dessert lovers!

brace yourselves for a sweet and soul-warming adventure into the world of Bubur Cha Cha – a Nyonya coconut milk dessert that’s pure passion in a bowl! Get ready to fall head over heels in love with this sensational treat that’s been winning hearts across Malaysia and Singapore for generations.

Imagine a cozy bowl filled with creamy coconut goodness, a rainbow of yams and sweet potatoes, and those delightful, chewy sago pearls. It’s like a flavor explosion that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance! Bubur Cha Cha isn’t just dessert; it’s an edible love story, a warm embrace on a chilly day, and a burst of happiness all rolled into one.

Whether you’re reminiscing about grandma’s kitchen or simply seeking pure dessert joy, you’re in for a treat. We’re about to reveal the secrets to crafting this Nyonya masterpiece in a way that’s easy, passionate, and utterly scrumptious. So, grab your apron and get ready to cook with love – because Bubur Cha Cha is here to steal your heart!

WHAT IS BUBUR CHA CHA?

Bubur Cha Cha, also spelled as Bubur Chacha, is a popular Malaysian and Singaporean dessert that hails from the Peranakan culture, often referred to as Nyonya cuisine. This delightful dessert is known for its rich and creamy coconut milk base combined with a variety of colorful and starchy ingredients. Bubur Cha Cha is a comforting and sweet dessert that’s enjoyed both hot and cold.

Bubur Cha Cha is known for its versatility in terms of texture and ingredients. Some versions may include additional ingredients like black-eyed peas, corn, and tapioca pearls, depending on regional variations and personal preferences. The dessert can be served either hot or cold, making it a versatile and satisfying treat.

It’s a beloved dessert enjoyed during festive occasions and as a comforting treat any time of the year. The combination of creamy coconut milk and the diverse textures of the starchy ingredients creates a delightful and flavorful dessert that captures the essence of Nyonya cuisine.

INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTES

Ingredient quantities please refer to the recipes card (Click here)!

  • Yam, Purple Sweet Potatoes, Orange Sweet Potatoes, Yellow Sweet Potatoes (Peeled, Cubes)  – These are various types of root vegetables that add different flavors and colors to Bubur Cha Cha. They contribute a starchy and slightly sweet element to the dessert. You can vary the types of sweet potatoes used. There are no direct substitutes for these ingredients as they are the primary contributors to the unique flavor and texture of the dish.
  • Filtered Water  – This is used to steam the sweet potatoes and yam cubes until they are tender, and also for preparing the dessert.
  • Sago (Rinsed)  – Sago pearls are small, translucent balls made from the pith of various types of palm trees. They provide a chewy texture to the dessert. Tapioca pearls or small pearl tapioca can be used as a substitute for sago if unavailable.
  • Pandan Leaves  – Pandan leaves are used to infuse a unique and fragrant flavor into the coconut milk. They are commonly used in Southeast Asian cooking for their aromatic qualities. If pandan leaves are not available, you can use pandan extract or essence for flavor. Alternatively, you can omit them, but you’ll miss out on the traditional aroma.
  • Sugar  – Sugar adds sweetness to the dessert. You can use other sweeteners like palm sugar, brown sugar, or honey if you prefer a different type of sweetness.
  • Banana (cut into bite-size pieces)  – Banana adds a natural sweetness and creaminess to the dessert. You can use other fruits like jackfruit, sweet potato balls, or omit them altogether.
  • Coconut Milk  – Coconut milk provides a rich and creamy base for Bubur Cha Cha. You can use coconut cream for an even creamier texture or coconut milk alternatives like almond milk or soy milk if you prefer a non-dairy option.
  • Salt  – Salt is added to balance and enhance the flavors of the dessert. There are no direct substitutes for salt, but you can adjust the amount to your taste or omit it if you prefer a salt-free version.

