “lidi” (wooden skewer made from the spine of coconut leaves).   But all that labour of love and rice discrimination was sumptuously rewarded whenever a piece of the cooked alkaline dumpling was opened and lo, before our eyes, was that glorious orangey-brown near-translucent bouncy pyramid of chewy temptation. 

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