In the realm of Asian desserts, there are few that are as comforting and homely as Bubur Cha Cha. Made with a medley of colourful sweet potatoes, tapioca cubes and starchy yam pieces, this bowl will soothe—especially in uncertain times like these.
A Nonya dessert, Bubur Cha Cha truly hits the spot. Some say it got its name from the sound it makes when the pot bubbles over, but regardless, it’s a name that rolls off the tongue and one that your tummy will love.
Just like the rest of our Stay-home recipes, the ingredients are few and simple. You don’t need much skill in the kitchen, except for some dexterity with a peeler. This is a helpful and easy dessert you can add to your repertoire and impress the crowds, for sure.
- 1 medium-sized yam
- 1 purple sweet potato
- 1 orange sweet potato
- 1 packet of tapioca cubes
- 4 – 5 pandan leaves
- 1 250g packet of coconut milk
- A handful of rock sugar or lump sugar
- (Optional) 1 packet of sago
- Medium-sized saucepan OR Heavy-based pot
- Chopping board
Preparation time: 15 minutes; Cooking time: 30 minutes
- Pour tapioca cubes into a bowl and cover with water. Set this aside.
- Start preparing the starches. Cut both ends of the yam so you have a flat surface.
- Place yam on the flat side and run your knife close to the edge to get the skin.
- Cut yam into cubes or irregular shards. Let the knife do the work. Run the knife through the vegetable, but don’t cut all the way through; instead pull the knife away from you. The yam will snap and you’ll have these funky shapes.
- Skin sweet potatoes and dice into uniform cubes.
- Wash and peel four to five leaves from pandan.
- Tie the leaves into a knot and place into a saucepan of water that’s enough to cover the yam and sweet potatoes.
- Place the tapioca cubes in as well. If you have opted for sago, pour them in as well.
- Place the pot on medium-low heat and allow to simmer until the potatoes are tender, which takes about 20 – 30 minutes.
- When sweet potatoes and yam are tender, lower heat and pour in coconut milk and sugar. Adjust to taste.
- Give the pot a stir to combine and turn off the heat.
- Spoon into a bowl and your Bubur Cha Cha is ready.
Recipe (In Pictures)
Step 1: Pour your tapioca cubes into a bowl and cover with water. Set this aside. If you like, you can even make tapioca cubes from scratch and dye them crazy colours.
Step 2: Start preparing your starches. Cut both ends of the yam so you have a flat surface.
Place the yam on the flat side and run your knife close to the edge to get the skin.
Step 3: You can cut the yam into cubes but I prefer irregular shards. All you have to is let the knife do the work.
As you run your knife through the vegetable, don’t cut all the way through, instead pull the knife away from you. The yam would snap away and you’ll have these funky shapes.
Of course, you can just cube the yam, should you prefer that.
Step 4: As for the sweet potatoes, skin them and dice them into uniform cubes. Start by cutting them in half and place the flat side down.
Cut lengthwise and then cut the potato into cubes. It’s up to you how big you want to them but I would suggest about 1 – 2 cm.
Step 5: Wash and peel four to five leaves from your pandan.
Step 6: Tie the leaves into a knot and place into a saucepan of water that’s enough to cover these tubers. Place the tapioca cubes in as well.
Optional step: If you have opted for sago, you can pour them in as well.
Step 7: Place the pot on medium-low heat and allow to simmer until the potatoes are tender. About 20 – 30 minutes.
Step 8: When potatoes and yam are tender, lower heat and pour in coconut milk and sugar. Adjust to taste.
Step 9: Then, give the pot a stir to combine and turn off the heat.
Step 10: Spoon into a bowl and serve.
Bubur Cha Cha is probably one of the easiest and fuss-free desserts you can make in a jiffy. Mine took on a Prince-like purple hue probably because of the purple sweet potatoes but otherwise, it would be a creamy, smooth white.
If you manage to get your hands on sago, I would highly recommend it as well. These bouncy orbs add some texture and make it all more fun to eat.
Velvety, rich and starchy, I can’t help but be comforted when I have this. Just a note: if you reheat this, make sure you do it on a gentle heat. Otherwise, the coconut milk would split and you wouldn’t want that.
Expected Damage: S$3 – S$4 per portion