How To Make Bubur Cha Cha And 9 Other Malaysian Sweet Desserts From Your Childhood

We loved eating these growing up... and probably still do!

Cover image via A Skinny Dish

1. Black glutinous rice sweet porridge (bubur pulut hitam)

Image via GoodyFoodies

250g black glutinous rice (pulut hitam), washed and drained
1.5 litres water
3 pandan leaves, knotted
100g gula melaka
30g caster sugar
250ml thin coconut milk
150ml thick coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt

1. Place rice in a large pot with water and pandan leaves and bring to a boil.

2. Once the water starts boiling, reduce heat to low and remove the pandan leaves. Simmer for 45 minutes until the liquid is thick and creamy. The rice should be soft, but with a bite to it.

3. Add gula melaka and caster sugar, and stir until dissolved. Pour in the thin coconut milk and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes. Add salt and mix well.

4. Serve in small bowls topped with 1 tablespoon of thick coconut milk each. You can also serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Recipe adapted from GoodyFoodies.

2. Bubur cha cha

80g orange sweet potato
80g yellow sweet potato
80g purple sweet potato
150g yam (taro)
10g sago (tapioca pearls)
50g black-eyed beans, soaked for 1 hour
3 bananas, peeled and cut half inches thick

Tapioca flour jelly:
100g tapioca Flour
1/2 cup boiling water
Red colouring

Coconut milk base:
3 litres water
1 cup thick coconut milk
120g sugar
2 pandan leaves, knotted
Salt to taste

1. In boiling water, boil black-eye peas until soft. Boil sago, separately, until translucent and cooked.

2. Peel and cut all sweet potatoes and yam into cubes or desired shapes. Steam separately until cooked and tender.

3. To make tapioca flour jelly, place tapioca flour in a mixing bowl and pour in boiling water. Mix until well combined, forming a dough. Let cool, then roll out evenly on a well-floured surface and cut into cubes.

4. In a pot of water, add in 1 tbsp sugar before pouring in the bananas. Boil for 5 minutes, then drain and set aside.

5. Bring 3 litres of water to a boil. Add in thick coconut milk, sugar, salt, and pandan leaves. Cook over low heat for about 10 to 20 minutes.

6. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Simmer and let boil before removing from heat.

7. Serve warm or chilled.

Recipe adapted from Rasa Malaysia.

3. Wheat sweet porridge (bubur gandum)

Image via You Beli

300g whole wheat (biji gandum), soaked overnight
1.5 litres water
6 screwpine leaves (pandan), knotted
100g palm sugar (gula Melaka)
150g granulated sugar
150ml water
220ml thin coconut milk
2 tbsp plain flour, mixed with a little water into a paste
100ml thick coconut milk
½ tsp salt

1. Drain the wheat and combine with water and 4 knotted pandan leaves in a deep saucepot. Bring to a boil and cook until wheat grains turn soft and have expanded.

2. Place palm sugar, granulated sugar, the remaining 2 screwpine leaves and thin coconut milk in a saucepan, then bring to a boil to dissolve the sugars.

3. Strain the syrup and discard the screwpine leaves and pour syrup into the wheat porridge pot. Bring to a simmering boil for a while. Thicken with flour paste, stirring continuously until thick.

4. Combine thick coconut milk with salt and leave aside. Scoop wheat porridge into serving bowls and add a little thick coconut milk for added taste.

Recipe by Amy Beh via Kuali.

4. Sweet mung bean stew (bubur kacang hijau)

Image via Resep Harian

1/2 cup (100g) dried mung beans
1 litre water
2 pandan leaves, tied into a knot
3 slices ginger (optional)
2 tbsp pearl sago
3 tbsp chopped palm sugar
3 tbsp white sugar
Pinch of salt
125 ml (1/2 cup) thick coconut milk

1. Rinse the mung beans well. Place them in a saucepan with water and pandan leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat until the beans are tender (about 30 minutes). If you are using ginger, add them in now.

2. Stir in the pearl sago and continue to simmer until the sago turns translucent.

3. Add palm sugar, white sugar, and salt. Simmer for another 5 minutes.

4. Add coconut milk and gently bring to a boil. Turn off the heat.

5. Serve the mung bean porridge hot or warm.

Recipe adapted from Rohani Jelani via HungryGoWhere Malaysia.

5. Sweet red bean soup

Image via sleepwalks9to5

1 1/2 cup red azuki beans
1/2 cup Chinese rock sugar or raw sugar
2 pieces dried tangerine or orange peel (optional)

1. Soak the red beans in cold water for 2 hours, then drain.

2. In a large pot, add the beans and then pour in some fresh water until it's 2 inches above the beans. With medium heat, bring mixture to a boil.

3. Once it starts to boil, turn the heat down to low and add in the tangerine peels if you are using them. Cook for approximately 3 hours, stirring occasionally and topping up the water as needed.

