Malaysian Three Course Menu- Part 3: Onde-Onde

Two years ago, my significant  other and I made a trip to South East Asia. We were influenced by the cultural richness, the beautiful nature but also, perhaps above all, the food. Whilst in Malaysia, we visited a cooking course in order to learn directly from the natives about their traditional, authentic cuisine. Our cooking class at LaZat is even today, one of the most precious memories of our trip. We chose their Wednesday class, which involved cooking Malay/Nyonya specialties, but we also participated in a guided market tour together with one of the class teachers. The colors of fruit and vegetables was mesmerizing and the diversity was huge.

The cooking itself took place in a beautiful setting and location, in a Malaysian home environment and the three course menu was splendid. We made and ate the following dishes:

  1. Starter: Otak-Otak/Fish with Spices and Herbs in Banana Leaves
  2. Main course: Kari Ayam/Chicken Curry
  3. Dessert: Onde Onde/Palm Sugar in Glutinous Balls

I have recooked all of the dishes at home and the ingredients were all easy to find in Asian groceries.

Onde-Onde /Palm Sugar in Glutinous Balls

Serves 2-3 | Time needed ~ 40 min

100 g glutinous rice flour
100 ml pandan juice (see footnote)
60 g palm sugar, chopped in small pieces
60 g grated coconut, mixed with a pinch of salt
700 ml water to boil

  1.  Place the glutinous rice flour in a mixing bowl and stir in the pandan juice slowly. Knead together to form a soft dough.
    • 2013_09_25-Malaysia_Cooking-009
  2. Shape dough into small balls, flatten them slightly and place a piece of palm sugar in the center of each ball.
  3. Roll the dough up to enclose the filling.
  4. Bring water to boil in a saucepan. Drop the balls gently into the water and cook until they float up. Drain well.
    • 2013_09_25-Malaysia_Cooking-010
  5. Roll the balls in grated coconut and enjoy.

Footnote: Pandan juice is prepared by mixing 10 pandan leaves (screw pine) with 100 ml water in a food processor or blender then straining it through a fine strainer to discard solids. I have also prepared this recipe without pandan leafs, but instead I mixed 100 ml water with some cacoa for a brownish color. This worked great as well, even if it is perhaps not the Malaysian way :).

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