Ondeh-ondeh with Gula Melaka

“Healthy coconut coating sweet potato poppers with its oozing sweet sensation in your palate, it’s my homemade Peranakan kueh!”

This popular Peranakan sweet treat, its traditional kueh (in Malay), looks deceptively complex to make, but in fact, it is easier than you’ve thought. All you need is just some quick practicing to get a hang of it.

Just remember, the dough has to be moist and pliably kneaded to avoid tearing. Look at my recipe, you will be amazed by how easy you could make it to impress your guests during your party!

And, what else? Take this opportunity to create bonding with your kids. This easy kueh making session also creates fun and joy for the young ones.

200 gram of sweet potato, peeled
150 gram of glutinous rice flour (糯米粉)
30 grams of rice flour (粘米粉)
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
A pinch of salt
150ml warm water

1/4 teaspoon of Pandan flavor essence or 2 tablespoons of Pandan leaves juice or green food coloring (Optional)

For filling:
200ml of gula Melaka, semi-melted and diced into 5-cent big

For coating:
120 gram of desiccated white coconut

1) Bring a pot of water to a boil on medium heat. Boil sweet potato till soft. Drain and place in a large mixing bowl. Finely mashed.

2) Add glutinous rice flour, rice flour, salt and oil into mashed sweet potato. Add in warm water in batches. Get your child to help adding it a little at a time with a tablespoon while you knead till a dough is formed.

3) If you choose to cook this ondeh-ondeh in green, add the green essence or colouring and continue kneading till well combined with the entire dough.

4) Place a 50-cent big of dough in your palm and roll into a ball (I’ve gotten my girl to help un this part). Then flatten the ball and make a well in the centre with your finger tips. Fill a dice of gula Melaka in the well, pinch the opening together to seal it, and then, roll into a ball again.

Enjoy the bonding moment with your child(ren) and repeat step with the rest of the dough.

5) Bring a large pot of water to a boil on high heat. Place ondeh-ondeh balls into the boiling water, one by one. Reduce heat to medium-low fire, simmer the balls till float once they are cooked. Stir the balls occasionally to avoid sticking.

6) Remove and drain ondeh-ondeh balls from water. Place balls into a bowl of grated coconut and gently coat the entire balls. Best served warm and enjoy the oozing sweet sensation of gula Melaka filling in your bites!

This Ondeh-ondeh is a vegetarian food. 1 bite-sized ondeh-ondeh kueh counts about 20kcal.

Tips: To yield bouncy and moist dough, adding of sufficient amount of warm water during the kneading is important.
* Sauté the desiccated coconut on low heated dry pan, for better aromas and taste. Sprinkle a tinge of salt in the desiccated coconut before the coating, if desired.
* Green food coloring or pandan essence can be replaced with natural pandan leaves juice. Blend leaves to extract 2 tablespoons of its juice for use.
* Gula Melaka (Palm sugar blocks) is available in major Asian supermarkets and neighborhood provision shops.
** The Ondeh-ondehs in my photo were not added with green coloring. Its yellowish appearance was simply the natural colour of the sweet potatoes. I used Japanese sweet potatoes (purple skin with yellow flesh type).