In Malaysia and Singapore, onde-onde is referred to these delicious glutinous rice balls filled with gula melaka (palm sugar). As you bite into an Onde-Onde, the melted palm sugar flows out. I likened them to sweet little bombs as the sweetness explodes in the mouth. The shredded coconut further enhances the deliciousness of this kuih. While there are many varieties of delicious kuih in the region, onde-onde remains at the top of my list. Our friends in Indonesia call this kuih ‘klepon’.
Pandan extract can be bought in supermarkets or Asian grocers. It can also be made using fresh pandan leaves. Blend 7 blades of pandan leaves 60 ml of water. You can refer to the video of kaya to see how it is done.
Tapioca flour is added to the dough to make it slightly harder. Otherwise, using only glutinous rice flour would make onde-onde rather soft. Although, some do enjoy such consistency. You can substitute tapioca flour with corn flour.
Use freshly grated coconut if you can get hold of it. Frozen shredded coconut can be found at some Asian grocers. You can freeze the onde-onde after making them. Just boil them whenever you feel like having them.
That would change the taste of onde onde tremendously. The deliciousness of onde-onde comes from gula melaka, a special palm sugar which has toffee taste to it. Pure gula melaka can be chopped and shaped into balls easily. It has also a darker appearance compared to many other types of palm sugar.
The dough is too dry. Add some water and knead the dough again. Work in batches and store dough in a bowl with a piece of wet cloth over it to avoid the dough from getting dry.
Sometimes, the dough may crack during the cooking process. This is due to the thinness of the dough. However, remember not to make the dough too thick either. Wrap it closely around the palm sugar to avoid air in onde-onde. Otherwise it will burst in the cooking process. Do not be discouraged if initially, it does not turn out the way you expected. Remember, practice makes perfect!
Onde-onde was not cooked long enough. Thus, I always like simmer onde-onde over low heat for another 5 to 10 minutes to be sure that the palm sugar has fully melted. The other reason may be due to the quality of the palm sugar. While original gula melaka is very easily shaped and cut, most gula melaka found have plain sugar added to it. This makes the gula melaka very hard. When the chunks of gula melaka are too large, they may not melt so quickly. The trick is to shave the palm sugar with a knife or mandoline or chop them into small chunks. The sugar would not need too long before melting.
Cooked onde-onde with grated coconut will only last a day because grated coconut spoils easily. If you would want to prepare onde-onde before hand, you may refrigerate shaped onde-onde up to 5 days. Do use a plastic wrap over it. Shaped onde-onde can also be frozen up to 6 months in an airtight container or freezer bag. Simply boil refrigerated and frozen onde-onde before coating them with shredded coconut.
Onde-Onde is also known as: Ondeh-OndehPandan-Flavored Glutinous Rice Balls with Palm SugarBuah MelakaKlepon
Pour water and salt on the desiccated coconut. Mix well and steam the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes.
Mix glutinous rice flour, tapioca flour and sugar evenly before adding pandan leaf extract to create a dough. If the dough is too soft, add more glutinous rice flour.
Divide the dough into 14 little balls. Flatten dough and wrap chunks of 5g palm sugar with it. Be careful that the layer of dough is not too thin as it will expand during the cooking process. This will result in the dough cracking and the palm sugar flowing out.
Put the little balls of filled dough into a pot of boiling water. Dish it out once they float or leave to boil for a further 5 to 10 minutes to allow the palm sugar to melt thoroughly.
Coat the 'onde-onde' with the steamed desiccated coconut. Leave to cool and enjoy!