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Kraja

Required Tool: Kra-ja (flat spreader). Recommend using two while preparing this recipe. One for the batter and one for the cream. Despite the popularly held belief, the filling in the khanom buang is not coconut cream, its a meringue filling. The recipe dates back to the Ayutthaya period King Narai's rule mid 17th century. Lady Witchayen  a Japanese lady married to a foreign diplomat, introduced eggs into the cuisine of the Court.



Ingredients:
Pancake batter

  • 160 ml (2/3 cup) mungbean flour
  • 320 ml (1 1/3 cups) rice flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup palm sugar)
  • 180 ml (3/4 cup) lime water (see below) ( this is not the juice of the fruit. It's the solution produced by mixing slaked lime (cement) with water)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tbsp of Ovaltine

The lime paste for preparing the lime water should be available from Thai supermarket outlets or online ImportFood.com

Method:

  1. Prepare lime water by mixing one tablespoon lime paste to 600 ml (2.5 cups) water. Stir well and leave until the lime crystals sink to the bottom. Use 180 ml (3/4 cup) water from the top of your container for the recipe, and discard the rest.
  2. With a cleaver or sharp knife, carefully shave 120 ml (1/2 cup) palm sugar from a cake of palm sugar, avoiding large chunks.
  3. Sift the two flours into a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the egg, lime water, palm sugar and salt .
  5. Mix well. Set aside for 10 - 15 minutes.


Ingredients:
White Cream

  • 3 egg white
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 5 drops lemon juice


Method:

  1. Place egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on high speed until the eggs form medium-firm peaks, about 1 minute.
  2. With the mixer on medium speed, add sugar by sprinkling it over the beaten egg whites.
  3. Beat on high speed for a few minutes, until thick and shiny.


Ingredients:

Coconut Topping (or use dried coconut)

  • 1 cup grated fresh coconut
  • 180 ml (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water


Method:

  1. Heat all ingredients in a small sauce pan on low heat.
  2. Keep stirring until thick.
  3. Remove from heat.


Preparing the Khanom Buang

  1. Heat the griddle, on a moderate high setting. With your kra-ja, circle it around in the batter.
  2. To make it easy, catch some batter on the top of the round spreader. Then in a smooth motion move over the griddle, let the batter drop onto the griddle, and spread around in a nice circle using your wrist.
  3. Prepare a few of these pancakes, then put your kra-ja in a bowl of water.
  4. Reach for the other kra-ja which should be in the white cream.
  5. Spread some white cream on each pancake.
  6. Top some with coconut.or Foi Thong (golden egg yolk threads) and the others with Sweet Orange Shrimp Filling
  7. With a spatula lift the pancake half-way and push it down



Notes:

The lime water makes it crispy, don't prepare this without it. Your kra-ja should be clean and dry each time you start using it. Don't add too much white cream. The scraper tool for removing the khanom from the griddle is called “lek po see” and is a general purpose scraper available in any hardware store. Not suitable for teflon coated griddles, in such cases use a wooden spatula.

There is another savoury filling with a distinctive red-orange colour and a decided flavour of shrimp which I am still searching out.

6th December 2010;
Finally I have found a recipe for the traditional Orange coloured sweet shrimp filling. Once again a serendipitous find :) See the recipe here Sweet Orange Shrimp Filling