Friday 2 January 2015

Buah Melaka (Onde onde gula melaka)

Let me just give you a brief introduction to this unique Malay dessert we call buah melaka. This bite-sized green glutinous rice ball is coated in grated coconut (yes, fresh grated coconut and not dessicated coconut please) with oozing gula melaka (palm sugar) syrup in the middle. Hence, the name buah melaka. It is normally served on its own as a snack, or as a dessert. What I absolutely love about buah melaka is the chewiness of the ball and the sudden burst of palm sugar syrup when you bite into it. Mixed with the slightly salted coat of grated coconut, you get all the flavours and textures in just one bite. Are you convinced yet? Read on...

Caution: You won't be able to stop at one!

I have been making buah melaka since I was 14. My first experience was during a lesson in the subject Sains Rumahtannga or Home Science. I got so hooked on it I made it many times after that. Nowadays, I seldom make this mainly because it is easily available, and I have been trying to avoid carbo. However, I would advise you to give it a go as it is really easy to make. The taste of homemade buah melaka, in my opinion, is far more superior to those you bought. Often I get very thick-dough glutinous rice balls with substandard palm sugar that spoiled the whole experience when I bought outside.

I was surfing the internet and I stumbled upon this site that gives you the calories of one buah melaka. So in case you really want to know, here's the link (click here). Disclaimer: I accept no responsibility on the accuracy of what is published in this site. 


120 gm glutinous rice flour
100 ml water
8 dark pandan leaves, cut into small pieces
80 g gula melaka, diced finely
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 fresh coconut, grated
1/4 tsp salt

1. Blend pandan leaves with water. Strain. Add salt to grated coconut and steam for 10 mins in low fire. Add sugar into chopped palm sugar and mix well.

2. Add pandan juice to glutinous rice flour. Knead until mixture forms a pliable dough. If the dough is too sticky, add a little rice flour. If you find it hard to shape the dough and it cracks, add a little water.

3. Pinch a small ball of dough the size of longan and work it to a ball. Flatten the ball to a disk. Try not to make the disk to thick. Add the palm sugar mix in the middle. Wrap the palm sugar with the dough. Seal well as the palm sugar will melt and flow out if there is a leakage. Repeat until all the dough is used.

4. Bring a pot of water to boil. Throw glutinous rice balls into water and gently stir so that the balls do not stick to the bottom. Boil in moderate heat until balls float. Remove with a slotted spoon and shake off excess water. Coat balls in grated coconut.

1. You can replace fresh pandan with 1 tsp of pandan extract.
2. Make sure your chopped palm sugar does not have large pieces as it won't melt completely leaving bits of rock-like sugar inside.

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