Monday, 19 January 2009


Greetings and apologies for a prolonged absence. I was visiting the family down in Melbourne over the last week, and of course, forgot the cable for my camera. Guess that means that I'll be posting a whole bunch of stuff over the next few days, then. It's a good thing I'm on holiday now...

My second day there, Tiffany and I went over to babysit our cousins. Well, they're not really babies anymore (Shannon will be 12 next month and Belinda 10 in March) but 'tweensitting' sounds fairly...odd.

Just before she left for work, my auntie got us started on making ondeh-ondeh, which are (I think) Nyonya dessert dumplings filled with palm sugar. Fairly easy to make, and it helped keep Belinda occupied for at least half an hour.

You'll need:
sweet potato
palm sugar
glutinous rice flour
pandan essence (optional)
grated coconut

As you can guess, we didn't work according to an exacting receipe. It still worked out fine, though. For those interested, here are some helpful pictures to go with the vague instructions:

1) Steam a heap of sweet potatoes (the amount will depend on how many ondeh-ondeh you want to end up with.)
When the potatoes are soft enough, mash them up roughly with a fork.

2) Grate a lot of palm sugar - you'll need more than you think. You can do this step while steaming the potatoes.

3) Once the sweet potatoes have been given a bit of abuse, mix them up with some glutinous rice flour. As I mentioned before, I didn't have exact quantities and pretty much guessed it all.
So...I guess, just mix in enough flour so that it all sticks together and forms a smooth dough without falling apart.
You may also add some pandan essence to the mixture at this point, if your heart (or stomach) so desires.

4) Grab a bite-sized piece of the dough, roll it into a ball then flatten it, to end up with a flat, circular shape.
Add about a heaped teaspoon of the grated palm sugar into the middle of the dough. Try not to put too much in, as the dumplings may burst when you put them into boiling water later.
Obviously, you can make a bigger dumpling if you want to, with more filling, but these were easier for little hands to handlle.

5) Roll them up into little balls, with the filling in the middle, so they look like...

You can add food colouring to the dough too, to make them more colourful. (I think the green colour came from the pandan essence, though.)

7) When you're done rolling them up, put them into a large pot of boiling water. The dumplings are done when they float up to the surface.
It's probably better not to put too many of them in at once, as they'll tend to clump together into a messy, doughy mass.

8) Put the cooked dumplings into a bowl filled with grated coconut, and roll them around to coat them in the coconut.

9) When they've all been coated, display them on a plate and they're ready to eat! They can be served both warm or chilled, but I think it's great eating them straightaway as the melted palm sugar oozes out and coats your tongue with it's sweetness.

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