If anyone has been reading this blog thoroughly and devotedly, they may have detected my fondness for peanuts.
When I read about the Malaysian treat apam balik I was therefore naturally eager to try it, as it is a thin pancake sprinkled with sugar, sweetcorn and lots of chopped peanuts.
I should clarify now that while I adore sweetcorn, I am still not quite in the right mindset to view it as a dessert item. It is one of my issues with Ais Kacang (post to follow soon), and when it is included in a dessert description I am instantly wary. I say this to help cement in your mind the power of the peanut over me, that I would fall upon a sweet treat containing sweetcorn only because of its fellow ingredient.
Our hotel was conveniently situated one street away from the Saturday evening market on Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman. From around 5pm the street is closed to traffic and stalls set up on either side along its whole length.
There is a real mix of things for sale: jewellery, clothes, fruit and of course, snacks.
We had joined the street halfway along and angling our way through the crowds in the still-hot evening, we reached the south end and I saw an apam balik stall. The sign suggested variants on the standard preparation were available, but as I don’t read or speak Bahasa Malaysia I contented myself with pointing at one already cooking and smiling.
As an aside, fortunately for us many people spoke English to some degree and we were very grateful for their patience and assistance as we stumbled and gestured our way through various transactions.
Anyway, back to the peanuts. The pancake is folded in half on serving, and is very light and crisp, holding its shape. The sweetcorn was minimal and unintrusive, and the peanuts and sugar as sweet and nutty as one could desire.