April 25, 2010

Sweet Potato Balls with Palm Sugar/Ondeh-Ondeh

Onde-Onde is a colorful and delicious Malaysian dessert. Onde-Onde in Javanese, literally means a round or small food in the shape of a sphere. It is a small sweetened dumpling of sweet potato dough filled with Gula Melaka, a rich brown sugar from the palm tree. The cooked dough is coated with freshly grated white coconut. Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to get fresh grated coconut, the only alternative is to use the frozen ones imported from the Philippines. It goes by the brand name of "Masagana". The palm sugar, Gula Melaka is wrapped in dried palm leaves and you can find them in Asian supermarket.
Ingredients: (about 24-30 balls)
200 gms. sweet potato, peeled and cubed
200 gms. glutinous rice flour
1 Tbsp. tapioca flour
100 ml. water
25 ml. pandan flavoring essence
6 drops of green coloring
pinch of salt
125 gm. gula melaka, grated
3 tsp. white sugar
150 gm. grated coconut, thawed at room temperature
1. Steam sweet potatoes until soft and mash finely. Set aside. Mix a pinch of salt with the grated coconut and steam for about 5 minutes and set aside to cool.
2. Combine sugar and grated gula melaka in a bowl. Add glutionious rice flour into a large mixing bowl.
3. In a measuring cup, add in pandan essence, green coloring and water to mix. Pour this into a small saucepan and add in salt and tapioca flour and bring to a boil over low heat. Keep stirring until the mixture is slightly thickens. Remove from heat.
4. Pour this warm mixture into the bowl with the flour, mix well to combine. Add the mashed potato and mix to form a dough. Add a little more glutinous rice flour if the dough gets too soft and if it is too dry, simply wet your hands and knead the dough till it is smooth and pliable. Roll into a long rope, cut into 1" cubes and flatten the dough with the palm of your hand. Spoon about ¼ teaspoon of sugar in the middle of dough. Pinch the edges to seal and roll again into a smooth sphere. Do the same with the rest of the dough in the same manner.
5. Fill a deep saucepan with water halfway and bring to a boil. Drop the balls into the boiling water in small batches and cook until they float to the surface about 3 minutes. Remove the cooked balls with a slotted spoon and roll in grated coconut to coat. Serve with tea.

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