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Bubur Cha-cha


150 g (peeled weight) yam
150 g (peeled weight) sweet potato
1 litre water
2 pandan leaves, tied into a knot
60 g glutinous rice flour (6 Tbsp)
50 ml water
A few drops green colouring
1 tbsp pearl sago
150 g (peeled weight) ripe cooking banana *
200 – 300 ml thick coconut milk (from 1 coconut)
Pinch of salt
120 – 140 g white sugar


bubur cha-chaImage by mengteck via Flickr

Cut yam and sweet potato into 1 cm slices. Cut the slices lengthwise into 1 cm widths – you now have strips 1 cm thick. Holding your knife at a diagonal, cut yam and sweet potato strips into 1 cm lengths to make even-sized diamond shapes. (I think these shapes look pretty, but if you couldn’t be bothered, simply cut them into 1 cm cubes.) A uniform size helps in even cooking and neat presentation.

Place yam and sweet potato pieces in a roomy pot and add water and pandan leaves. Boil and cook until the tubers are tender but slightly crunchy.( Test for 'doneness’ by tasting a piece as cooking time is surprisingly short – around 10 minutes.)

While the pan is on the boil, place glutinous rice flour in a small bowl and add enough water to form a pliable dough (you may need slightly more or less water than specified in the recipe). Add a few drops of green colouring to tint a delicate shade of green – don’t over-do the colouring …

Form the dough into a long sausage shape and pinch off small pieces, rolling them in your palms to make smooth balls the size of large peas. Drop these as you make them, into a pan of boiling water. When they float to the top, fish them out with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.

Add the coconut milk, sugar and salt to the yam and sweet potatoes. Boil and keep stirring the mixture to prevent the coconut from separating.

Place sago in a small sieve and rinse briefly under running water. Add to the mixture in the pan. After 3 minutes, add the bananas, which should be peeled, cut into halves lengthwise and then sliced diagonally into 2 cm pieces. Add the glutinous rice balls, simmer contents of the pan for another minute or two, before taking it off the heat. Preferably serve warm.

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