Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hot Buboh Cha Cha for a Cold Sydney Summer!

If you are visiting Sydney this summer, you are likely to need your brolly or poncho when the weathermen expect the unseasonably cold and wet weather to continue throughout this season. You think its bothersome, wait until you have to unpack your woollies that you have put away and thinking summer is done. Amid the coldest start to a Sydney summer in almost 50 years, my wife reluctantly unpacked the winter clothes she had just put away for storage. We need the winter clothes again as it was reported that Sydney had its lowest December minimum for 16 years with the morning temperature hovering around 10 degree and Katoomba in the Blue Mountain almost froze at 2.5 degree, experienced its lowest December on record. It is the coldest first week of summer since 1960.
We had hot buboh cha cha for dessert last night. No, that was not a typo mistake. I know, many Singaporeans are used to eat buboh cha cha with ice shavings, but with the temperature dropping outside, there is nothing more appropriate than to enjoy a steaming hot bowl of buboh cha cha. I just have to post this recipe as an appreciation for my missus, who had spent the whole afternoon to prepare this dessert. Firstly, she cut the sweet potatoes and taro before steaming them individually. Instead of adding sago, she also made my favourite tiny tapioca dumpling to go with it. Besides, she added black-eye beans to give another unfamiliar twist to the buhoh cha cha that we know.

Buboh Cha Cha Recipe:


500g sweet potatoes
500g taro
150g black-eye beans
200g tapioca flour
1 cup sugar
5 Tsp water
¼ cup hot water.
2 can (380ml) coconut milk
2 pandan leaves, if unavailable use ½ tsp pandan essence
2 cup water.
½ green food colouring
Soak black eye beans in water overnight. Place beans in a pot and bring to boil for about 30 minutes or until soft. Peel sweet potatoes and taro, cut into 2 cm cubes. Steam sweet potatoes and yam separately for 15 mins or until cooked.
To make tapioca dumplings:
Mix tapioca flour with cold water and stir well. Pour in ¼ hot water or enough to make a soft dough. Add food colour and knead, add more tapioca if necessary. Roll the soft dough into ½ cm strips and cut into cubes or triangles. Sprinkle with more tapioca flour to keep it separate. Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a pot, put in the tapioca cubes. It floats to the surface once it is cooked. Drain and run under a cold water tap.
Bring 2 cup water with sugar to boil in a saucepan and add coconut milk. Put in the sweet potatoes and taro cubes black eye beans and add the tapioca dumplings. Add the pandan essence and serve hot or cold.


  1. just curious, have you ever or is it at all possible to grow pandan leaves in Sydney ?

  2. Hi Anonymous,
    It is possible to grow pandan leaves in Sydney but they are very frost sensitive. A bad frost some winters ago, sent our precious pandan to paradise :(

    Cheers, Phil