Proud to inherit mother-in-law’s business

Proud to inherit her mother-in-law’s skills of making kuih bongkol.

KUCHING: There is great demand for kuih bongkol, a Sarawak Malay traditional dessert, during Ramadan. 

Kuih bongkol is a steamed sweet rice flour cake wrapped in banana leaf. Soft and creamy, it is covered with thick gula apong (palm sugar) sauce.

Because of the way the banana leaf is folded, the cake looks like a square wallet.

Young entrepreneur, Sanuyah Jaya, 34, is quite well-known among the locals here for her deliciously made kuih bongkol.

She calls her kuih bongkol ‘Bongkol D’ Tupong Batu’.

She has now been making and selling kuih bongkol for nearly seven years after inheriting the skills as well as the business from her mother-in-law, Jamaah Jaya, who is now 70 years old and has stopped making it.

“My mother-in-law taught me how to make kuih bongkol. She has been making it for more than 20 years since 1999.

“She handed over her small business of selling kuih bongkol to me in 2015,” she told New Sarawak Tribune when met recently.

Sanuyah quit her job as a clerk to continue her mother-in-law’s business.

“I make the cakes at home and sell them for RM1 each. If there are many requests, I can earn about RM5,000 to RM6,000 a month,” she said.

She is also promoting the cakes on Facebook and WhatsApp.

“I do home delivery as well but not during the fasting period and will only send the orders to customers after buka puasa (breaking of fast),” she said.

The main ingredients to make the cakes, she said, were rice flour, coconut milk, pandan water and salt.

“First, we need to prepare and fold the banana leaves which are used to wrap the cakes. After that, we put palm sugar at the bottom of the leaves.

“Next, we mix the rice flour, coconut milk, pandan water and salt together.

“Once this is done, the mixture will be scooped into the banana leaf wrappers and then steamed for at least 15 minutes,” explained Sanuyah.

She added that one must have passion, patience and the right skills to create the soft pudding-like cakes.

Kuih bongkol can be eaten immediately after taken out from the steamer. Some people, however, prefer to eat them chilled.

You can order Sanuyah’s Kuih Bongkol by contacting her at 018-9818885.