Monday, April 21, 2014


 This is another classic dessert in Malaysia and Indonesia and very popular among the Malays and Peranakans.  It is called ondeh-ondeh in Malaysia but klepon in Indonesia.  It is basically a boiled rice cake, shaped into balls, stuffed with gula melaka (palm sugar) and rolled in fresh grated coconut.  Eaten as morning or afternoon snacks, this traditional dessert is very much liked by many, both locals and tourists.

Eating a ball of ondeh-ondeh can be quite suspenseful but delightfully satisfying.  When the ball is stuffed into the mouth, one is already anticipating that it is going to literally burst in any seconds.  Upon bursting, the palm sugar liquid is explosively oozed out from the ball sending a pleasing sweet sensation to the whole palate. 

I made this at home a couple of weeks back, after my successful attempt getting my daycare students to make ondeh-ondeh during the school holiday.  Though it was our first trial making this dessert, the outcome turned out to be surprisingly good receiving lots of thumbs up from the students and teachers alike.  I got the recipe from Mrs Tan, the cook for my daycare centre who is married to a Baba and loves exploring Nyonya cuisine.  A big THANK YOU to you, Mrs Tan!

One thing I like about this simple recipe which made my students ooh and aah that day is it calls for sweet potato, the secret ingredients that made the balls so wonderfully soft and smooth.  So, if you want to give this classic indulgence a try, here you go.......scroll down!


The Recipe:
(yields about 40 to 50 pcs)

350g glutinous rice flour
250g sweet potatoes
3 tbsp pandan juice (screwpine leaf juice)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup plain water

200g gula Melaka (palm sugar), finely chopped
1 fresh grated coconut


1.  In a heavey saucepan, boil the sweet potato until soft and tender. Then, mashed and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, combine the glutinous rice flour with Pandan juice and water.
     Then, knead lightly.

3.  Combine the dough with the mashed sweet potato and knead.

4.  Bring a pot of water to boil. Pinch a small piece of dough (about 15 g each) and flatten lightly.
     Fill the center of the dough with palm sugar.

5.  Roll them in your palm to form a smooth ball and cook the glutinous rice balls in the
     boiling water. When the rice balls float to the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon
     and shake off the excess water.

6.  Mix the grated coconut with a pinch of salt and steam for about 2 – 3 minutes and let it
     cool completely.

7.  Coat the rice balls with grated coconut and serve immediately.


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