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Ondeh-ondeh

One of the first traditional pandan and coconut recipes that we all love is the Ondeh-Ondeh or also known Coconut Glutinous Balls. These little green chewy balls which contain rich gooey palm sugar (gula Melaka) cubes is generously coated with slightly salted finely grated coconut. The contrast between sweet and salty makes these treats highly addictive.

The trick to these little poppers is that you have to roll your dough out thin enough so that the sugar cube melts inside but thick enough that the melted sugar doesn’t leak out. However, there are some who like the unmelted palm sugar as it creates a different dimension to the dish, whereby it can be treated like a surprise! Also if using fresh/ raw grated coconut to coat, you need to ensure that you steam before using it, as it will last longer.

Recipe (Ondeh-Ondeh)

Ingredients

  • 200g Glutinous rice flour (+ keep aside 1-2 tablespoons for later)
  • 200ml Pandan juice* / 1 teaspoon Pandan extract (with 200ml Water)
  • 100g Palm sugar (finely chopped or grated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine Salt
  • 75g Grated young coconut (can substitute for Desicated coconut, but NOT store-bought Grated coconut)

Method (makes about 30 balls)

  • Combine the 200g flour and pandan juice in a medium-sized bowl, kneading well to form a smooth, pliable dough. Cover dough with a damp cloth to prevent it drying out. Note: If using Pandan extract, dissolve in the 200ml water before adding to the flour.
  • Bring a pan of water to the boil, the lower the geat so that the water simmers gently. Pinch out a ball of dough (about 50g), flatten it into a disc and drop it into the simmering water. When the disc is cooked, it will rise to the top, lift it out and shake off any excess water. Knead the cooked dough evenly back into the main ball of dough. Note: If the dough still seems sticky, knead in 1-2 tablespoons of flour.
  • Mix together the salt and coconut and distribute it evenly on a plate.
  • Pinch off small balls of dough (about 15g) and roll it between your palms to form smooth balls. Carefully make a small well in the centre of the dough and fill with chopped palm sugar. Pinch the dough together to close, roll it gently to smoothen and lay the balls on a plate sprinkled with flour (to prevent sticking).
  • Drop the balls into the simmering water, a few at at time, do NOT overcrowd the pot.
  • When the dough balls float to the top, carefully remove them with a slotted spoon and drain. Drop the balls onto salt and coconut mixture and roll them around to coat evenly. Transfer to a serving plate immediately.

These treats are best eaten straight away, however, if you would like to keep them for longer, it would be best to store them individually on patty-cake cases and in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Written by

Charmaine Loke is currently specialising as a Patissier at the William Angliss Institute in Melbourne, Australia. She is passionate about food and loves all things buttery and sweet. Being Malaysian many of her specialities incorporate Asian flavours as it is very much part of her culture. To follow her baking journey, click on the link below.

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