Back to traditional roots…

A few weeks ago, I decided to try a traditional dessert. That dessert is something my parents would bring home after work and share it among the family. It is seen almost everywhere in Singapore, the flavours are very asian as it has pandan, coconut and gula melaka/palm sugar. These ingredients are widely found in almost every Asian dessert, making it sinful and unique.

The dessert I did was Ondeh Ondeh.

Ondeh Ondeh, a traditional dessert in Asia.

They are pandan balls, knead to perfection from glutinous rice flour mixed the greens squeezed from the pandan and coconut milk. I mixed mine with steamed mashed potato to give the skin a chewier texture.

The recommended sweet potato would be those with yellow body as it would not interfere with the bright green colour of the skin.


I chopped the palm sugar into little cubes so that they would melt and be stuffed easily.
They are then stuffed with chopped palm sugar before dropping them into boiling water.


Once cooked, these balls are dunked into desiccated coconut, to be coated in every part of it.

I steamed the desiccated coconut with pandan leaves to extract the aroma of the leaves into the coconuts.

And to rate how amazing the balls are, it is done by how the palm sugar explodes into your mouth when you take your first bite. If it erupts in your mouth, you have gotten yourself a terrific Ondeh Ondeh!

My first attempt for these balls of goodness were not as good as the second as I made my balls a little too small, therefore there was not any eruption of sugar in the mouth.

Tips for making Ondeh Ondeh:

  1. Dust your hands with glutinous rice flour  before stuffing the sugar in. As the warmth on your hand might have the dough sticking on your fingertips and then making a mess once the dough are filled.
  2. Use fresh desiccated coconuts. The prepackaged one you purchase in the supermarket might be too dry, altering the texture of the Ondeh Ondeh.
  3. Make sure the palm sugar are diced into really small pieces as you want all the palm sugar to melt while it cooks in boiling water. You do not want bits and piece of sugar for everyone to chew on.
  4. Be gentle with the balls. One rough move and you have a sticky and messy situation.

I used Kokken, Ondeh Ondeh recipe for both attempts. You should check out the food blog. There are a variety of recipes you could try!

There are various process that requires time and care, so be patient. IMG_2988

Ondeh Ondeh


  • 100g Sweet potato, steamed and mashed
  • 100g Glutinous Rice flour
  • 5 pieces Pandan Leaves
  • 15ml Water
  • 30g Thick coconut milk
  • 100g Gula Melaka, chopped finely
  • 200g Grated Coconut
  • 2 pieces Pandan Leaves, knotted
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt


  1. Cut Panadan Leaves (1) into small pieces and blend it with the 15ml water. Squeeze to get 30ml of dark green pandan juice.
  2. Boil sweet potato in the jacket in a pot of water until tender. Cool down. Remove potato skin and mash well.
  3. Mix 100g of mashed sweet potato with Pandan juice (1) and coconut milk. (green colouring can be added now if desired)
  4. Add in glutinous rice flour and incorporate until the dough comes together.
  5. Place grated coconut on a plate. Cut Pandan Leaves (2) into 5 cm lengths and embed in grated coconut. Steam over boiling water for 5 mins.
  6. Leave steamed grated coconut to cool completely and mix in 1/4 tsp salt. Set aside.
  7. Portion out (4) into 10g dough. Dust hands with glutinous rice flour and roll each 10g dough into a round ball. Use pinkie finger make a well in the center of the ball.
  8. Carefully fill the well with chopped Gula Melaka. Seal the opening of the dough and roll it into a ball again.
  9. Place the ball in a shallow plate of glutinous rice flour to prevent them from sticking together.
  10. Boil a pot of water. Drop (7) into the boiling water. Cook until Onde Onde floats to the surface of the boiling water.
  11. Remove Onde Onde with a slotted spoon and leave it to cool for 2mins.
  12. Roll (9) in grated coconut (6). Serve and finish on the same day.

It was good fun making those balls but a whole lot of mess as well. You could get your kids to help you coat the balls or shape them. This is loved by my family and myself. After conquering this traditional dessert, I shall be on the search for my next victim! Till next time, Ciao~

Spread Love & Be Kind! Xoxo Pei Gee

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