Peranakan Kuih – Pulut Inti made simple with Butterfly Pea Powder

Putut Inti is a sweet dessert of steamed glutinous rice with coconut milk and topped with palm sugar infused coconut topping, and wrapped in banana leaves. I have not had this kuih for a long time and thought I’d make a batch for the family to try;  I am also dedicating this recipe to all my family friends living overseas where bunga telang is hard to come by.

The word “Pulut Inti” is a peranakan (Malay) word; “pulut” means glutinous rice and “inti” means filling. To my understanding, most of the “kuihs’ are native to the Malays/locals in the Malays communities in Malaysia/Singapore and adopted and improvised by the nyonyas or the peranakan community.

Originally, the dessert is served with white glutinous rice, and the nyonyas improvised by adding a dash of natural  blue colouring, using the bunga telang (Butterfly Pea Flower).

However, for people living overseas where bunga telang is hard to come by, I turn to bunga telang powder instead, which is really a life changer.

Here is a simple recipe on how to make Pulut Inti for overseas’ Pulut Init Fans. This recipe is referenced to the Pulut Inti recipe from Nonya Flavours (By Star Publication and The State Chinese (Penang) Association); however, I have to modify the recipe based on the ingredients I can get in Australia.

Ingredients for pulut (glutinous rice):

  • Glutinous Rice: 350g – Wash and drain the glutinous rice a few times until the water runs clear. Soak overnight (enough water to cover the rice).
  • 270ml coconut milk Ayam brand (my go to coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Bunga Telang powder ** (10g of powder is equivalent to 830g of fresh flowers.)
  • 2-3 pandan leaves (screw pine)
  • Banana leaves – cut into 10-12 pieces rectangular pieces – roughly 13x15cm. Wash thoroughly and dry. (Be flexible with sizes, depending on the banana leaves – for overseas you can find the leaves in Chinese grocery store).
  • Steamer & 1-2 litres water for steaming.

Ingredients for Inti (Filling):

  • 90g palm sugar
  • 50ml water
  • 1 tsp corn flour mix with 1 tbsp water, mix well.
  • 1 pandan leaf (screw pine) – most Asian grocers/1 tsp pandan powder.
  • 50g desiccated coconut (+ 1 tsp brown sugar optional)


To cook the pulut (glutinous rice)

  1. Add sugar and salt to the coconut cream and stir well.
  2. Mix coconut cream with glutinous rice. Mix well.
  3. Boil water. When the water is boiling vigorously, place glutinous rice to steam for 25-30 minutes and reduce heat to medium. (Keep the water boiling while steaming).
  4. When rice is about 80% cooked, sprinkle the bunga telang powder over half of the pulut inti (see picture), and use chopsticks to stir and mix well (see picture).
  5. Once rice is cooked, set aside to cool.

To cook the Inti (filling)

  1. Boil water and lower to medium heat.
  2. Add the palm sugar and pandan, stir until palm sugar dissolved.
  3. Strain the syrup and return to the pot.
  4. Add in grated coconut and corn flour mix.
  5. Stir well and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  6. Switch off heat and set aside to cool.

** Note: you will notice that I did not add santan/coconut milk to my inti as per Nonya Flour as it was sweet and nice enough. I will try it in another recipe.

To wrap

  1. Place 2 tbsp of pulut (one white and one blue) in the center of the banana leaf, and top with generous heap of inti.
  2. Traditionally, it is wrap in a pyramid shape. However be flexible with the shape and size, depending on the banana leaves you can get.

If you are looking for natural colouring, you can now get the bunga telang / butterfly pea powder/flower from the online store.


Butterfly Pea Flower

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