Ramadan is almost over and Kak’mbang and I were busy with our preparations for Hari Raya tomorrow. When I was growing up, the usual routine in the days leading up to Hari Raya would be to bake cookies, but in this day and age, everybody just buys their Raya cookies, so we no longer bother. What I do miss from my childhood days were these kerepek bijan or sesame crackers, something Kak’mbang learned to make from my (mysterious) Nenek. This snack is so basic yet so addictive, perfect to munch on while discussing sports or current Malaysian politics at the dining table with our relatives. Put them in nice tiny jars and they’d also make great gifts for friends and colleagues.
Sharing the love (and the awesomeness of my grandma’s culinary skills) for everyone’s enjoyment. Selamat Hari Raya!
Kerepek Bijan Nenek
- 600 ml hot water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 kg flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 cup cornflour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
- 1 egg
- Cooking oil for frying
In a large bowl, combine the hot water, sugar an salt, and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, cornflour, baking powder and sesame seeds, and stir until combined.
Add the butter and egg.
Using the dough hook of your electric mixer at low speed, start the mixing process, slowly adding the liquid ingredients in a steady stream. Scrape down the dough from the sides of the bowl from time to time. You should have a springy, firm dough as a result.
Dust a clean, hard surface with a generous amount of flour, and transfer the dough from the mixing bowl to the surface.
Knead the dough gently a few times. Generously dust the dough and rolling pin with flour, and roll out the dough into a very thin disc, about 1/16 inch thick. The aim is to get a very dry, non-sticky dough, so keep dusting the dough and rolling pin throughout the process, flipping the dough over and re-dusting the surface several times.
Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut the dough into 1/2 inch wide strips. Then, slice across these strips at an angle, about an inch apart, making diamond shapes. If the dough is sufficiently dry, the pieces should not be sticking to each other.
In a large wok over medium high heat, heat the cooking oil. Fry the chips in batches, until crispy and golden.
Drain on paper towels, and let cool before storing in an airtight container.