4. When the red beans are mostly broken down and the soup is thick with dissolved red bean, add sugar to taste and stir. Note: Don't add sugar before this point, otherwise your beans won't soften properly.

5. Once sugar has dissolved completely, let cook until the soup reaches your desired consistency. Serve warm.

Recipe adapted from The Hong Kong Cookery.

6. Sweet potato and ginger soup

2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
5 cm piece of ginger
2 pandan leaves, knotted
2 litres water
1/2 cup rock sugar or brown sugar

1. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into bite-sized chunks.

2. Slice the ginger into 2 or 3 segments, then bash it with a pestle and mortar (or any blunt object).

3. Bring water to a boil. Add in sweet potatoes, ginger, and pandan leaves. Let simmer over medium heat until sweet potatoes are cooked.

4. Add in rock sugar or brown sugar and mix until it dissolves completely. Add sugar according to desired sweetness.

5. Serve warm or chilled.

Recipe adapted from 3 Hungry Tummies and Jennifer Lam via I Ate My Way Through.

7. Sweet peanut soup

Image via Use Real Butter

350g raw peanuts, shelled
8 cups water
2 to 3 pandan leaves, knotted
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp coconut milk

1. Soak the peanuts in a large bowl of water overnight and make sure none are sticking out of the water. If there are skins on the peanuts, they will come off after soaking them. When done soaking, rinse the peanuts and drain all of the excess water off.

2. Place the peanuts and knotted pandan leaves in a pressure cooker and add the 8 cups of water. Pressure cook the peanuts and on high heat for 15 minutes.

3. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let the pressure cooker cool naturally (natural release).

4. Remove the lid of the pressure cooker and heat the soup over medium heat. Add sugar to taste. The peanuts should be completely soft after all of that time in the pressure cooker. If they aren’t, let them boil until they reach a creamy fall-apart texture.

5. Add coconut milk and let the soup return to a boil for a minute. Remove from heat. You can either serve it hot or let it cool and serve it chilled.

Recipe adapted from Use Real Butter.

8. Ginkgo and barley dessert with foo chuk (dried beancurd)

Image via thepodanys

50g barley
20 to 25 ginkgo nuts, shells removed
1 to 2 pieces dried beancurd sheets
1.5 litres boiling water
2 pandan leaves, knotted
Rock sugar, to taste
3 eggs (optional)

1. Rinse barley and ginkgo nuts. Soak barley in water for about 30 minutes. Rinse dried beancurd. In a separate bowl, soak dried beancurd sheets until soft, then drain.

2. Add pandan leaves, barley and ginkgo nuts into boiling water. Cook over medium heat, covered, for about 30 to 45 minutes, until ingredients soften.

3. Add beancurd sheets and continue to cook until they are soft enough to break into pieces.

4. Add rock sugar to taste and mix well until it dissolves completely. Let boil for another 15 minutes or so before serving.

Recipe adapted from Christine's Recipes and Delicious Asian Food.

9. Split mung beans soup with "you tiao" (lek tau suan)

150g split green (mung) bean
2 pandan leaves, washed and knotted
50g rock sugar
500ml water
1 you tiao (fried dough fritters or you char kway), cut into pieces

40g sweet potato flour or water chestnut flour, mixed with 125ml (1/2 cup) water

1. Soak the beans in water for 1 hour. Then, drain and rinse with water. Drain again.

2. Steam the beans for about 30 minutes, or until they are soft.

3. In a pot, add water, pandan leaves and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and add in the steamed beans.

4. Before using the thickener, stir the solution again to make sure it is even. Stir in the thickener slowly until mixture thickens. Note: Stop adding once the soup reaches your desired consistency.

5. Serve warm, topped with you tiao pieces.

Recipe adapted from wiffy via NoobCook.

10. Sago pudding drizzled with gula melaka syrup and coconut milk

Image via Asian Supper

1 cup pearl sago
8 cups water
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup coconut milk
1 pinch of salt

Palm sugar syrup:
120g palm sugar
1 pandan leaf

1. Put the sago in a sieve and shake over sink to dislodge any loose starch.

2. Bring water to boil in a large pan, and slowly pour in sago, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Boil uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sago balls turn transparent (about 15 mins).

3. Tip sago into large wire mesh sieve and hold under cold running water to wash away starch (about 45 secs). Shake sieve until well drained, then stir in milk (which will turn colour from dull grey to white).

4. Transfer to 4 serving glasses and refrigerate when cooled.

5. To make palm sugar syrup, combine palm sugar and pandan leaf in a small pan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove pandan leaf and cool.

6. To serve it, transfer palm sugar syrup and coconut milk to 2 separate small jugs. Add a pinch of salt to coconut milk. Serve with chilled sago to taste.

*Recipe adapted from kgw via [](<a href="" title="Link:">*

What is your favourite Malaysian dessert? Let us know in the comments below!

More recipes any Malaysian would love to re-create in the kitchen:

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