Bubur Cha Cha, a popular Malaysian coconut based dessert with yam, taro, sweet potatoes, black eyed peas, and bananas. Very delicious and satisfying.
When the temperature dips, there is no dessert more satisfying than a bowl of warm, sweet soup like Bubur Cha Cha. The different types of tubers provide texture and color, while pandan leaves give it a light, sweet fragrance. Coconut milk makes the sauce rich and creamy and sago helps thicken it. If you ask me, I will say this truly is a winning combination of ingredients.
Some Bubur Cha Cha also come with tropical fruits like banana, plantain, nangka (jackfruit), and even durian. It is a matter of preference but these fruits are all compatible with the coconut based sauce. In our family, we sometimes add one of these fruits but seldom do we include colored tapioca jelly in the mix.
In this version, I purposely left the sauce a milky white color by using granulated sugar. Sometimes, I like to use gula Melaka (palm sugar) in place of granulated sugar for a caramel colored sauce like this version on Roti n Rice. You can try both versions to see which one you prefer.
I am not sure how the name Bubur Cha Cha came to be, but it sure sounds like a happy kind of dessert. It has nothing to do with dancing but it certainly is a colorful, sweet, and fragrant dessert. It is all natural too with no food coloring unless you choose to put in colored tapioca jelly.
Mom likes to use the three colors of sweet potatoes – purple, orange, and yellow in her Bubur Cha Cha. I don’t think I have ever seen yellow sweet potatoes here but I was delighted to find purple sweet potatoes (known as purple yam here) recently. Not to worry if you only have access to one color of sweet potatoes. Rest assured, it will not affect the taste negatively in any way. Do give it a try.
- ¼ cup (40g) black eyed peas (mei tau)
- ½ lb (225g) purple yam, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 2 small (8 oz/225g) taro, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 1 medium (8 oz/225g) sweet potato, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 2 tbsp (20g) sago (or tapioca pearls)
- 2 cups (480ml) water
- ½ cup (110g) granulated sugar
- 2 pandan (screwpine) leaves, shredded and knotted
- 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
- 1 large firm banana, peeled and cut at a diagonal into ¼ inch thick slices
- ¼ tsp salt
- Rinse and soak black eyed peas in hot water for about 15 minutes. Drain. Boil for 25 minutes until tender but not mushy. Drain.
- Steam cubed purple yam, taro, and sweet potato for 5 minutes.
- Boil sago (or tapioca pearls) for 7 to 8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to remove excess starch.
- Combine water, and knotted pandan leaves in a medium sized pot. Stir to dissolve or melt sugar.
- Add steamed purple yam, taro, sweet potatoes, banana, black eye peas, sago, coconut milk, and salt.
- Cover and bring coconut sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Turn off the stove. Serve warm in individual bowls.