Bubur Cha Cha is a popular Malaysian dessert consisting of a medley of sweet potatoes, taro, tapioca flour jelly, and sago in a thick coconut sauce flavored with pandan. Sometimes black eyed peas, bananas, and even durian are added to the mix. This delicious and fragrant dessert is normally eaten in the afternoon or during tea time.

Gula Melaka is made from the sap of the coconut palm. The sap is boiled until it thickens and poured into bamboo tubes to solidify. It has a dark brown color and is often used in desserts. Sago pearls are made from the starch of the sago palm. While tapioca pearls are very similar, sago pearls tend to hold their shape better when cooked. These two ingredients combined wonderfully in another very popular dessert known as Sago Gula Melaka which inspired my Ebony n Ivory Dessert.



We woke up this morning to a temperature of -20°F (-29°C)! I did not even dare to check the windchill. The high for the day is 0°F (-18°C)…..brrr! On days like these, it is good to have something warm and delicious to chase away the cold and I can think of nothing better than Bubur Cha Cha. I made this last week for my house guest and we all enjoyed it. I made another batch this morning since I have all the ingredients on hand. The beautiful plate you see in the pictures was handmade by my talented house guest, specially for me. :)



My version of this dessert is very simple and can be prepared in minutes. During my vacation to Malaysia last summer, I managed to buy some gula Melaka (palm sugar) and sago pearls. These precious commodities are used only for special dishes or occasions. Please do substitute gula Melaka with brown sugar and sago pearls with tapioca pearls if you cannot find them are the grocery store.


1 (8 oz) sweet potato cut into ¾-inch cubes
1 (8 oz) taro cut into ¾-inch cubes
2 tbsp sago or tapioca pearls
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup water
½ cup shaved gula Melaka or brown sugar
2 pandan (screwpine) leaves



I only used half of that tube of gula Melaka in this dish. The best way to use a portion of a tube of gula Melaka is to shave it using a sharp knife. Cutting into it is not an easy task.



In a medium sized pot, add coconut milk, water, gula Melaka, and pandan leaves. Bring to a boil. Add sweet potatoes, taro, and sago. Reduce heat and simmer for about 7 minutes.



Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving.



Serve warm.



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Bubur Cha Cha
(Servings: 4   Prep Time: 20 minutes   Cook Time: 10 minutes)

1 (8 oz) sweet potato cut into ¾-inch cubes
1 (8 oz) taro cut into ¾-inch cubes
2 tbsp sago or tapioca pearls
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup water
½ cup gula shaved Melaka or brown sugar
2 pandan (screwpine) leaves

Soak sago in 1 cup water for about 15 minutes. Drain.

In a medium sized pot, add coconut milk, water, gula Melaka, and pandan leaves. Bring to a boil. Add sweet potatoes, taro, and sago. Reduce heat and simmer for about 7 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm.
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Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8)