Another attempt from my to-do list over the past weekend.
Ondeh ondeh is a common sweet food (or kueh, in Malay word) in Malaysia and Singapore. They are small green soft and chewy balls with palm sugar (gula Melaka) as filling, and are coated with grated coconut. As I had learned during my school days, traditionally the ondeh ondeh dough is made using sweet potatoes and tapioca flour (thus the chewy effect), and infused with home-made pandan juice to make them green in colour. Today, artificial colouring is readily available in supermarket. There is also a variation of recipes available online. Some do not even use sweet potatoes but tapioca flour or glutinous rice flour only, or a mixture of both.
I have chosen to use pumpkin instead of sweet potatoes and this explains why my ondeh ondeh were orange in colour. This saved me the trouble of preparing pandan juice and I don’t like the idea of using artificial colouring. As it has been so long since I last made them and I never kept the recipe, I made references to a recipe found in one of the cookbooks I have. That recipe calls for the use of sweet potatoes, glutinous rice flour and tapioca flour.
My steps :
Steamed grated coconut that was mixed with a small quantity of salt and 3-4 pandan leaves for about 10 minutes, and then set aside to cool. Pandan leaves enhanced the aroma of the grated coconut
As I couldn’t get fresh grated coconut from the nearby mini wet market, I settled with this packed grated coconut sold in supermarket. It is good enough but I would have preferred to use fresh coconut, if available.
Cut pumpkin into small pieces and steamed with 3-4 pandan leaves for about 15 minutes
Grated palm sugar. I used a peeler to do the job
Mashed the pumpkin while it was still hot and then mixed with glutinous rice flour and tapioca flour to form the dough
As my mashed pumpkin was quite wet after steaming, I decided to use only 100ml of water which was just half of the actual amount on the recipe. But I think I should have used even less water as the dough was a little wet and really soft, so soft and it became a bit challenging to shape into small balls. Or perhaps there is something not very right about the ratio of the ingredients that I used for the dough. So I ended up with jumbo ondeh ondeh which were about double the size of the usual ones sold! 😀
Boiled in a small pot until they floated up to water surface, and continued boiling for another two minutes
Coated with grated coconut
Despite the slight difficult in shaping the dough into balls, I was satisfied that they turned out pretty well – soft and a little (but not overly) chewy. I have chosen not to add any sugar onto the dough (as in the recipe), so the sweetness which came from the palm sugar was just right for me. I love that nice flavour of the melted palm sugar that oozed into my mouth when I ate them!
Ondeh ondeh are not difficult to make but I wonder why it has taken me so long to make them!
The next time I make again, I will go back to the traditional recipe of using sweet potatoes and tapioca flour, and perhaps using Japanese purple potatoes! 🙂