Optional Tapioca Jelly:

  • Tapioca Flour  – Tapioca flour is used to make the optional tapioca jelly. It creates a chewy and translucent texture. You can use cornstarch as a substitute for tapioca flour if needed.
  • Boiling Water  – Boiling water is used to create the tapioca jelly. None for this specific ingredient, as boiling water is needed to create the jelly.
  • Remember that substitutions may slightly alter the flavor and texture of the dessert, but they can still result in a delicious variation of Bubur Cha Cha tailored to your preferences.

RECIPES TIPS

  • Prepare All Ingredients in Advance: Before you start cooking, have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go. This includes peeling and cubing the sweet potatoes and yam, rinsing the sago, and cutting the banana into bite-sized pieces. Being organized will make the cooking process smoother.
  • Steaming Sweet Potatoes and Yam: When steaming the sweet potatoes and yam cubes, make sure they are cut into uniform sizes so that they cook evenly. You want them to be tender but not overcooked and mushy.
  • Using Pandan Leaves: If you’re using fresh pandan leaves, tie them into a knot to release more flavor during cooking. If you’re using pandan extract, add it sparingly and adjust to taste, as it can be quite potent.
  • Rinsing Sago: Rinse the sago pearls thoroughly under cold water before using them. This helps remove excess starch and prevents them from sticking together during cooking.
  • Stirring and Monitoring: While cooking the sago and other ingredients in the coconut milk, stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking. Keep an eye on the mixture to avoid overcooking, as it can become too thick.
  • Adjust Sweetness: Taste the dessert as you go along and adjust the sugar to your preference. Some people like it sweeter, while others prefer a milder sweetness. You can always add a little more sugar if needed.
  • Serve Hot or Cold: Bubur Cha Cha can be served either hot or cold, depending on your preference. If serving cold, refrigerate it until it’s chilled before serving.
  • Tapioca Jelly: If you choose to make the optional tapioca jelly, consider using food coloring that complements the colors of your sweet potatoes and yam for a visually appealing dessert.
  • Garnish Creatively: Feel free to get creative with garnishes. You can top your Bubur Cha Cha with the optional tapioca jelly, coconut flakes, or even a drizzle of gula melaka (palm sugar syrup) for added sweetness.
  • Storage: Leftover Bubur Cha Cha can be refrigerated in an airtight container. When reheating, you may need to add a little more coconut milk or water to achieve the desired consistency.

Remember that Bubur Cha Cha is a flexible dessert, and you can adapt it to your taste preferences. Enjoy the process of making this delicious Nyonya treat and savor every spoonful!

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Full recipes and Thermomix® instructions please refer to the recipes card (Click here)!

  1. Dice 120 g each of yam, purple sweet potatoes, orange sweet potatoes, and yellow sweet potatoes after peeling.
  2. Steam the yam cubes and sweet potatoes for approximately 20 minutes until they turn tender.
  3. Rinse 40 g of sago pearls under cold water until they become clear.
  4. Optional: Prepare tapioca jelly by mixing 80 g tapioca flour with 50 g boiling water and shaping it with food coloring.
  5. Heat 1000 g of water with 3 pandan leaves until fragrant, then remove the leaves.
  6. Add sago pearls, sugar, and tapioca jelly into the pandan water simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Add steamed sweet potatoes, yam, banana pieces, and a pinch of salt to the sago mixture.
  8. Pour in the fragrant coconut milk and gently stir.
  9. Cook for 2 more minutes without boiling.
  10. Serve hot or chilled, optionally topped with tapioca jelly. Enjoy your Bubur Cha Cha!

WHAT ELSE TO SERVE WITH ?

