10 Servings
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Instead of the usual plain bubur cha cha, try making this variation with a sweet twist. Adding sweet pumpkin and Indonesian palm sugar adds a unique flavour and a vibrant orange hue.


  • 21 pandan leaves (150g)
  • 250 g yam
  • 120 g Japanese sweet potato
  • 120 g orange-fleshed sweet potato
  • 200 g pumpkin
  • 2 litres water
  • 30 g sago pearls
  • 100 g tapioca flour cubes
  • 280 g gula jawa (palm sugar), cut into small pieces
  • 1.2 litres fresh coconut milk
  • 1/3 tsp salt

Tie seven pandan leaves (40 g) into a knot. Tie another seveninto another knot.


Tie remaining pandan leaves into small knots of two to three leaves each.


Cut the yam into 2.5 cm cubes.


Cut the sweet potatoes into 2.5 cm cubes. Soak sweet potato cubes in a bowl of water.


Cut the pumpkin into 2.5 cm cubes.


Bring 400 ml of water to boil in a saucepan. Add sago pearls and boil for 8 mins. Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan for another 10 mins, or until the sago pearls are cooked and translucent.


Pour sago pearls into a wire-meshed sieve, discarding the water.


Place sago pearls into a bowl of water to soak. This keeps them from sticking together.


Bring another 400 ml of water to boil in a clean saucepan. Add the tapioca flour cubes and boil for 3 mins until the cubes float up and are cooked through.


Place cooked tapioca flour cubes in a bowl of water to soak.


Pour 1 litre of water in a large pot, add the gula jawa and one 40 g knot of pandan leaves. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 8 to 10 mins until the sugar is dissolved.


Turn off the heat, cover and set aside.


Place yam in heatproof dish, add one small knot of pandan leaves. Steam for 12 mins.


Discard soaking water of sweet potato cubes.


Place sweet potato cubes in heatproof dish, add a small knot of pandan leaves. Steam for 10 mins.


Place pumpkin cubes in heatproof dish, add a small knot of pandan leaves. Steam for 8 mins.


Bring the pot of sugar syrup to a simmering boil. Add the steamed cubes of yam, sweet potato and pumpkin.


Simmer for 5 mins. Add the coconut milk and last 40 g knot of pandan leaves.


Allow the mixture to come to a simmering boil. Remove the pandan leaves and add the salt.

ABOUT THE CHEF: Hedy Khoo is the columnist for The New Paper’s HED CHEF which features Asian cuisine and recipes. You can follow Hedy on her Instagram account @hedchefhedykhoo for more of her culinary adventures.

Recipe: Hedy Khoo / Photo: The New Paper

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