South East Asian sweets and desserts are most strongly defined by the bite sized snacks known as Kuehs/ Kuihs. Ondeh Ondeh has always been one of my favourite kuehs. I have never been able to resist these sweet chewy coconut coated balls ever since I was young. Soft and chewy in texture, this is probably one kueh that encompasses all the essential ingredients typically used in the preparation of exotic South East Asian desserts. Sweet potato is the essential root vegetable in this dessert while glutinous rice flour imparts the slightly sticky and chewy texture. Coconut milk and pandan juice provide the mild fragrant richness and Gula Melaka (brown palm sugar) rounds up the sweet experience with its distinctive caramel-like flavour.
A good Ondeh Ondeh should be tender yet chewy. The amount of rice flour used should be just enough to yield a bouncy softness that gives way to the burst of Gula Melaka sweetness when chewed. Very often, commercial Ondeh Ondeh loads up on the glutinous rice flour and stinges on the use of Sweet Potato which helps to soften the Ondeh Ondeh.
I have experimented with a few different sweet potato/glutinous rice flour ratio and my favourite so far is this one that uses equal portion of sweet potato with glutinous rice flour. As a result of the higher quantity of sweet potato, the colour will not be the typical jade green colour seen in the commercially sold Onde Onde. It will take on a mossy brown colour. For the photos in this post, I had added quite a bit of green colouring but otherwise, I would be most comfortable to leave it as it is without any artificial colouring.
I am submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #12: Traditional Kueh (October 2011) hosted by Small Small Baker.
Sweet potato 100g
Glutinous Rice flour 100g
Pandan Leaves(1) 5 pieces
Thick coconut milk 30g
Gula Melaka 100g (chopped finely)
Grated Coconut 200g
Pandan Leaves(2) 2 pieces
Salt 1/4 tsp
1. Cut Panadan Leaves (1) into small pieces and blend it with the 15ml water. Squeeze to get 30ml of dark green pandan juice.
2. Boil sweet potato in the jacket in a pot of water until tender. Cool down. Remove potato skin and mash well.
3. Mix 100g of mashed sweet potato with Pandan juice (1) and coconut milk. (green colouring can be added now if desired)
4. Add in glutinous rice flour and incorporate until the dough comes together.
5. Place grated coconut on a plate. Cut Pandan Leaves (2) into 5 cm lengths and embed in grated coconut. Steam over boiling water for 5 mins.
6. Leave steamed grated coconut to cool completely and mix in 1/4 tsp salt. Set aside.
7. Portion out (4) into 10g dough. Dust hands with glutinous rice flour and roll each 10g dough into a round ball. Use pinkie finger make a well in the center of the ball. Carefully fill the well with chopped Gula Melaka. Seal the opening of the dough and roll it into a ball again.
Place the ball in a shallow plate of glutinous rice flour to prevent them from sticking together.
8. Boil a pot of water. Drop (7) into the boiling water. Cook until Onde Onde floats to the surface of the boiling water.
9. Remove Onde Onde with a slotted spoon and leave it to cool for 2mins.
10. Roll (9) in grated coconut (6). Serve and finish on the same day.