Eurasian Putugal: The recipe

Eurasian Putugal: The recipe

Here's how to make this Eurasian kueh that was more commonly enjoyed in the past, but is less well-known in Singapore these days.

Putu-what? It's blue, it's yummy - and it's a conversation starter. That's all the reason you need to try this lesser-known Eurasian dessert. The full recipe here. Read more about the Eurasians in search of their disappearing culture.

Made by Brenda Pereira and Cassandra Anthonisz (as adapted from a recipe book by Ms Celine Marbeck).

Read their story here. 

This recipe serves 10 to 12 people.


1 cup (80g) grated coconut

1/4 cup warm water

750g tapioca, drained of water

40g sugar

½ tsp blue colouring, or juice from bunga telang (blue pea flower)

100g fully ripened local banana

Greased banana leaves, or greaseproof paper to line a cake tin (7 inches diameter round pan, 3 inches deep)

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The ingredients used for Putugal.


1. Steam 1/4 cup of grated coconut. Set aside.

2. Soak remaining coconut in warm water for 5 min. Extract 1/4 cup thick coconut milk.

3. Peel and cut tapioca into large pieces. Grate or blend until fine. Drain off all liquid except starchy residue that appears.

4, Pour coconut milk over grated tapioca. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar. Mix well and divide into two equal portions. 

5. Colour one portion blue evenly. Set aside.

6. Cut bananas into thick diagonal slices

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Once the ingredients have been prepared, layer the tapioca base, alternating the colours.


1. Line cake tin with greased banana leaves.

2. Layer the tapioca evenly in the tin, alternating between the 2 colours.Stop when half of both portions has been used up.

3. Arrange banana slices evenly on top of the tapioca mixture.

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The banana slices go in the center of the kueh.

4. Continue layering remaining tapioca over the banana slices.

5. Smooth down final layer by patting firmly with a piece of banana leaf or back of a spoon.

6. Steam for 20 mins. Remove from heat and let it cool.

7. Add remaining sugar to steamed grated coconut from preparation step 1 and mix well.

8. Sprinkle coconut over steamed tapioca and let stand for 1 hour.

9. Cut putugal into diamond shapes and serve sprinkle with more coconut.

For another Eurasian recipe, sugee cake, click here

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A Eurasian tea spread - putugal, masala tea, and sugee cake.

Source: CNA/ss