Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yam/Taro Ondeh Ondeh

Ondeh Ondeh is one of my favourite kuehs. I love the oozy syrupy  palm sugar filling encased in the soft yet slightly chewy glutinous ball accompanied by the salty sweet taste of grated coconut. But what I love most is the experience of eating it. You see, eating Ondeh Ondeh is a messy affair.  You cannot be demure and take dainty bites. Unless if you don't mind sticky syrup sputtering all over  your clothes and whatever that is near you. 
Forget about being lady like. To eat one, you have to open your mouth wide, pop the whole ball into your mouth and close your mouth tightly. Bite into it and savour the the sweet filling bursting out!  This is the best part and I must say, an absolute joy! I'm sure you all agree with me too. :)

Here's my first ever batch of Ondeh Ondeh. Have always wanted to make my own but just never did as I've always thought it involves a lot of work. And it does! ... at least to me. What I find hard is filling the glutinous balls neatly. My hands and fingers are just not deft or nimble enough. It took me more than 1 hour just filling the balls alone. I'd suggest making these when you have someone to help you.  The more the merrier. Anyway, for all the hard work I've put in, I was well rewarded in the end when I pop one Ondeh into my mouth, then another and another .... and another. Yup, I had a gorge fest. Haha!  
As for the recipe, I adapted from the cookbook 'Delicious Kueh & Desserts' by Patricia Lee. I have made a little substitution by using yam in place of the sweet potatoes called for and omitted the coloring.  The green tint you see came from the pandan juice. And if you're wondering, the yam taste was not prominent at all. I couldn't taste any yam flavour under all that fragrant pandan and coconut. I've also found the amount of palm sugar called for was not enough to fill the dough balls. To get that oozy filling that'll sputter when you bite, you have to be very generous with the filling!

I'm submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #12: Traditional Kueh (October 2011) hosted by SSB of Small Small Baker

Yam/Taro Ondeh Ondeh
(Recipe adapted from 'Delicious Nyonya Kueh & Desserts' cookbook by Patricia Lee)


300 g Glutinous rice flour
2 tbs Tapioca flour
200 g  Mashed Yam/Taro
10 Pandan Leaves
200 ml Water
a pinch of salt
100 g Palm sugar (grated and mixed with 1 tbsp castor sugar)
250 g grated white coconut
a pinch of salt
additional water, if dough is dry
  1. Mix grated white coconut with a pinch of salt, then steam on 2 pieces of pandan leaves for 10 minutes. Leave to cool.
  2. Cut the remaining 8 pandan leaves into smaller pieces, put into a blender together with the water. Blend, then strain. Add salt. Mix well. 
  3. In a large bowl mix together glutinous rice flour and tapioca flour.  Add in mashed yam. Pour in pandan juice and knead till dough is smooth and pliable like playdoh. If dough is too dry, slowly add more water into it, a tablespoon at a time.
  4. Pinch a small lump of dough, roll into a ball and flatten slightly. Put a little palm sugar at the centre. Seal well and roll into smooth ball again.  
  5. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Gently drop the filled dough balls into it. When the balls  float to the surface, keep boiling for another 2 minutes. Scoop up with a strainer and coat in  grated coconut. Serve.

  1. Original recipe calls for sweet potatoes and a few drops green food colouring. As I used yam and my dough was very dry, I had added more water, a tablespoon at a time until I got smooth pliable dough.
  2. The Ondeh Ondeh is best eaten on the day it is made. If  you have leftovers, store them in the fridge. Refrigeration though makes the Ondeh Ondeh tough. Reheat in the steamer for a few minutes before eating. They'll be nice & soft again. 



  1. I also want to pop them into my mouth.... :) So lovely made...

  2. if you never tell, i wouldnt know this is made of yam but still i think it's a nice creation. Yeah, i will open my mouth big and pop in two at a time!!

  3. I made quite a big batch when my mum was here about 2 months ago using sweet potato the white flesh variety. They were so very delicious and moreish when they were just made. The leftover we stored them in the fridge thought that we could have them for brekkie the next day but no, the outside had gone a little dry and the sweet filling had solidify.... even microwaving gently didn't work. However it was fun making these with my mum!


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