Do you know that in Penang Bubur Cha Cha is a must have dish on Chap Goh Mei? I haven't found out why ..
After the hectic shopping for Chinese New Year I found that shopping in the last few days had been very leisurely and I could think and buy whatever I like or whatever was available.
I saw a pile of bilong wor (Chinese taro) and found them reasonably priced at RM4.00 per kg. The big species cost a lot more at RM 9.00. And one big taro could fetch up to RM8.00!!
After all the rich food perhaps a little bit of dessert would be nice. What could be better than bubur cha cha from my nyonya ancestors? And it was afterall a Sunday and a Chap Goh Mei as well. Wonder if taro is harvested in the first month of the lunar year.....
When sliced the yam or taro has the streaks of a pinang or betel nut. That is why this yam is also called Betel Yam/taro. Bilong is the Foochow transliteration of pinang. And the native would call this keladi Cina. Perhaps it is because the Foochows introduced it to Sarawak.
Diced and steamed yam is already a good dish by itself. And the best Foochow way of eating this is to dip the cubes in small crab sauce or pangi sauce.. (Sarikei Time Capsule)
The best of sweet potatoes - Japanese purple sweet potatoes and orange sweet potatoes.
Peeled and diced the potatoes look nice.
These sago pearls are easily found in Chinese medicine shop. A small packet is only RM1.00. Use the whole packet - boil and washed these little pearls are pretty and makes the bubur char char rich in texture.
A small packet of santan or coconut milk would make the bubur char very rich. If you can use the freshly grated coconut it would be even better.
Don't forget to boil a few leaves of pandan in the santan to give the bubur char char a sweet fragrance. Add a lump of gula melaka if you need some sweetening. The sweet potatoes are fairly sweet.
Here's a nice bowl of bubur cha cha after about one hour's of preparation and cooking. If you have relatives and friends around it is the best time to do collaborative cooking and lots of fun.
It is nice to cook bubur cha cha on hot days.
Here's the recipe:
1 large Purple Sweet Potato
3 medium Orange Sweet Potato
1 or 2 small Yam ( Chinese Taro)
1 small packet of Sago (Tapioca pearls)
A lump of gula melaka
two or three pandan leaves
If you have the time you can make the following
Tapioca flour jelly
100g Tapioca Flour
½ cup Boiling Water
Coconut Milk Base
3 liter water
1 cup Thick coconut milk
120g gula melaka / Sugar
3 Banana (peeled and cut half inches thick) - optional
2 or 3 Pandan leaves
Salt to taste
1) Boil sago pearls separately, until translucent and cooked.
2) Peel and cut all potatoes and taro into cubes or desired shapes. Steam, separately, until cooked.
3) To make tapioca flour jelly, place the flour in mixing bowl. Pour in boiling water. Mix the flour and water until well incorporated. When the dough is cool, roll it out evenly on a well floured surface and cut into cube or desired shapes.
4) Bring a pot of water, add in gula melaka or sugar, pour in banana and boil for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
5) In boiling water (3 liters), add in thick coconut milk, sugar, salt, pandan leaves and cook over low heat about 10–20 minutes.
5) Pour in all the ingredients, together with the sago, tapioca jelly into coconut milk base and mix well. Serve hot or cold, as you like.
As a busy housewife I would usually leave out the sago flour jelly.
It is nice to serve this dish in the afternoons especially on a Saturday when kids/relatives/friends are around to help.
A scoop or two of vanilla icecream in the cold bubur cha cha is also a nice variation.
(Tips: when the taro and sweet potato season is around you can always cut and cube the roots and have them steamed. Freeze them and when you need to prepare bubur cha cha it will be easy. Freezing will not reduce the quality of these roots I have found out. And it would be very economical too. Furthermore you don't have to wait for the taro season to make your bubur cha cha.)