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 or as a treat to yourselves.
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.
1/4 teaspoon of Pandan flavor essence or 2 tablespoons of Pandan leaves juice or green food coloring (Optional)
150ml of gula Melaka, diced into 5-cent big
120 gram of desiccated white coconut
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 Pandan leaves, tied into knot and lightly bruised
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 water in batches. Get your child to help adding it a little at a time with a tablespoon while you knead till a soft and non-sticking dough is formed.
3) If you choose to make 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. 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 up once they are cooked. Stir the balls occasionally to avoid sticking.
6) Remove and drain ondeh-ondeh balls from water. You may want to rinse the hot cooked balls with cold water once, to enhance its chewiness.
7) Heat a dry wok over low fire, place Pandan leaves and let it sauté a little while before adding desiccated coconut. Let both the Pandan leaves and coconut sauté on the heated wok for 2-3 minutes. Stir fry occasionally. Sprinkle salt and continue to sauté till aromas of the coconut releases. Heat off and cover wok with lid to let it stand for a while. Transfer coconut into a large bowl.
8) Place slightly cooled Ondeh-Ondeh balls into a bowl of desiccated coconut and gently coat the entire balls. Best served warm and enjoy the oozing sweet sensation of gula Melaka filling in your bites!
Tips: To yield bouncy and moist dough, adding of sufficient amount of water during the kneading is important. Use warm water, if possible.
* 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.
* Add more diced Gula Melaka, if more filling preferred.
** The Ondeh-ondehs in my photo were not added with green coloring. Its appearance was simply the natural colour of the sweet potatoes. I used orange fleshed sweet potatoes, or Japanese sweet potatoes, as below picture.