Bubur Cha Cha is a delightful dessert on its own, but you can enhance the experience by serving it with various accompaniments or toppings. Here are some popular options:

  1. Tapioca Jelly: As mentioned in the recipe, you can serve it with colorful tapioca jelly for added texture and visual appeal.
  2. Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar) Syrup: Drizzle some palm sugar syrup over the Bubur Cha Cha to enhance its sweetness and provide a rich, caramel-like flavor.
  3. Coconut Flakes: Sprinkle toasted or fresh coconut flakes on top for extra coconut flavor and a pleasant crunch.
  4. Chopped Nuts: Crushed peanuts or cashews can provide a satisfying nutty contrast to the creamy dessert.
  5. Sesame Seeds: Toasted sesame seeds add a subtle nutty flavor and a delightful crunch.
  6. Durian: If you’re a fan of durian, you can add small pieces of ripe durian for a unique tropical twist.
  7. Pandan Essence: A drop or two of pandan essence can be added for extra aroma if you didn’t use fresh pandan leaves during cooking.
  8. Condensed Milk: A drizzle of condensed milk can add extra creaminess and sweetness to the dessert.
  9. Ice Cream: For an indulgent treat, serve Bubur Cha Cha with a scoop of coconut or vanilla ice cream.
  10. Fresh Fruit: Top it with slices of fresh fruit like mango, jackfruit, or lychee to complement the dessert’s flavors with natural sweetness.

Remember that the choice of accompaniments is entirely up to your personal preferences. You can mix and match these toppings to create your own unique Bubur Cha Cha experience and tailor it to your taste.

MADE AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS

If you’d like to make Bubur Cha Cha ahead of time and store it for later, here are some instructions to ensure it stays fresh:

  1. Cook the Bubur Cha Cha: Follow the recipe instructions to cook the Bubur Cha Cha completely. Allow it to cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.
  2. Cool Thoroughly: Before refrigerating or freezing, make sure the Bubur Cha Cha has cooled down completely to avoid condensation inside the container.
  3. Refrigeration: If you plan to consume it within a day or two, store the Bubur Cha Cha in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should stay fresh for up to 2-3 days.
  4. Freezing: To store it for a longer period, you can freeze Bubur Cha Cha. Portion it into airtight containers or freezer-safe bags. Leave some space at the top to allow for expansion. Label and date the containers.
  5. Thawing and Reheating: When you’re ready to enjoy the stored Bubur Cha Cha, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, reheat it gently in a pot on the stove over low heat. Add a little more coconut milk or water to adjust the consistency if needed. Avoid overheating, as it can affect the texture.
  6. Taste Test and Adjust: After reheating, taste the Bubur Cha Cha and adjust the sweetness or other flavors as necessary by adding more sugar, coconut milk, or toppings.
  7. Serve: Once heated to your liking, serve it hot or cold, depending on your preference.

Keep in mind that the texture of Bubur Cha Cha may change slightly after freezing and reheating, particularly due to the starchy ingredients. However, the flavors should remain delicious, and it’s a convenient way to enjoy this dessert at your convenience.

STORAGE & REHEATING

Storing and reheating Bubur Cha Cha properly ensures that it remains fresh and delicious. Here are instructions for both storage and reheating:

Storage:

  1. Refrigeration: If you plan to consume Bubur Cha Cha within a couple of days, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure the container is tightly sealed to prevent the absorption of other odors from the fridge.
  2. Freezing (for longer storage): To store Bubur Cha Cha for an extended period, freeze it. Portion the dessert into airtight containers or freezer-safe bags. Leave some space at the top to allow for expansion during freezing. Seal the containers well and label them with the date for reference.

Reheating:

  1. Thawing (if frozen): If you froze your Bubur Cha Cha, remove it from the freezer and thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Thawing in the fridge helps maintain the texture and flavor.
  2. Reheating on the Stove:
    • Transfer the Bubur Cha Cha to a pot or saucepan.
    • Heat it gently over low to medium-low heat.
    • Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even heating.
    • If the dessert becomes too thick, you can add a little more coconut milk or water to achieve your desired consistency.
  3. Reheating in the Microwave:
    • If reheating a small portion, you can use the microwave.
    • Place the Bubur Cha Cha in a microwave-safe container.
    • Heat it in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until it reaches the desired temperature.
    • Be cautious not to overheat it, as the texture may change if it gets too hot.
  4. Taste Test and Adjust: After reheating, taste the Bubur Cha Cha and adjust the sweetness or other flavors if needed. You can add more sugar or coconut milk at this stage to match your taste preferences.
  5. Serve: Once heated to your liking, serve the Bubur Cha Cha either hot or cold, depending on your preference.

