Monday, January 24, 2011

Buah Melaka

Little chewy balls with a surprise centre and fluffy coating!

A favourite tea-time treat!

These are pleasantly soft chewy balls made from glutinous rice paste with sweet gula Melaka or palm sugar filling and coated with fluffy, slightly salty grated coconut.

These are firm favourites among children and adults alike - their tiny size makes it irresistable to pop one after another into your mouth.

I also think this is one of the kuih Melayu or Malay desserts that young girls learn to make from their moms from an early age. As there are many steps, albeit simple ones that this gems require, an extra pair of hands is always welcomed in the kitchen.

Here is the recipe!

Buah Melaka

for the dough
200 gm glutinous rice flour
screwpine juice made from three medium-sized leaves and 100 ml water
90 ml - 110 ml hot water
few drops of green colouring

for the filling
100 gm gula Melaka or palm sugar, cut into tiny pieces (I think brown sugar would work too!)

for the coating
grated coconut from 1 shell, lightly salted


In a medium-sized bowl, add screwpine leave juice to glutinous rice. Add hot water in a steady slow stream, pausing as you mix them well. It is better to be cautious than to have too soft of a dough. Add drops of green colouring to your preference. You should be able to pinch the soft dough and form small balls. If dough is too soft, worry not - add small amounts of glutinous rice flour until you get the right consistency. On the other hand, if dough is too tough, add hot water.

Pinch a small amount of dough and make into a small ball (about 10 gm). Using your index finger, create a well and place small amount of palm sugar. Press the palm sugar with the tip of a spoon to ensure it is neatly tucked in the well. Close the well and gently form it into a ball.

Drop the balls into boiling water in a semi-deep pot. The balls will sink to the bottom. After a while, the balls will rise up to the surface - use a sieve to spoon them out and gently shake the sieve to remove excess water. Drop the balls into a shallow bowl of lightly salted grated coconut. Pick the bowl up and rock it in a circular motion to move the balls around and ensure they are thoroughly coated with coconut. Serve with your favourite cup of tea. Even better, share some with your neighbours!

This recipe makes about 35-40 small balls.


  1. yup, besides masak gulai, i learnt to make this when i was 10 or saja sgt malas nak buat, and dah jado wangputih sket...dok buat kek saja....

  2. Hi, your recipe is shared here: