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It is Monday and time for another Muhibbah Malaysian Monday. This time I am bringing Ondeh-Ondeh, a Nyonya (Straits Chinese) tea time favorite, to the round-up. These delightful furry balls are a joy to eat as they have a little surprise in them. They explode with sweet melted palm sugar in your mouth when chewed! It is always fun to watch the “unsuspecting” eating this for the first time. :)

Before we move on to the recipe, I am very excited to tell you that Roti n Rice has been selected as the Foodista Food Blog of the Day for July 11, 2011. Rose Berry Agar-agar will be featured on the Foodista homepage for 24 hours. Please do check it out. Thank you all for your continued support.


There are two versions of Ondeh-Ondeh. One is made with just plain glutinous rice flour while the other has a little sweet potato added to the dough. It is usually scented with pandan (screwpine) juice and rolled in fresh dessicated coconut. As I was not in the mood to try to extract the pandan juice from the pandan leaves and I do not have pandan essence with me, I decided to flavor the dough with a teaspoon of vanilla instead. Fresh grated coconut is not something easily found here in the north and so I used dried dessicated coconut. I toasted the coconut to bring out its fragrance.


Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Yield: 16 ondeh-ondeh



  • 1 small (8oz/225g) sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 cup (125g) glutinous rice flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla or pandan
  • 3 tbsp water
  • ½ cup (3.5oz/100g) shaved palm sugar or brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (60g) dessicated coconut


Dry fry dessicated coconut until lightly brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and place in a shallow bowl. Set aside.

Place sweet potatoes in a steamer and steam for 10 minutes until soft and mashable. Remove and place steamed sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Mash sweet potatoes with a potato masher. Add glutinous rice flour, salt, and vanilla. Mixed well and knead until a soft pliable dough forms.

Divide dough into 16 equal portions and form into balls. Flatten a ball of dough in the palm of your hand into flat disks of about 2-inch diameter. Place a teaspoon of palm sugar in the center. Gather up the sides and seal well to form a ball of about 1-inch diameter . Roll between your palms until ball of dough is smooth. Place on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Bring a medium sized pot of water to boil. Gently drop in formed ondeh-ondeh. Reduce heat to medium and allow ondeh-ondeh to cook until they float to the surface, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Drop onto fried coconut one at a time to coat.

Serve warm or at room temperature.



I am sending this to Sharon for Muhibbah Malaysia Monday #13.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8-)

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58 Responses

  1. Lyndsey says:

    These look amazing. I love the surprise inside, so yummy! I was wondering where you get your pandan leaves? Do you have a plant? Or do we have to look for screwpine here, I’ve been wanting to get one.

    • Biren says:

      Thanks Lyndsey! I get my pandan leaves in the frozen section of the Vietnamese store. They call it “la dua”.

  2. Gertrude says:

    Nice looking ondeh ondeh. I normally coat them with fresh coconut. Interesting that you coat them with toasted coconut.

  3. Vatsala says:

    Very new recipe to me. Bookmarked it.
    Show and Tell
    Event – LGSS_Potato

  4. Hi Biren! I love that photo with the sweet potato oozing it out- it looks so good. I have never heard of Ondeh Ondeh but it looks like an super yummy variation of mochi. Congrats on Foodista!

    • Biren says:

      Thanks Lindsey! These ondeh-ondeh do look and taste a little like a mochi except for the filling. I like how the melted palm sugar oozes out in one’s mouth. :)

  5. Amelia says:

    Congrat on foodista :)
    Lovely photo and delicious ondeh ondeh.

  6. My mother-in-law makes this with pumpkin but I actually like your recipe of sweet potato better. Thanks for sharing.

    • Biren says:

      Hi Veronica, thanks for visiting and commenting! I’ve never tried it with pumpkin but I can see that it will work. :)

  7. Reeni says:

    I would be ever so happy to have these “explode” in my mouth! Such delightful little treats. Congratulations on being featured!

    • Biren says:

      These delightful little bites are fun and delicious to eat. Thanks Reeni! I am honored to be featured on Foodista. :)

  8. Parsley Sage says:

    Oh that sounds delicious. Love the combo of pandan and sweet potato. Yummy!

  9. tigerfish says:

    Never talk while eating ondeh-ondeh….kekekek.
    This happens to be one of my favorite Nyonya kueh. The one I have tried is usually green – I think infused with pandan leaves?

  10. delicious looks wonderful lovely pictures

  11. Sonia says:

    I’m too lazy to make this as I easily get it here, hehehe..Yours look so good. Congratulations to you too.

  12. elle marie says:

    I have honestly never tried Ondeh-Ondeh, but I’m quite fond of all the ingredients and I’d love to give it a try someday.

  13. Ondeh ondehs are one of my favourite Malaysian snacks! But i’ve never tried one with sweet potatoes before.. it must taste fabulous!

  14. anncoo says:

    I love Oneh-Oneh and I remember the first time I made this was in my secondary school and I love to pop the whole piece in my mouth and I totally agree with Tiger – never talk while eating Oneh-Oneh :)

  15. Very good! We’ve attempted onde-onde a couple of times, with less than stellar results. But practice makes perfect, I guess. Good on ya!