Remember that freezing and reheating may slightly affect the texture of the dessert, particularly the starchy components. However, the flavors should remain intact, and with proper care, you can enjoy your Bubur Cha Cha conveniently whenever you’d like.

RECIPES FAQS

What is the origin of Bubur Cha Cha?

Bubur Cha Cha is a traditional dessert that originates from the Peranakan culture, which is a fusion of Chinese and Malay influences. It is particularly popular in Malaysia and Singapore.

Can I use canned coconut milk instead of fresh coconut milk?

Yes, you can use canned or packaged coconut milk as a convenient substitute for fresh coconut milk. However, fresh coconut milk often provides a richer flavor. Make sure to shake the canned coconut milk well before using, as it can separate in the can.

What if I can’t find pandan leaves?

If fresh pandan leaves are unavailable, you can use pandan extract or essence as a substitute. Start with a small amount and adjust to taste. Alternatively, you can omit pandan leaves, but you’ll miss out on the traditional aroma.

Can I make Bubur Cha Cha ahead of time?

Yes, you can make Bubur Cha Cha ahead of time. Follow the instructions for cooling and storing it in the refrigerator or freezer as mentioned earlier in this conversation.

How do I reheat frozen Bubur Cha Cha?

  • To reheat frozen Bubur Cha Cha, first thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Then, gently reheat it in a pot on the stove over low heat. Add a little more coconut milk or water if needed to achieve the desired consistency.

6. Can I adjust the level of sweetness in Bubur Cha Cha?

  • Yes, you can adjust the sweetness to your liking by adding more or less sugar during cooking or after reheating. Taste the dessert and make adjustments as necessary.

7. What are some creative toppings for Bubur Cha Cha?

  • You can get creative with toppings, including drizzling gula melaka (palm sugar syrup), sprinkling coconut flakes, adding chopped nuts (peanuts or cashews), sesame seeds, fresh fruit slices (mango, jackfruit), or even a scoop of ice cream.

8. Can I make Bubur Cha Cha vegan or dairy-free?

  • Yes, you can make a vegan or dairy-free version of Bubur Cha Cha by using coconut milk alternatives such as almond milk, soy milk, or coconut cream instead of dairy-based coconut milk. Be sure to check that all other ingredients are also vegan-friendly.

9. What is the difference between sago and tapioca pearls?

  • Both sago and tapioca pearls are starches derived from different plants. Sago pearls come from various palm trees, while tapioca pearls are made from cassava root. They have slightly different textures, with sago being smaller and translucent, while tapioca pearls are larger and opaque.

These FAQs should help address common questions related to Bubur Cha Cha preparation and ingredients. Enjoy making and savoring this delicious Nyonya dessert!

Can I adjust the portion size of the recipes?

You can adjust the recipe by clicking the serving size in the recipe in recipes card to your liking!
If you can find the exact portion that you like, you can, also, adjust this in manual mode. Make sure that the cooking times and temperatures have been adjusted for different quantities of ingredients. Even preparation time (such as for cutting) may be different than in the original recipe. Please do not pass the max line indicated inside of the mixing bowl. The capacity of the mixing bowl is 2.2 liters.

This recipes is compatible with which model of Thermomix®?

This recipes suitable for TM31 / TM5 / TM6

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RECIPES VIDEO

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RECIPES CARD

Bubur Cha Cha (Nyonya Coconut Milk Desserts)

Category, DifficultyBeginner

This Nyonya Coconut Milk Dessert is a delightful blend of flavors and textures that captures the essence of Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine. Enjoy!

