Onde Onde

“Where are they?” I remembered seeing 6 of them in a small clear plastic food bag in the plate, on the dining table. “Ah, your sister took that packet and had them just now.” “Oh, no! There’s nothing left for me.” My voice was full with great disappointment.

They are very special little glutinous rice ball with Pandan leaves flavour, filled with palm sugar and coated with freshly grated coconut flesh, called onde onde/ondeh ondeh. A a kid, I used to have them late in the morning or at tea time. My sister and brother loved these little gems, I believe they still do.

My first time eating onde onde/ondeh ondeh was a sweet and memorable one. The moment I put them into my mouth, it started from a of slightly salted coconut flesh. After a few chews, the explosion of palm sugar took over, leaving an overall sweet, very sweet experience.

Onde onde/ondeh ondeh are desserts/pastries/cakes. In Malaysian, they are Kuihs – Asian equivalent of desserts/ pastries/ cakes. Onde onde/Ondeh Ondeh are usually prepared in bite-sized portions. Kuihs are not confined to a certain meal but are eaten throughout the day. There are Nyonya Kuihs and Malay Kuihs, they come from the same family. Thus, there isn’t much distinction between them.

Just a few days ago, I read about Holy Basil’s Pandanus Crème Brûlée. That sent me a sudden crave for desserts that are made with Pandan leaves/Pandanus. Then, I found this recipe in my one of my cookbooks that contains all my favourite ingredients: Pandan leaves, coconut, and palm sugar, in which I believe would stop my craving!

So, get ready to try out this. Probably your first ever Malaysian dessert/cake if you’ve not tried one before.

Onde Onde



200g grated coconut flesh
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
250g glutinous rice flour
7-8 pandan leaves (blended with 180ml of water to extract juice)
some warm water
150g palm sugar, chopped


1. Mix grated coconut with salt and set aside. Mix glutinous rice flour with pandan juice a little at a time and work it into the dough. Add water if more moisture is required to work it into a fairly stiff dough. Knead until smooth.

2. Form small balls with the dough. Make a well in the centre of each ball and place a little chopped palm sugar in it. Wrap the palm sugar with the dough and roll back into a ball.

3. Cook, a few balls at a time, in boiling water. When the dough balls float to the surface, remove and roll each ball in the grated coconut which has mixed with the salt. Serve at room temperature.