Ondeh ondeh is a well-loved dessert amongst Singaporeans and an absolute tea time favorite. Originally made by Peranakans, it’s also one of our favorite Nonya kuehs. These furry balls dusted with desiccated coconut are so fun to eat. Pop one of these into the mouth — and immediately — a sweet burst of melty Gula Melaka flavour ensues.
To celebrate the Hari Raya festivities, we put a spin on our beloved ondeh ondeh snack with two easy recipes: the Rainbow Ondeh Ondeh and the Ondeh Tray Bake.
Rainbow Ondeh Ondeh
Think classic ondeh ondeh balls oozing liquid gula melaka, with oh-so-soft and chewy glutinous rice skin — made colorful with natural food colorings. Think: fragrant pandan, blue pea flowers and raspberry.
Or if you’re feeling a bit lazy, you can also take a short cut and use store-bought food flavorings.
It’s actually fairly simple to make ondeh-ondeh balls.
Essentially, there are four steps:
- Mix in the natural extract to infuse it into the glutinous rice dough
- Fill the dough with gula melaka and roll them into dough balls
- Boil and cook the dough balls until they float to the top
- Rolled in steamed desiccated coconut
The classic ondeh ondeh is made with dough infused with fragrant pandan from pandan leaves, also known as screwpine leaves. It smells fabulous and reminds us of all the dessert possibilities.
Rainbow ondeh-ondeh recipe
For the balls
- 400g of glutinous rice flour
- 5 tbsp of tapioca flour
- 85ml of water
- 200ml of water (for the dough)
- 150g of gula melaka
- Unsweetened desiccated coconut
- Pinch of salt
For the natural food coloring*
- Pandan juice: 6 blades of Pandan leaves, 120ml water.
- Blue pea juice: 10g dried blue pea flowers, 120ml of water.
- Raspberry juice: 8 raspberries, 120ml water.
*Alternatively, substitute with store-bought food coloring.
For the natural food coloring
- First make the natural food coloring. If you’re using store-bought food coloring, you may skip these steps.
- Pandan juice: Cut the pandan leaves up into 1-inch pieces with scissors as the leaves are very fibrous and hard to break down. Blend the pandan leaves with water. Strain the blended mixture and you’ll get pandan juice.
- Blue pea juice: Place the blue pea flowers in a saucepan with the water, and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the flowers soak in the water for another 10minutes for the color to seep into the water. Strain.
- Raspberry juice: Place room temperature raspberries in a blender and blend with water. Strain.
For the ondeh ondeh
- Mix glutinous rice flour, tapioca flour and water until it forms a sticky translucent paste. If the dough is too soft/wet, add more glutinous rice flour. If it’s too dry, add more water.
- Flour your surface, place the dough on it and knead until smooth.
- Divide the dough into three portions (for the different colours).
- Add the pandan extract, blue pea extract and rose extract (or food colourings) and continue to knead until the colour is well-incorporated into the dough.
- Roll out the dough into small balls.
- Roughly chop up the gula melaka cubes into tiny pieces, about ½ -inch cubes.
- Flatten each tiny ball of dough and place a piece of the gula melaka in it and roll into a ball.
- Place the little balls into boiling water. They will float to the surface when cooked.
- Cook for a further 5-10 minutes after the balls have floated up to ensure that the gula melaka inside has melted thoroughly.
- Concurrently in another pot, add a pinch of salt to the desiccated coconut and steam it for 10 minutes.
- Scoop out the cooked ondeh ondeh and pat dry, before dusting them with the desiccated coconut. Serve and enjoy!
Give in to temptation and pop one in once the ondeh ondeh have cooled — can’t guarantee you’d stop at one though.
Easy Ondeh Traybake
This easy Ondeh Cake Traybake is an elegant ode to our favorite ondeh ondeh kueh — Westernised. The East meets West recipe is made with ondeh ondeh’s signature ingredients: pandan, gula melaka and freshly grated coconut.
The best part? All our favorite flavours delivered in less the amount of time and work needed to make and roll up actual ondeh ondeh balls.
It’s so quick and easy to make, and fuss-free to clean up since it’s one tray only. If you’ve baked cakes before or made banana bread, this one’s going to be a walk in the park for you.
This Ondeh Cake Traybake would make the perfect snacks for Buka Puasa during Ramadan. Or serve as dessert with a scoop of coconut ice-cream for an extra, pampering treat!
For the ondeh cake
- 260g self-raising flour
- 200ml coconut cream
- 2 large eggs
- ½ tsp salt
- 100g sugar
- Fresh, desiccated coconut
Gula Melaka syrup:
- 70g gula melaka
- 70ml water
- Blend 10 pandan leaves with 250ml of water and strain.
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Add 70g of gula melaka and 70ml of water to a pan and simmer over medium heat. Turn down the heat when it starts to boil. The liquid should be syrupy and not watery in texture.
- Add the self-raising flour, salt, and sugar into a mixing bowl and mix well. Set aside.
- To make the pandan juice, mix the pandan paste, coconut cream, and water together and mix well.
- Add the two eggs and 200ml of coconut cream to the pandan juice and combine to form wet ingredients.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients mixture and mix until no flour clumps are visible, but take care not to over-mix.
- Line a 8 x 8 inch baking tray with parchment paper and pour the batter in. Tap the tray to get rid of air bubbles.
- Swirl in your gula melaka syrup to form a marbled pattern.
- Bake on the lower shelf for 20 minutes at 180°C. Ensure that your skewer comes out clean.
- After it is done baking, let it rest on a cooling rack for 10mins before serving.
- Cut into desired cake sizes. Serve with coconut flakes and drizzle on gula melaka syrup. Storage tips: Keep in air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Ramadan Kareem to all our Muslim friends, may the festivities bring you joy, health and well-being!
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