Yields6 Servings
Prep Time10 minsCook Time40 minsTotal Time50 mins

Bubur Cha Cha
 120 g Yam, Peeled, Cubes
 120 g Purple Sweet Potatoes, Peeled, Cubes
 120 g Orange Sweet Potatoes, Peeled, Cubes
 120 g Yellow Sweet Potatoes, Peeled, Cubes
 1200 g Water, for steaming
 40 g Sago, Rinsed
 3 Pandan
 50 g Sugar
 1 Banana, cut into bite-size pieces (optional)
 300 g Coconut Milk
 ¼ tsp Salt
Tapioca Jelly (Optional)
 80 g tapioca flour
 50 g boiling water

1

Place yam cubes into the Varoma dish and sweet potatoes into the Varoma tray. Insert the Varoma tray into the Varoma dish, close the Varoma lid, and set it aside.

2

Place water into the mixing bowl, place the Varoma set into position, and steam for 20 min | Varoma | Speed 2. Meanwhile, if you're making tapioca jelly, prepare it by placing tapioca flour into a bowl. Carefully pour the boiling water into the bowl and stir it with a fork or chopstick to create a dough.

3

Divide the dough into two portions and add green food coloring to one portion and red food coloring to the other. Flatten the dough and cut it into smaller pieces. Set it aside.

4

Without opening the Varoma lid, remove the Varoma set. Add rinsed sago, Pandan Leaves, sugar, and the reserved tapioca jellies into the Thermomix® mixing bowl through the hole. Put the Varoma back into position and continue to steam for an additional 10 min | Varoma | ⤺ speed 1. Remove the Varoma set and discard the pandan leaves.

5

dd the steamed sweet potatoes, yam cubes, banana pieces, coconut milk, and salt. Cook for 2 min | 100°C | ⤺ speed 1. Serve the Bubur Cha Cha hot, and if desired, top it with the optional tapioca jelly pieces for a more vibrant dessert.

Ingredients

Bubur Cha Cha
 120 g Yam, Peeled, Cubes
 120 g Purple Sweet Potatoes, Peeled, Cubes
 120 g Orange Sweet Potatoes, Peeled, Cubes
 120 g Yellow Sweet Potatoes, Peeled, Cubes
 1200 g Water, for steaming
 40 g Sago, Rinsed
 3 Pandan
 50 g Sugar
 1 Banana, cut into bite-size pieces (optional)
 300 g Coconut Milk
 ¼ tsp Salt
Tapioca Jelly (Optional)
 80 g tapioca flour
 50 g boiling water

Directions

1

Place yam cubes into the Varoma dish and sweet potatoes into the Varoma tray. Insert the Varoma tray into the Varoma dish, close the Varoma lid, and set it aside.

2

Place water into the mixing bowl, place the Varoma set into position, and steam for 20 min | Varoma | Speed 2. Meanwhile, if you're making tapioca jelly, prepare it by placing tapioca flour into a bowl. Carefully pour the boiling water into the bowl and stir it with a fork or chopstick to create a dough.

3

Divide the dough into two portions and add green food coloring to one portion and red food coloring to the other. Flatten the dough and cut it into smaller pieces. Set it aside.

4

Without opening the Varoma lid, remove the Varoma set. Add rinsed sago, Pandan Leaves, sugar, and the reserved tapioca jellies into the Thermomix® mixing bowl through the hole. Put the Varoma back into position and continue to steam for an additional 10 min | Varoma | ⤺ speed 1. Remove the Varoma set and discard the pandan leaves.

5

dd the steamed sweet potatoes, yam cubes, banana pieces, coconut milk, and salt. Cook for 2 min | 100°C | ⤺ speed 1. Serve the Bubur Cha Cha hot, and if desired, top it with the optional tapioca jelly pieces for a more vibrant dessert.

Bubur Cha Cha (Nyonya Coconut Milk Desserts)

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