September 25, 2023

Kuih Keria

Fried, sugared and holed. Doughnuts all over the world share it. Enter kuih keria, made from sweet potatoes and glazed with sticky melted suagr- the most amazing incarnation of the doughnut.

” A fabulous teatime treat! “

The other day, my sister asked me to make kuih keria. That brought back memories. During my school holidays in my younger days, I would go with my parents to KL to stay with my grandfather.

Every morning, there will be a chorus of boys yelling, “Nasi lemak! Kuih keria! Karipap!” They carried these goodies in their baskets. In Ipoh we didn’t have such a thing and it was amazing to me. When I get to buy one, I would hold the keria in my hand, they were usually still warm. I imagine their mothers slipping it out of sizzling woks and rolling them in melted sugar. They would melt on my palm leaving a sticky mess and I would lick them long after I’ve finished the last crumb.

Kuih keria is made with a very high percentage of sweet potatoes. There is no yeast in this doughnut. Fished out of a wok, it doesn’t have a doughy texture, rather buoyancy from the potatoes. It’s not smooth and you get bits of bite from the fiber in the potato. Glazed heavily with sugar syrup, it’s sinfully sweet and yet it’s half the size of and average doughnut so in my opinion not as bad (unless you eat a basketful).


600 g Sweet potatoes (yellow) Boiled, peel and mash
150 – 200g All purpose flour
2 tbsp Sugar
Generous pinch of salt
Enough oil for frying

½ C Sugar
½ C Water

Mix everything together except for the oil.
Prepare a baking tray, (wet hand with some oil, so it doesn’t stick) shape the mixture into small donut rings by holding a palm-sized ball of dough. Then using your thumb push dough away from the middle rotating it with your hand until a hold forms in the middle.
Heat the wok with enough oil to deep fry. Fry all the shaped keria till golden brown.
In another work, melt sugar with water.
Once the sugar is melted, put in all the keria, stir gently coating all the keria.

When you fry don’t worry if the keria looks a little charred- that’s the sugars in the sweet potato caramelising.

Your kuih keria should be soft and bouncy, sweet and savoury at the same time. When glazing keep stirring it in the sugar syrup gently with the heat on. At the right moment, the sugar will crystalise and crack on your keria. This is what you are looking for,

Chef says:

Good kuih keria never use too much flour in the batter. It uses just enough to bind everything together. Too much flour and you will get a stodgy keria.

Substitute sugar for gula melaka for your keria glaze. It’s delicious!

If you fancy spices, add a pinch of cinnamon powder.

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