“Luk Chup” a popular dessert in Kota Bharu
KOTA BHARU,. A traditional sweetmeat from Thailand, Luk Chup, is being sought by the local community here , thus providing a lucrative source of income for the sweetmeat makers.
The bean-based dish is quite unique in that it is made in various shapes resembling fruits and vegetables in attractive colours. At first glance, they look like artificial fruits or vegetables.
“Luk means fruit, referring to the fruit or vegetable shaped sweetmeats, while ‘chup’ means dip,” said Sakinah Mustapha, 46, to Bernama when met at her house in Kampung Bayam. near here.
Sakinah said she quit her job as an account officer at a company here in 2016 to run the Luk Chup business full time.
“When I started the business, it only provided me with an income of about RM500 a month, but now the orders I get are not only from customers in Kota Bharu, but also in other districts in Kelantan, as well as in other states, such as Kedah, Penang, Johor and Kuala Lumpur, providing me with an income of up to RM1,500 a month.
“During the wedding season and school holidays, I don’t have enough hands to meet orders, which can come up to 2,000 pieces daily,” said Sakinah, who has two assistants to help her with making the luk chup, which is sold for RM10 for 25 pieces.
She said luk chup is popular because it can be taken as a dessert and also given away as edible gifts for house guests.
Sakinah said she learned to make luk chup when she was only 15-years-old from her aunt, Zaleha Abdul Hanan, 55, who is from Golok, Thailand.
“Not many people here can make the Luk Chup because the process is quite tedious and requires skill to shape or carve the dough into fruits or vegetables.
“Making luk chup involves a long process and demands a high level of patience, especially to shape the dough into fruits or vegetable, because when the dough gets dry, the shape will crack,” she said, adding that her luk chup is normally in the shape of watermelon slice, banana, mango, eggplant and cabbage.
A single mother with four children aged between 12 and 24, Sakinah said the ingredients needed to make the sweetmeat are yellow beans or green peas, agar-agar, food colouring and jasmine water.
“To ensure the dough is really soft, the beans need to be soaked for four hours before it is boiled or steamed for an hour and a half.
“The dough is first formed into small balls and then shaped into the desired shape and then dipped or brushed with the desired colouring.
“The final step is to dip them in the agar agar mixture a few times for a thicker coating, and then leave it to dry,” she said, adding that the lup chup can last a few days if kept in the refrigerator, and up to a month in a freezer.