‘Bubur cha cha’ is a coconut milk dessert which is popular in Malaysia and Singapore for its quirky name and also beautiful colours. This sweetened coconut milk dessert is served throughout the day as a dessert, snack or even supper.
Commonly found sold by street vendors in Penang, bubur cha cha is a big favourite among locals. Similar to the cha cha dance, this coconut milk dessert is fun especially with the variety of ingredients and colours it contains.
The History of Bubur Cha Cha
The origin of this coconut dessert is rather unclear. It’s said to be based of a similar coconut Peranakan dessert, called Pengat which is served on the last day of Chinese New Year (Chap Goh Mei).
‘Bubur’ means porridge in Malay and that clearly refers to its thick consistency. Meanwhile, ‘cha cha’ sounds similar to the Hokkien word ‘che che’ which means abundance.
Perhaps that is why the dish is often served for celebratory events.
Bubur Cha Cha Ingredients
The ingredients are very simple. With a variety of sweet potatoes, taro and coconut milk, you are off to making an easy pot of bubur cha cha.
This recipe includes sago and tapioca jellies for the extra bite. Bananas are added for a delectable sweetness. This truly balances the savouriness of the coconut milk.
Important Tip with Tapioca Jellies
It may be not that easy to make these tapioca jellies. They look really pretty, like stained glass. However, when our community members tried making it, many commented that they did not turn out too well.
The trick to preparing the jellies is to use really hot water, that is the water has to be boiling! Use a pair of wooden chopsticks or a spoon to quickly stir the water in.
Otherwise, the dough will not come together.
How to Cook Sago?
As for cooking the sago, ensure that enough of water is used to prevent them from sticking together. The ratio of water to sago should be 10 to 1.
Sago should only be added into boiling water. Adding sago to room temperature water will cause them to dissolve. When cooking the sago, keep stirring to prevent them from clumping together.
Easy Bubur Cha Cha Recipe
A basic bowl of bubur cha cha consist of taro and sweet potatoes. In this recipe, other ingredients are added to enhance the flavour of the dish. Other optional ingredients you may add are pearl sago, black eyed peas, yam, tapioca, banana, sweet potatoes and tapioca jellies.
Banana slices give an extra punch to this dessert. You may choose and pick the combination of ingredients according to your preference.
Cold or warm bubur cha cha
Bubur cha cha can be served either cold or warm. Refrigerate it for at least 3 hours to serve it chilled. It can be kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
Reheat it if you would like to serve it hot again. Since it contains coconut milk, it should not be kept for too long.