Traditional Nyonya Bubur Cha-Cha

Nyonya Bubur Cha-Cha

The Nyonya bubur cha-cha is one of the most famous, traditional and colorful desserts with the Southeast Asian Chinese. It is basically a medley of sweet potatoes in different colors, yam (taro), black-eye peas, sago pearls, tapioca flour jelly and bananas, cooked in a sweet coconut milk base.

If you notice the picture of my bubur cha-cha, it's purple in color instead of the usual white because of the purple sweet potato used (I ran out of the yellow and orange sweet potatoes:-)

Anyway, back to Ama's (grandma) bubur cha-cha, she was an expert at making this dessert. She makes it every fortnight and we love eating it hot. What's special about this traditional dessert is the mix of different potatoes, yam and sweet bananas give a wonderful combination of texture, taste and color to the dessert, making it a creamy yet satisfying.

1/2 cup purple sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 cup yellow sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 cup orange sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 cup taro (yam), peeled and diced
1/2 cup sago pearls
1/2 cup black-eye beans, soaked for 1 hour

Tapioca Flour Jelly
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup boiling water

Coconut Milk Base
4 cups coconut milk (from 1/2 grated coconut)
3/4 cup sugar, to taste
2 pandan leaves, washed and tied to knot
3 ripe medium size bananas, suitable for cooking (preferably pisang raja), peeled and cut into chunks

1. Steam sweet potato and taro, separately, until cooked.
2. In a pot, boil black-eye beans in enough water to cover, until soft.
3. Boil sago pearls in enough water until sago is translucent and cooked. Strain and keep the sago in a bowl of iced water until required.
4. To make tapioca flour jelly, place the flour in a mixing bowl and slowly add just enough boiling water to bind into a dough. Mix with a wooden spoon until well incorporated. When dough is cool enough to handle, roll it out evenly on a well-floured surface and cut into desired shapes. To make colored jelly, add a few drops of coloring to the hot water before pouring it into the tapioca flour.
5. Bring a pot of water to boil, then drop in the cut tapioca flour dough. Boil until dough is translucent and the pieces rise to the surface; scoop out and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Keep them in the water until required.
6. Bring coconut milk, sugar and pandan leaves to a boil over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
7. Put steamed potato, taro and black-eye beans into the coconut milk.
8. Add in bananas, sago pearls and tapioca flour jelly. Stir to mix well. Serve bubur cha-cha hot or cold.

More Asian Dessert Recipes

Chinese Style Steamed Banana Cake

Nagasari - Indonesian Steamed Banana Rice Cake

Getok Pisang - Steamed Banana Cake with Grated Coconut

Banana Dumplings with Coconut Filling

Sponge Cupcakes with Banana Essence

Cokodok / Kuih Kodok - Malaysian Mashed Banana Frtitters

Banana Popiah

Salted Banana Chips

Sweet Banana Chips

Ama's Crispy Fried Bananas (Version 1)

Aunt Ching's Deep Fried Bananas (Version 2)

Quick & Easy Steamed Bananas with Grated Coconut (Urab Pisang)

For more asian dessert recipes like this nyonya bubur cha-cha, click here.

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