This is one of the easily found local breakfast food selling at the Malay street vendors or coffee shops. It is pretty much doughnut made of sweet potato dough coated with crystallized sugar. Because it doesn’t use yeast like American donuts, kuih keria takes a lot less time to make, and it doesn’t taste awfully sweet like American donuts. When I was a kid, these donuts, along with assorted curry puffs and other kuih-muih (assorted Malay cakes), were selling RM0.10 each (about 3 US pennies). Just 1 US dollars will filled your tummy with all kinds of hand made local cakes, be it sweet or savory.
Back to kuih keria, it’s very easy to make, with very few ingredients and steps. One thing though about choosing sweet potato: I prefer yellow-flesh Japanese yam– the flesh is drier and has more flavor. Avoid using the orange-flesh yam because its flesh has more moisture and mushy, requires more flour in making which could make kuih keria taste hard on the texture.
Malaysian Sweet Potato Donuts ‘Kuih Keria’ Recipe (makes 20-22 pieces)
1 lb Japanese sweet potatoes (about 4-5 small ones)
1/2 cup flour
oil for frying
Crystallized sugar coating:
1/2 cup sugar
3-4 tbsp water
- Wash and steam sweet potatoes, skin on, on high heat until cooked and the flesh turns just soft. Peel of skins easily with hands and mash.
- Add flour to mashed sweet potatoes, mix and knead to form a dough. The dough should be slightly sticky. Add a little more flour if the dough is too soft or wet (but not too much as it will make kuih keria hard).
- Roll the dough to a log on a floured surface. Cut into small pieces and roughly roll into balls (golf ball size), make a hole in the center with a finger (flour hand and finger to avoid dough from sticking). Set kuih keria aside on a lightly floured surface.
- Heat up oil in a wok or deep sauce pan until very hot. Carefully drop kuih keria into oil and fry for a few minutes until golden browned, flipping kuih keria half way for even browning. Do not overcrowd the wok/pan with too much kuih keria at a time. Drain on paper towels.
- Put sugar and water in a sauce pan, cook on medium heat until sugar becomes clear syrup and thick. Add fried kuih keria and keep stirring until all are well coated and eventually crystallized.