Chap Goh Meh and pengat sweet ending to Chinese New Year

I have not been posting much because too much eating has left me so filled and I just cannot bring myself to write about foods anymore. I think all the Chinese who celebrated Chinese New Year knows the feeling of being too ‘jelak’ from eating the rich and flavourful foods meant for Chinese New Year.

Yee Sang was fun the first two times and after that, I dread the thought of eating it. Now, I don’t even want to see another prawn, fish, sea cucumber or any of those ‘fortune rhyming’ foods anymore.

Therefore, I am glad Chinese New Year has come to an end and I can escape having Chinese New Year-sy dishes. Today, Monday 9th February 2009 is the fifteen day of the Chinese Lunar Year. Therefore, Chinese New Year fifteen days of celebration draws to an end.

pengat chinese new year

Pengat is a sweet dessert cooked by mostly Penangites who are Hokkien. I have intentionally made the above photo colourful to give you an idea how lovely the pengat it. It has tapioca flour colourful jellies, purple yams and sweet potatoes, orange and yellow sweet potatoes, banana cooked in syrup, black eye peas and sometimes sago balls.

Pengat is not bubur cha-cha. Pengat is thick, sweet and very, very lemak. Many people think pengkat is bubur cha-cha. It is not. It is like comparing icecream with sorbet. Bubur cha-cha normally has thin and diluted coconut milk for soup. Pengat has very thick coconut milk for soup.

I have several posts on pengat as I usually cook them on Chap Goh Meh. However, I am just too tired to bother buying all the sweet potatoes and stuffs so my eldest sister will give me a portion. She normally cooks and brings it to offer to my deceased parents’ whose urn is in the temple. Since it was our mom who taught us to cook this pengat, my eldest sister always offer it to my parents.

pengat chap goh meh

It takes a bit of patience to prepare the sweet potatoes and yam because we need to steam them after cutting them into diamond shapes. The bananas, preferably pisang rajah will be cooked separate in a thick, sugary syrup. The tapioca flour is made by pouring hot water into the tapioca flour and then, kneaded into a ball of dough after adding colours. Then, it is rolled into oblong shapes and cut with scissor. The jelly is boil in water till they turn transparent. Then, soak in water.

Meanwhile, the soup of the pengat is made by boiling the black eye peas in water till they are soft. After these beans (peas?) are soft, then, thick coconut milk is added into them. Sometimes, the coconut milk alone can costs up to RM10 if we are making a large pot of pengat. After adding pandan leaves and sugar, the sweet potatoes, yam and tapioca jelly are added. Usually, the banana is added only when serving or else the banana tend to turn darkish colour.


The above is an unsightly looking pengat I cooked last year. I am the lazy bum who did not bother with the steaming and cutting into nice diamond shapes. The second photo is the bowl of pengat my eldest sister prepared. Hahaha, she has the patience which I don’t. Taste wise, both are equally good.

HAPPY CHAP GOH MEH! Don’t forget the orange throwing on Chap Goh Meh, ok?

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