5) Life – Kachang Puteh Man

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I met a Kachang Puteh man outside Peace Centre along the main street.  “Kachang” in Malay means Bean and “Puteh” denotes color White, on the whole it means White Beans.

Kachang Puteh man was an immigrant who came from India during the 50s and 60s.  They are popular among the kids, cinema or amusement park patrons.

Life is a start from scratch.  They are self-reliance and sell beans for a living.  Besides selling beans and nuts, tidbits like prawn crackers, sweet candies are what they can offer too.

The beans varieties were mostly roasted, though some were steamed (like the chicks beans).  All beans in containers are neatly laid on the Kachang Puteh cart. The kachang are wrapped with thin paper folded in a cone-up shape.  In those days, it cost $0.05cents per cone but now I have to pay $1.00 for a cone!

Personally, I have a penchant for the roasted variety which comes coated with a layer of sugar, though too much of it may cost the Tooth Fairy some works!

Kachang Puteh man usually lodged their carts outside cinemas or amusement parks.  In those days, cinemas and amusement parks are standalone buildings and it is easy to push the cart around and start a business.  Unlike now, cinemas are mostly “built-Ins” and run by building’s management.  Renting a ‘peanut’ corner in a building will be costly and affects the Kachang Puteh Man’s income.  Moreover, no outside foods are allowed in the cinemas other than those bought from the cinema’s vendors.

However, Kachang Puteh man are vanishing soon, we don’t see them around more than often, even in our country’s Little India these days.  If you happened to see one, do stop by and patronize, as they may fad off soon.  Now you see it, now you don’t…. In times to come, it does not only leave behind a taste of nostalgia but also the shadow behind our Mr Kachang Puteh man.


18 thoughts on “5) Life – Kachang Puteh Man

    Janet's Notebook said:
    September 21, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Oh my God! Kacang puteh is my favourite — I love all of them. I want them NOW!

    No wonder I didn’t see any of these men while in Singapore last month. It’s a great shame.

    I love the fragrance of Kacang Puteh.

    Thanks for sharing. The images are lovely.

      Sydney Fong responded:
      September 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Well, next time if you come to Singapore, you can spot them in little India. Thanks for stopping by, cheers !

    ape@kinjioleaf said:
    September 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    I thought they are extinct in Singapore :p Thanks, Sydney! For bringing back some nostalgia to our lives.

      Sydney Fong responded:
      September 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      so quickly, go and grab it ! cheers !

    abao said:
    September 21, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    his father is no longer doing it… back then it was really legendary

      Sydney Fong responded:
      September 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      really ? any way we should patronize them more often, so that they will prolong, and thanks for stopping by ! cheers !

    FL said:
    September 21, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    The last time I saw a kachang puteh seller in pushcart set up was at the former FoodMore foodcourt at Tekka Centre about two years ago. The centre was later revamped and the foodcourt was gone and so was that kachang puteh man, too ! The bldg is renamed as Verve now, I think. The saying: “Now you see it, now you don’t” is true, man !

      Sydney Fong responded:
      September 21, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      “Now you see it, now you don’t” it refer to things keep changing rapidly, I agree ! So please make a move to Peace Center before it vanish. And thanks for stopping by ! best regard !

    FortheLoveOf said:
    September 23, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Very interesting, transported me to another time and place!

      Sydney Fong responded:
      September 23, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      Hi thanks for stopping by and I am glad you like it, cheers!

    Life and Ink said:
    September 27, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Great stories on your blog. Thanks for sharing.

      Sydney Fong responded:
      September 28, 2012 at 12:08 am

      you are welcome, thank you !

    youmakeyourown said:
    October 16, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Being from the U.S. and not well travelled I have never seen one of these carts. We do have something similar in the form of food carts(hot dogs, pretzels, and such) in large cities. I live in a decent size city but not one with food carts. However in the summer time we have ice cream trucks. Last summer there was one that would frequent my neighborhood and my daughter loved it. This year we only saw him once. People are buying their ice cream from big chain stores. I fear that even our local shaved ice places won’t last much longer. Thank you for liking my posts. I look forward to reading more of your. 🙂

      Sydney Fong responded:
      October 16, 2012 at 9:29 am

      we do have ice cream cart here, they mainly selling walls ice cream. Indeed, I have article talk about ice cream cart , but still in the writing process.
      Hope you enjoy my posts, and I wish you stay well and be happy!- AddGrainOnEarth

    linesbylinda said:
    October 18, 2012 at 11:28 am


    linesbylinda said:
    October 18, 2012 at 11:28 am

    October 18, 2012 at 11:28 am


    Zen and Genki said:
    November 9, 2012 at 5:36 am

    Love the fragrance of spices!

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