A whimsical dessert of colorful sweet potatoes, jellies & sago pearls in aromatic coconut milk.

Prep & Cook in 60 mins — Serves 4



140 g yam (taro) — peel and dice

140 g golden sweet potato — peel and dice

140 g purple sweet potato — peel and dice

250 ml water — to prepare the sweet soup

140 g coconut palm sugar — finely chop or grate

3 pandan leaves (screwpine leaves) — tie the leaves into a knot

250 g coconut milk

¼ tsp salt

1 banana — peel and cut into bite-sized chunks just before it goes into the pot



80 g tapioca flour

food coloring

50 ml boiling hot water — to prepare the jelly dough

500 ml water — to boil the jelly dough pieces



40 g sago pearls (tapioca pearls)

500 ml water — to cook the sago pearls

Coconut palm sugar

Pandan leaves

Sago pearls


1tapioca flour   |   50 ml water
Prepare the jelly dough by adding boiling hot water to the tapioca flour. The water has to be boiling hot for the flour to form a dough.

2food coloring   |   500 ml water
Add food coloring to the dough and knead it in. Flatten the dough on a flat surface and cut into small pieces. Heat the water in a pot and boil the dough pieces until they turn translucent or float to the top. Strain the jellies and put them into a bowl of cold water to prevent them from sticking together.

3yam & sweet potatoes
Steam the diced yam and sweet potatoes for 15-20 minutes until softened (but not mushy). Drain and set aside.

4sago pearls   |   500 ml water
Bring the water to a rolling boil in a pot. Cook the sago until translucent. Sieve the cooked sago to remove excess water, and then rinse with cold running water to stop them from sticking together.

5250 ml water   |   coconut palm sugar   |   pandan leaves   |   coconut milk   |   salt
In a large pot, add the water and palm sugar. Bring it to a boil. Add the knotted pandan leaves. When the sugar has completely dissolved, lower the heat to a simmer. Stir in the coconut milk and salt.

6all the cooked components   |   banana
Remove the pandan leaves from the sweet soup. Add the steamed yam & sweet potatoes. Add the sago pearls and tapioca jellies. Add the banana chunks. Let your bubur cha cha simmer for 10 minutes. Serve hot or cold.


PHOTO CREDITS: Coconut palm sugar — jcomp / freepik.com | Pandan leaves — jcomp / freepik.com | Sago pearls — Hari Tejas Iyer | Other photos courtesy of Yvonne Young

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YVONNE YOUNG is a mother, partner, piano teacher and globetrotter. She lives in Ipoh, Malaysia… a town renowned for its white coffee, heritage food and beautiful architecture. Yvonne loves travel, good company and dining out. Her wanderlust and inquisitive-impulsive nature fuel her desire to discover and explore destinations & cuisines all around the world.



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