Sweet Potato Ondeh Ondeh is a conventional rice cake. They normally make them with glutinous rice flour and mashed sweet potato. Likewise, they also named them onde onde. Besides, they are very popular in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia (called keplon). They usually flavour these small round rice balls with pandan. Then they fill them with grated palm sugar, boiled and then coated with shredded coconut. Moreover, commercially available versions are normally green in colour due to the pandan flavouring.
For my gluten free Sweet Potato Ondeh Ondeh dessert, I decided to use mashed sweet potato mixed with glutinous rice flour. Plus vanilla extract, grated palm sugar, boiled and then coated with desiccated coconut. This is a no-bake dessert recipe and really easy to make. Impress your family and friends with this dessert. Especially when they take a bite and get a nice surprise from the oozing syrupy palm sugar. This dessert is not only gluten free. But also vegan, low carb, dairy free, soy free, egg free, nut free and refined sugar free.
You may also like my other gluten free Nyonya Kuih recipes:
- Steamed Sweet Corn Cake (Jagung Kuih);
- Pumpkin and Coconut Layered Cake (Kuih Talam);
- Berries Kuih Sago (Tapioca Pearls Cake); and
- Tapioca Cake.
About Ondeh Ondeh
In Malaysia, they broadly refer to ondeh ondeh or onde onde as one of the many kuihs in Malay. Meaning desserts, cakes, puddings or dumplings. They usually make ondeh ondeh from glutinous rice flour, rice flour and/or tapioca flour. Then they fill the ondeh ondeh with palm sugar (gula melaka). Thus, giving the kuihs their unique velvety and yet dense texture. Likewise, they normally use cooking methods like boil or steam and not bake. The term kuihs generally refers to sweet or savoury desserts in Malaysia and Singapore. Moreover, you can eat kuihs during any time of the day. Moreover, kuihs are also an important element of Chinese New Year and Malay New Year like Hari Raya. Customarily, they do not use wheat flours as an ingredient in kuihs. Making them a good option for people who are on a gluten free diet.
Variety of Nyonya Kuihs
When you travel to South East Asia, you will notice a whole range of sweet, savoury and very colourful desserts. Likewise, they sell them in many places for food. Besides, there is no novel or original recipe for the many different types of kuihs. You can fill them with palm sugar syrup, ground peanuts and green beans paste. Plus red beans paste or black sesame seeds paste. As well as coat them with shredded coconut, wrapped in banana leaves or layered with many different colours. Malay kuihs and Nyonya (fusion of Malay and Chinese cuisines) kuihs are very similar. While the Peranakan (Nyonya) people created and adopted the Nyonya kuih recipes.
Nutritional Values of Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is a common starchy root crop that belongs to the group of root vegetables. Other starchy root crops are potatoes, yams, arrowroot and cassavas. Sweet potatoes are an amazingly nourishing vegetable. Their bright orange flesh is an excellent source of vitamins C, vitamin E and vitamin A (beta carotene). They are a fantastic source of B group of vitamins. Including vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B3 (niacin). Plus biotin (vitamin H). Sweet potatoes are also a rich source trace minerals like manganese, copper, potassium and phosphorus. They are also high in dietary fiber, low in sodium, fat free, and have less calories than white potatoes.
Health Benefits of Sweet Potato
The many health benefits of sweet potatoes may include:
- Maintain healthy radiant skin and hair;
- Support healthy eye sights;
- Prevent macular degeneration and loss of vision;
- Help maintain healthy blood vessels;
- Sustain healthy heart, brain and central nervous system functions; and
- Decrease risks of numerous types of cancer.
Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls (Ondeh Ondeh/Onde Onde)
- Place a steaming rack in a large wok and fill the wok with one third full of water and bring to a boil. Cover with wok lid and steam the sweet potato pieces on a large plate on medium to high heat for 25 to 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft.
- Remove and set aside in a large mixing bowl to cool until sweet potatoes are just warm. Mash the sweet potatoes with a potato masher or a fork and spoon.
- Add all the glutinous rice flour, vanilla extract, salt and water into the mashed sweet potatoes, mix well and knead into a soft dough (Add more water if dough is too dry or more glutinous rice flour if dough is too wet).
- Pinch and shape the dough into small balls about 3cm (1 inch) in diameters, make a well in the middle of each ball and fill with 1 teaspoon of grated palm sugar. Wrap the palm sugar with the dough and roll and form a smooth ball with your palms and place on a large plate. Repeat with the rest of the dough until finished.
- Bring a medium pot half filled with water to rolling boil. Carefully drop about 10 balls into the pot and cook on medium heat. Once the balls float on the surface of the water, simmer for another 2 minutes.
- Remove and drain the balls with a slotted spoon. Set aside on a large plate 1/2 inch apart. Make sure they do not stick together. Repeat and cook the balls in 4 to 5 batches.
- Once the balls have cooled down slightly, immediately coat each of the balls evenly with desiccated coconut and serve warm.