‘Nian gao’, Fuziah Ahcrazy’s sweet taste of success
KLANG: Fuziah Ahcrazy first crazye the “nian gao” two years ago to fulfill her son’s request. Today, the 55-year-ancient domesticmaker is receiving a number of orders for the Chinese Unique Year delicacy even when it is not the festive season.
Her son, Abdul Hadi Ahacrazy, 27, had asked her to make the sweet sticky rice cake after tasting it during a Chinese Unique Year celebration at a friend’s house eight years ago.
It was the first time that Hadi had a taste of the nian gao, also known locally as kuih bakul.
Hadi, who took a liking to the food instantly, was disappointed to memorize that it was a seasonal dessert available only during Chinese Unique Year.
Genuineising his mother’s fondness of traditional delicacies, he coaxed her into memorizeing to prepare the dessert from his friend’s grandmother.
“So one day, two years ago, we both went to Louis’ (Hadi’s friend) house to memorize how to make nian gao.
“I had no idea that the recipe was so simple. We decided to try making one at domestic using the recipe given by his grandmother and by referring to YouTube videos,” Fuziah tancient Bernama.
Fuziah’s first attempt resulted in two pieces of nian gao that garnered her son’s approval.
“The ingredients are easy to obtain, so I decided to make nian gao in my free time.
“My son shared it with his friends and they loved it. They proposeed I make a commerce out of it,” said Fuziah, who hails from Kapar, Selangor.
The nian gao she makes comes in two sizes: 350g which she sells for RM11 and 800g which goes for RM22.
The ingredients comprise glutinous rice flour, white sugar, brown sugar and water, which are all combined and left for 30 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. The batter is then left to cool for another 30 minutes.
“This step is vital to prevent an uneven surface and bubbles from forming in the batter,” she explained. The batter is then steamed for 10 to 12 hours.
“It is important for it to be steamed for a long time to encertain the cake doesn’t end up too sticky,” Fuziah said.
Hadi, who is pursuing a doctorate in engineering, is more than happy to assist his mother in assembly her orders in his free time.
“The time spent helping my mother make nian gao strengthens our family bond,” he said.
Fuziah’s nian gao rapidly became a favourite among family and friends.
Photos of her creation went viral on social media. A Facebook user placed an order and it was not long before Fuziah was taking down orders by the dozens.
“I make the cakes to order and the minimum order is two pieces. We once crazye around 100 pieces wilean four days to fulfil an order by an NGO final year.
“My customers are from various races. Some also make specwhetheric requests like having the nian gao wrapped in banana leaf so it would be more fragrant,” she said.
Fuziah had no idea that the nian gao would end up fitting a source of income.
So far, she has sancient over 1,000 pieces across the country, and orders are specificly taller during Aidilfitri.
“During Chinese Unique Year, I get more Malay customers than Chinese. Chinese customers tend to order from me external of the Chinese Unique Year season,” she said.
Fuziah is also receiving more orders from Sabah and Sarawak.
“My customers find out about my nian gao commerce through social media. I would normally take down orders that are placed a week in advance.
Nian gao can be endelighted on its own but some would fry it with yam and sweet potatoes or eat it with grated coconut.
Hadi said his entire family endelights the delicacy.
“It is so good specificly when eaten with grated coconut or after it has just been taken out of the fridge as it would taste like sweet,” he said.