Sunday, January 9, 2011

Purple Ondeh Ondeh

Making these cute little purple balls is very therapeutic.  You will feel like a child again playing with nice, warm and soft purple-coloured playdoh, just that this playdoh is edible.   See the colour changes from a deep purple when the potato is steamed and mashed, to a sweet romantic delicate light purple when mix with the glutinous rice flour.  Roll the dough into tiny balls and see them dance in the pot of boiling water.  If you have kids at home, get them help you with the rolling.  This is so much fun and an excellent family bonding activity that you can do at home with your kids!  

(makes about 32 pieces)

150g sweet potato (weigh after steamed and mashed)
150g glutinous rice flour
100ml water (plus minus depends on water content in sweet potato)
1 tsp corn oil
1/2 tsp pandan essence (Note 1)
Gula melaka (chopped) - for fillings
Grated coconut without husk, steamed for about 10 minutes with a small knot of pandan leaves and a pinch of salt


1) Steam and mash the sweet potato while it is hot.
2) Mix the mashed potato with the glutinous rice flour, add oil, water, pandan essence and knead into a soft dough.
3) Roll the dough into 2 long equal strips.  Divide each strip into 16 small portions.  Briefly roll them into balls and cover with a cling wrap to prevent drying out (no need to roll the balls to evenly round at this stage as you still need to put in the fillings and roll again).
4) Put a pot of water to boil (with a small knot of pandan leaves for fragrance - discard before cooking ondeh ondeh).  
5) Spread the steamed grated coconut on a plate.  Get 2 more plates - one for dishing out the boiled ondeh ondeh and another to hold the ondeh ondeh after tossing in the grated coconut.
6) Make an indentation in the ball with your finger.  Put a piece of chopped gula melaka, wrap and roll into nice round ball.  Repeat process for all balls. (Note 2)
7) Put the balls into the pot of boiling water (or cook them in batches if you are using a small pot).
8)When the balls start to float on top, wait for another one to two minutes before dishing them out (to ensure that the gula melaka has fully melted inside).
9) Carefully toss the balls with the grated coconut and transfer them to another clean plate.

1) Use clear pandan essence (i.e. colourless) if you are using orange/purple sweet potato.  If you are using pale yellow sweet potato, you may want to use pandan paste for a nice green colour.

2) How much gula melaka to put in each ball, such that it has the molten lava effect when bite upon and still hold its shape while cooking?  Test one piece of ondeh ondeh before wrapping up all the balls.  Cook a piece and taste it.  That's the chef's privilege!  

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