21 July 2016

Ondeh Ondeh (Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Ball)

I've made Ondeh Ondeh a few times but somehow each time I made it, it was always last minute decision and I didn't really document the quantity properly.

Actually was craving for ondeh ondeh since two weeks ago when I saw several friends posting about it, but couldn't find grated coconut at the wet market nearest to my place.

It was only today when I was exploring another wet market, that I chanced upon a vegetable stall selling grated coconut. Decided there and then to make some, although I had a few things on my agenda.

Making ondeh ondeh is not difficult, there are in fact many websites, blogs and cook books with detail recipes available.

Some of these recipes use an equal ratio of sweet potato to glutinous rice flour, some use a larger quantity of sweet potato, whereas some add a small proportion of tapioca flour to the dough. Some add coconut juice/milk and pandan juice in addition to water to the dough, whereas some add sugar.

Well, as I was in a hurry, I try to simplify things and just use equal ratio of sweet potato to glutinous rice flour, without adding any tapioca flour, coconut milk or sugar.

This time, I used Indonesian sweet potato which is orange colour, recommended by the auntie at the vegetable stall. Indonesian sweet potato is supposedly sweeter than Malaysian ones. But of course, the Japanese varieties whether yellow or purple would even be sweeter. I guess it's up to individual's preference and taste.

For me, the struggle is how much water to add to the dough? Usually the amount of water is just a guide, it depends on whether the sweet potato (after cooked) is moist or dry. Somehow I always ended up adding more water in order to make the dough texture pliable (not too dry, not too soft, just nice to knead). Is it because I steamed the sweet potato instead of boiling it?

Next difficult part, is wrapping the tiny ball of gula melaka into the centre of the dough, making sure the dough covers the gula melaka properly, otherwise the syrup will leak when cooking the rice balls.

I like to make small ondeh ondeh which can be pop into the mouth easily, about the size of small fish ball which makes wrapping of the gula melaka into the dough more difficult. The weight of the dough is about 10-11g, whereas the gula melaka is about size of chickpea, about 2g probably.

Not exactly sure what's the correct proportion of dough to gula melaka; the guide is not too much dough, else too little gula melaka filling or if too little dough, the filling will risk leaking. Well, I'm quite clumsy and somehow my dough is slightly thicker. More practice is needed I guess. But I don't mind lah coz I like chewing on the ondeh ondeh and prefer slightly less gula melaka syrup which would otherwise be too rich and sweet for my palate (can't take too much sweet stuff).

Ondeh Ondeh (Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Ball)
(makes about 40 pcs)

170g sweet potato (weight after peeling the skin)
170g glutinous rice flour
80g water (add more if necessary, depends on moisture level of steamed sweet potato, most of the time I used more, even double amount)
80-100g gula melaka

80g grated coconut
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 pandan leaves, cut into small pieces

  1. Peel and slice the sweet potato into thin pieces. Steam the sliced sweet potato for about 15 mins till very soft. Once done, remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Toss grated coconut, salt and pandan leaves in a tray and steam for 10 mins. Once done, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Mash the cooked sweet potato till smooth. Add glutinous rice flour. Gradually add water till the mixture comes together and form a dough. Continue kneading till dough is pliable and soft.
  4. Grate the gula melaka into small pieces and set aside.
  5. Weigh about 10-11g of dough, roll into ball and made an indent with the thumb. Fill with about 2g of gula melaka (about size of chickpea) and close up the dough ball. Repeat till all dough and gula melaka used up.
  6. Bring a pot of water to boil then lower heat to a gentle simmer. Add the dough balls into the pot, stirring gently to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  7. Once the balls float, they are ready. Drain and roll the cooked balls over the tray of grated coconut.
  8. Ready to be served. The ondeh ondeh is best eaten immediately and within the same day.

The hb likes ondeh ondeh very much and ate almost half of the whole lot after dinner! Which means that I passed his taste test =D

As for me, I ate quite a few as well :p, more than my daily quota of sweet stuff. I guess I can make this once in a while or whenever I have cravings again :)

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