Coklat Nise - Legendary sweets cherished by Kelantanese

20 Jan 2024 11:00am

KOTA BHARU - ‘Coklat Nise’, a sweet candy, stands as an authentic and legendary delicacy renowned in Kelantan from ancient times to the present, but despite its popularity, production has dwindled as not many are interested in the trade.

Confectionery entrepreneur, Roziah Hussein, said making 'Coklat Nise Man' is a challenging task, given that this small business is conducted in her home kitchen, with assistance from her fifth child, Ros Amira Romzi.

"I learned the craft of making this sweet product from my mother, Limah Jinal, 80, who dedicated almost 40 years to it in Kampung Beris Panji.

"I assisted my mother since childhood and assumed control of this business over a decade ago when she fell ill. However, currently, I have to operate it from home due to the constraints of not having a dedicated space and sufficient capital," said Roziah, 59, who manages the business at Taman Desa Kemumin, Padang Tembak, Pengkalan Chepa.

In an interview with Bernama, Roziah shared that she commences daily production as early as 5am, to produce 4,000 pieces or 100 pakages of Coklat Nise a day, catering to the demands of wholesalers, particularly traders at Pasar Siti Khadijah.

The mother of six and grandmother of 13 said among the ingredients used are ‘nise kerek’ (palm sugar), wheat flour, coconut milk, peanuts, and a pinch of salt.

"I adhere to the traditional and entirely manual approach without any machinery. The wheat flour undergoes toasting until it reaches a crisp texture followed by sifting, while the peanuts are first stripped of their skins before being fried.

"Originally, I used a wood stove, but now it has transitioned to a gas stove, requiring nearly two hours to transform the nise from solid pieces to a liquid state. Subsequently, peanuts and coconut milk are introduced, stirred until achieving a thick consistency," she said.

Related Articles:

She explained that the heritage of making these sweets is intricate, requiring swift action due to the high temperatures involved. Any delay in the process may cause the nise syrup to harden, making it challenging to shape.

She further described that when the nise reaches the desired thickness, it is carefully lifted and poured onto a wooden surface dusted with wheat flour, creating a pool-like shape. After allowing it to cool for a bit, the nise is meticulously shaped into elongated rectangles.

Elaborating, Roziah said the elongated shape is then cut using a ‘kati’ or betel nut cutter, requiring expertise to achieve the desired size of the sweets.

After that, wheat flour, which serves to absorb heat and prevent stickiness, is once again introduced before the sweets are wrapped in colourful kite paper.

"Though the process of wrapping the sweets might appear simple, it demands skill and consumes four to five hours. As my children are occupied with their own work, I employ others for the packaging and marketing processes.

"Coklat Nise is retailed to wholesalers at RM180 for 50 packages. Its demand remains steady, not only in Terengganu and Kuala Lumpur but has also reached international destinations such as Ireland and Brunei," she said.

She highlighted that as the demand for Coklat Nise was exceptionally high and in pursuit of innovation last year, she invested over RM20,000 in a specialised machine for technological advancement. Unfortunately, it proved unsuitable and could not be utilised.

She shared a touching moment when, in Nov 2014, she received an invitation to personally demonstrate the intricate art of cutting and wrapping Coklat Nise.

The audience comprised a delegation from Brunei and Kelantan royal family members, gathered at Kampung Kraftangan. - BERNAMA