  16. Biren, these look absolutely magical. I’m going to add “Ondeh-ondeh” to my list of discoveries and bear in mind that they will explode in the mouth. So much to learn about Malaysian food! Great going on Foodista – well deserved!

  17. Lisa H. says:

    Nice looking ondeh-ondeh…
    When I was young… I didn’t quite like the gooey glutinous rice texture… but now… I love it, keep popping like pop-corn and can’t stop ..hehehe :D

  18. Sounds delicious! I love sweet potato, and I think I might have had something like this when I was in Singapore… I bet it’s yummy with that melted palm sugar in the center! Yum! Great recipe :)

  19. I wish I could try a few of them….they are gorgeous!

  20. Mina Joshi says:

    They look absolutely amazing. At first – I thought they were Ladoos but on reading the recipe – I find they are a new dish for me. wow!

  21. Peggy says:

    Congrats on being the food blog of the day yesterday! These look absolutely scrumptious!

  22. Adora's Box says:

    I love glutinous rice sweets. What a sweet surprise inside this one. Sounds so delicious, Biren. Congratulations on the Foodista feature.

  23. Juliana says:

    I never had anything like this before and would love to try it since I love glutinous rice. Looks delicious!
    Hope you are having a great week Biren :-)

  24. Kelly says:

    These look so delicious! What a great recipe!! :)

  25. Congratulations on being food blog of the day! Wow, these look delicious. I’ve seen them at asian supermarkets before but never had the courage to try them *hehe*

  26. kankana says:

    This is such a different kind of dish I have come across :) Looks delicious.

  27. May says:

    Hi…these look so delicious! Yum!! :)

  28. Ondeh-ondeh is my daughter’s favourite. And using the roasted coconut sounds really interesting!
    I read somewhere that desiccated coconut can be reconstituted by soaking in water for 10 minutes or so, I have not tried it, so I don’t know how it taste like.
    Congratulations on being Foodista Food blog of the day! :)

  29. Jeannie says:

    I’d love to pop one into my mouth and taste the burst of sweet palm syrup! Yummy! Another old time favorite!

  30. LeQuan says:

    These look wickedly delicious, Biren. I’ve never had Ondeh Ondeh before. Thanks for introducing me to them. Congrats on being selected as the Foodista Food Blog of the day!

  31. Oh Biren, another yummy dessert!!! I love coconut around the balls… I don’t know this particular sweets, but from ingredients and the method of cooking, I am already in love. Hehee. BIG CONGRATS on your recipe being featured at Foodista! YAY! Sorry for my late congrats…I’m a bit behind in pretty much “everything” now. Ugh. Looking forward to your next yummy recipe! ;-)

  32. Lilly says:

    I think I came across these when I was in Asia, but I can’t remember where. The name seems very familiar.

  33. MaryMoh says:

    Congrats on being chosen! Always love your photos and recipe. I love ondeh ondeh. It’s just so therapeutic just biting into them :D

  34. Julie M. says:

    Yum Biren! I love the surprise in the middle. I really need to come and eat at your house one of these days. You always make my tummy grumble.

  35. Great recipe Biren! Great little surprise in the center.

  36. rebecca says:

    oh this is neat and what a cool texture congrats on being featured proud of you

  37. Chris says:

    I love these ondeh-ondeh.

  38. shaz says:

    Thanks for a great submission Biren. This is one of my favourite kuih and I love the sweet potato version :) The best bit is the squirt of the filling when bitten into, so true.

    • Biren says:

      You are most welcomed Shaz. Thanks for hosting! Oh yes, the sweet palm sugar in the mouth is just the best. :)

  39. Sanjeeta kk says:

    This looks like a wonderful recipe I have not tried ever, Biren. Lovely dessert!

  40. Kay Ecker says:

    Wow, these look delicious! I’ve never heard of them, but I live the name:-)

  41. What a beautiful treat, Biren. I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s like a little surprise inside a moist donut.

  42. Congratulations on the feature…very cool :)
    These look delicious and they sound like allot of fun to eat :)

  43. Tiffany says:

    Sweet potato and coconut! YUM!

  44. You know, I’ve never tried sweet potato ondeh-ondeh? Can you believe it?! Jakun LOL I LOVED ondeh-ondeh when I was really, really young. The gula melaka squirting out the ball when I bit into it used to make me laugh so much my mother thought there was something wrong with me :D My cousins and I used to try to ‘shoot’ each other with the projectile gula melaka LOLOLOL So naughty we were, and so WASTEFUL!!! Aiyoh!

    • Biren says:

      Haha…I am trying to picture you and your cousins trying to shoot each other with gula melaka projectiles. Those were the days of carefree abandon.

      You should try sweet potato ondeh-ondeh. The sweet potato provide a nice flavor and makes the ondeh-ondeh a little less “floury” in taste. :)

  45. Lyn says:

    Beautiful ondeh-ondeh! Those added with mashed sweet potato are the best! *Slurp* :D
    Some will also add a little dessicated coconut inside together with the shaved palm sugar and I love those! :D

  46. Diana says:

    I am going to try to make this one with our next home-grown sweet potato harvest! We been searching for many sweet potato recipes lately to try since we harvested some tubers last month. I tried once making sweet potato onde-onde from a recipe book but did not went well due to too much water. But I will have a go again with yours. Wish me luck!

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