Dec 8, 2015

DIY Bedak Sejuk ("cold powder")

Bedak sejuk is a traditional powder made from fermented rice. The name "bedak sejuk" is Malay for "cold powder" and called so because it has a cooling effect on your skin when you use it.

Usually you take a small chunk of bedak sejuk and mix it with some water to form a paste.. then you can either spread it across any area of your skin or pile a concentrated amount onto an annoying pimple to dry it up. As the paste dries, it gives off a cooling effect which is really nice in our hot and humid weather. The powder is very drying as well so not really recommended for people with dry skin, but it's great for people with oily skin! :)

Normally my grandma or grandaunts are the ones who make their own bedak sejuk so I thought I should try learning how to make it myself. I'm documenting the process here and sharing this with anyone who is interested to try it out as well.

Personally I prefer homemade bedak sejuk over the commercially available ones. ;)

What you need:
A big enough container
1-2kg of rice (I used 2kg to make a bigger batch)

Important: The rice must be a high grade plain rice, not fragrant rice.

Tutorial begins after the jump!

First off, wash the rice to get rid of any dirt or bugs. You can see the bugs/dirt in the 2nd pic.

Once clear of bugs and dirt, place an appropriate amount of rice into the container and fill it up with clean distilled water.

Now, place it in a cool dry area and leave it to ferment for 3 months. My grand aunt leaves it for 1 year so it's up to you. Be sure to label it so that you know when you first made it.

After 3 months, pour out the water and check to see if the rice is soft enough to be mushed into powder. If it isn't, add new clean water and leave for another 3 months before checking again.

Note: The smell of fermented rice is REALLY PUNGENT. If you have smelt smelly tofu, that's kinda what you will be smelling at this point.

Fast forward to 1.5 years later (yeah I totally forgot about it hahaha):

Also note that because I forgot about it, I didn't change the water again after the first 3 months. So all in all I only changed the water once. If possible it's better to change the water every 3 months. :p

My two containers (1kg of rice in each) after 1.5 years.

You will need:
Pandan leaves
Muslin cloth/ thin cotton cloth
A tray to place the rice for drying
A spatula/scoop/big spoon for mixing
Clean water
Face mask if you are not able to deal with the smell

Step 1: Prepare lots of pandan leaves, cut them up to small 1 inch strips:

Step 2: Prepare a muslin cloth/ thin cotton cloth (for straining purposes):

Step 3: Wear a face mask to block out 50% of the smell. YES you may feel like puking at the smell of fermented rice. Then proceed to open the containers and pour out as much of the water as possible before pouring in clean water:

Step 4: Using a spatula/spoon/mixing apparatus, loosen up the rice at the bottom of the container and stir up the mixture.

Step 5: Place a muslin cloth over an empty bucket. Pour the mixture onto the cloth.

Step 6: Using your hands, mush the rice grains as much as you can. You want to get a doughy smoothness.

Step 7a: Strain the excess liquid out...

Step 7b: ...until you are left with something that looks like this:

If it's not smooth enough (still feels rough/grainy), add a bit of water and mush it again.

Keep repeating step 6 & 7. Your final result should look something like this:

Step 8: Once done, break the "dough" into 1-2 inch pieces and place them on a tray. Spread the pandan leaves on the tray as well. As the rice begins to dry, the smell of fermentation will be replaced with the sweet smell of the pandan leaves.

Step 9: Leave the tray out to dry in the sun. If there's no sun, you can also leave it in the house directly under the fan. This drying process can take up to 4 or 5 days. Make sure the bedak sejuk is completely dry before storing it. This will prevent any molds from forming. We store ours with the dried pandan leaves in a huge container. For daily use we stored some in a small empty medicine bottle.

To use it, just take a small chunk of bedak sejuk, mix with a bit of clean water (room temperature) and spread the paste over oily prone areas of your skin or your body. You can add/reduce water as you see fit to make a runny paste or a thick paste. It will feel cooling as it dries on your skin, hence the name bedak sejuk (cold powder).


♥ Di


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  2. So I want to make this powder as well. Heh. I'll be adding some jicama (bengkuang) root starch into the recipe, adding a lightening effect to the skin. I think I'll double the amount of pandan leaves, just to make sure everything is FRAGRANT and just generally smells better.

    1. Ooooh! Thanks for sharing your ideas! :) I'll try that with my next batch! All the best with yours. Yes, add as much pandan leaves as you can! haha.


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