Desserts

July 1, 2021

Kueh Dadar - Coconut Filled Crepes

Kueh Dadar - Coconut Filled Crepes

I'd like to start off by saying that "Coconut Filled Crepes" doesn't do this recipe justice as an accurate description of exactly what this dish is. But writing out "Pandan-Infused Coconut Milk Crepes filled with Palm Sugar Grated Coconut" just won't fit ! This flavor bomb of a dessert combines 3 typical dessert ingredients seen across Singapore and the region - pandan leaves, coconut milk and gula Melaka (aka coconut palm sugar). Together these 3 ingredients provide the basis of many traditional desserts from back home. It's one of the simple "kueh" recipes and I would definitely urge you to give this a try. These days, finding ingredients like pandan leaves and coconut palm sugar have become pretty easy especially online, although my local Asian grocery store carries frozen pandan leaves which is what I use for this recipe.

What is a kueh?

Kueh is a term used back home to describe small or bite-sized items. They can be savory or sweet but most of the time when referred to alone as just "kueh", it refers to sweet bitesized desserts. Kueh can also be spelled in many different ways depending on where in the region you're from. Kueh making tends to be an elaborate affair depending on the recipe of course, but this particular kueh is one of the easier ones to make, and thus I make it quite often when I miss those flavors of home.

What is coconut palm sugar? 

A natural sweetener, coconut palm sugar is derived from the sap of the coconut palm tree. Traditionally in many Singaporean desserts, and in this dish, the recipe calls for gula Melaka which is also known as coconut palm sugar. Palm sugar is typically sold in the form of round cakes or discs which can be shaved with a knife and used in your dishes. In fact on occasion, I will use it in my coffee or make a quick syrup by dissolving the palm sugar and water and pouring it on pancakes and French toast. If you're unable to find the discs of palm sugar, you can usually find granulated coconut palm sugar at your local health food stores. You can definitely use brown sugar in this dish, but keep in mind that the dark caramel like flavors of palm sugar will be missing from your filling. It still tastes great with other sugar alternatives, so feel free to use what you have on hand.

What is pandan? 

Pandan is a herbaceous plant that has been cultivated for home cooks in both South and Southeast Asia for centuries and imparts flavors of vanilla, coconut, and rose. This grassy plant, with its long blade-like leaves, is no longer found in abundance in the wild but is easily grown at home with just a little bit of care. Pandan is used in both savory and sweet dishes in Singapore and across the region. The use of pandan in savory dishes like the iconic Chicken Rice provides a subtle but important herbaceous note in the background, yet the aroma of pandan truly shines through when used in Singapore’s most popular traditional desserts like this Kueh Dadar.

How do I get perfectly round crepes?

I don't claim to have amazing crepe-making skills but I use an 8in round non-stick pan which can accommodate the 1/4 cup batter perfectly. When you add the batter to the pan, quickly swirl the pan to even out the batter and because the 8in pan is rather small, the batter reaches the round edges quickly and thus form perfectly round crepes!



Kueh Dadar - Coconut Filled Crepes

Eaten any time of day but particularly great for dessert, these sweet coconut-filled crepes combine pandan, coconut and palm sugar, flavors of my childhood!

Author:

Shilpa Iyer

Prep:

15

min

cook:

45

min

total:

60

min

SERVING SIZE:

8

Ingredients

Pandan Juice:

  • 120g pandan leaves (fresh or frozen)
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • ( if you can't find pandan leaves, mix 1 Tbsp natural pandan extract into the 6 Tbsp water)

Batter:

  • 100g flour
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 100ml pandan juice
  • Pinch of salt

Filling:

  • 180g grated coconut 
  • 3 fresh or frozen pandan leaves, knotted, if available
  • 120g coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar), finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp Water 

Instructions

  1. Make the pandan juice: place the pandan leaves and the water in a blender and blend until the pandan leaves resemble grass clippings. Strain using a fine mesh sieve or a nut bag or muslin cloth and squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. You will want approximately 100ml pandan juice. Set aside. (If you cannot find pandan leaves at your asian grocer, natural pandan extracts are available online and can be used for this recipe instead. Just stir 1 Tbsp of pandan extract into 6 Tbsp water and set aside.
  2. Make the batter: Place all the batter ingredients in a bowl and whisk until everything comes together. Approximately 1 to 2 minutes. The batter should be smooth and not lumpy. Set aside. 
  3. Make the filling: In a large sauce pan or wok, heat the wok to medium heat. Add the grated coconut along with the knotted pandan leaves, if using, and sauté for 1 minute on medium. Lower the heat to low, and add the gula Melaka, salt and water to the wok. Saute for 2-3 minutes until well incorporated. The filling should be moist. If the resulting filling is too sweet, add more coconut. If you find the filling isn’t sweet enough, add more sugar. Set aside until cool. 
  4. To make the pandan crepes - Heat a non stick pan on high for 1 minute. Add 1 tsp of oil and rub the surface of the pan with a paper towel until well oiled. Measure out 1/4 cup of the batter and pour the batter onto the hot pan. Swirl the pan immediately to spread out the batter forming a circle. Allow to cook for 2 minutes. Carefully use a thin spatula to release the edges from the pan. Once the crepe moves around freely, carefully flip the crepe over and heat the other side for 1 minute. Remove from heat and place on a plate or baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the batter. 
  5. Allow the crepes to cool down before proceeding. 
  6. When ready to fill the crepes, lay one crepe on a flat surface. Place 2 tablespoons of the filling in the lower 1/3 of the crepe, leaving a border around the bottom and sides of the crepe. Carefully folder the bottom portion of the crepe over the filling followed by the left and right sides. Roll the crepe over to form a log. Eat immediately. 
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