Bubur Cha Cha, a Malaysian dessert of sweet potatoes, taro, plantain, and sago in a sweet fragrant coconut sauce. Serve warm or cold.
Bubur Cha Cha is a popular Malaysian dessert consisting of a medley of sweet potatoes, taro, tapioca flour jelly, and sago in a pandan flavored sweet coconut sauce. Sometimes black eyed peas, plantain, 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.
A Warm Dessert for Cold Day
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.
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 substitute gula Melaka with brown sugar and sago pearls with tapioca pearls if you cannot find them are the grocery store.
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Bubur Cha Cha
- 2 tbsp sago (or tapioca pearls)
- 1 medium sweet potato cut into ¾-inch cubes (9 oz/255g)
- ½ small taro cut into ¾-inch cubes (9 oz/225g)
- 2 pandan (screwpine) leaves, knotted
- 3.5 oz gula melaka (palm sugar, shaved (or brown sugar) (100g)
- 1 small can coconut milk (5.6oz/165ml)
- 1 plantain (peeled and sliced diagonally into ½ inch thick pieces)
- ½ tsp salt
- Soak sago in a small bowl for about 15 minutes. Drain.
- Place sweet potatoes and taro in a steamer and steam for 5 minutes.
- Combine 2½ cups (600ml) water and knotted pandan leaves in a medium sized pot. Bring water to a boil. Add gula Melaka (or brown sugar). Stir to dissolve gula Melaka.
- Add sago (or tapioca pearls), steamed sweet potatoes and taro, coconut milk, sliced plantain, and salt.
- Allow the soup to boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the stove.
- Serve warm in individual bowls.
NOTE: This post was updated on October 26th, 2015 with new pictures and minor changes to the recipe.