Chia “Sago” Gula Melaka


Lemme just say this at the start. There are no sago in this sago gula melaka pudding.  All pure chia seeds.

Whenever I add chia seeds into the water, everyone gives me a face. And some how manage to sieve out the chia seeds when they drink it. 8( So I gave up trying to give my family good food.  Being stuck with A LOT of chia seeds, I had to come up with ways to consume them.  Decided to finally give chia seed pudding a go.  It was really good.  I had soaked them overnight in milk and I had it with maple syrup. Major Mmmm moment.  That was when I had a light bulb moment as well!  Coz they look like sago, kinda taste like sago (well actually sago has no taste, just like Chia), perhaps I can pull a fast one on my family! A fake sago gula melaka pudding, but no sago!


Well, they were suspicious coz of the color.  So I had to confess.  But they tried it anyhow coz of the gula melaka (we really love our gula melaka) and it received all 6 thumbs up!!  This is major YAY! Coz chia sago gula melaka doesn’t need any cooking AT ALL! *clap hands

Chia “Sago” Gula Melaka (serves 1)

1/8 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup coconut milk

About 1 tsp gula melaka

Soak the chia seeds in water and coconut milk over night.  Serve with gula melaka.  If you can’t get that, brown sugar, maple syrup or honey will do too.


Kueh Kueh


We love a certain nonya kueh known to us as Rainbow Kueh or 9-layer kueh or steamed kueh lapis.  Top layer is always a bright red, bottom layer is always white and in between we have beautiful rainbow colors. It is patiently steamed layer by layer until there are 9 layers.  To enjoy it, we peel off layer by layer and savor it one layer at a time.

We love it coz it’s chewy, sticky, sweet, coconuty (not unlike mochi in texture).  However, it’s usually full of artificial coloring.  Every layer is a different color.  We have to limit *sob our intake coz DD has eczema and we suspect artificial coloring and preservatives to be one of the main culprits.

OR! I could make it myself, leaving out all the bad but pretty coloring.  And put in some flax seed meal to boost up the nutritive value.    The result is not pretty.  But never mind the lack of rainbow colors, as long as it tastes good coz  we can always close our eyes when we eat! lol. Anyhow, DD gave it 2 thumbs up.  “It’s soooo yummmmy!” Her words, not mine. 8D


No-Coloring  9-Layer Kueh with Flax Seed Meal

180 g tapioca starch

20 g rice flour

1/4 cup flax seed meal

400 ml coconut milk

160 ml water

1/4 tsp salt

200 g sugar

pandan leaves

Boil pandan leaves with water for a few minutes, then discard leaves.  Stir in sugar, coconut milk, and the rest of the ingredients.

Grease an 8″square pan with coconut oil.  Prepare the steamer.  Heat up the pan in the steamer.  When steamer is ready, stir batter, spoon in about 100 ml of batter and steam 5 min.  Spoon in another 100 ml of batter on top of the 1st layer and steam another 5 min.   Remember to stir batter each time before using. Repeat this till all batter is used up. Steam 10 min for the last layer.  Remove from steamer and leave to cool.

There is a trick to removing it from the pan.  Use a piece of cling wrap and place it on top of the kueh.  Flip the pan upside down.  Now you are holding the kueh in your hand. Gently pry the kueh away from the sides of the pan.  The whole thing should come off easily and plop onto your hand. Viola!

Now, about slicing it.  It’s a sticky situation (pun intended, heheh).  There’s also a trick to slicing.  Using a large knife, position and press it down.  No sawing motions, please.  Just press down and it’s done.  If you don’t want to end up with a sticky knife, you may even put a piece of cling wrap on top and press your knife down.  It won’t cut through the cling wrap but will cut through your kueh. Viola again!

Remember to peel off each and every layer and savor it layer by layer.

Store leftovers in the fridge.  It’ll still be soft the next day.


Egg-less Coconut Waffles


My friend, Sherin, has a little girl who is allergic to eggs.  They were over today and I thought to make egg-less waffles for them.  It’s just an egg-less variation of my Coconut Waffles recipe.  It’s a bit chewy and the richness comes from the coconut milk and coconut oil.  It has its charm.  I like it.  In fact, I feel that it resembles closely to our local cake shop waffles which we all love. I added in some flax seed meal to boost up the nutritive value of the waffles.  That’s optional, of course.


Egg-less Coconut Waffles (makes about 4)

125 g plain flour

50-75g sugar

2 tbsp flax seed meal (optional)

1 tsp instant yeast

pinch of salt

250 ml coconut milk

3 tbsp virgin coconut oil

Mix all together and leave to proof in a warm place for about 1/2 hour.  Cook in waffle maker.




Coconut Waffles


This is no Belgian waffle.  It is not crisp and high.  Our local cake shop waffle is a bit flat, soft, a bit chewy and full of wonderful coconut flavor.  It comes with an option of plain, peanut butter spread, melted cheese, chocolate spread and blueberry spread.  Some offer more options.  Usually I’ll just have the plain one as I love the coconut flavor and don’t want anything to mask it.

This is my version.  Warning: not a low fat food.

Coconut Waffles (makes about 4)

125g plain flour

50 g sugar

1 tsp yeast

pinch of salt

1 egg

200 ml coconut milk

3 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

Mix them together and leave in a warm place to proof for about 30-45 min. Cook in a waffle maker.

Enjoy it with butter or honey.  But seriously, it doesn’t need any of those.



Steamed Coconut Muffins – vegan



I like simple cakes.  Satisfaction level from eating simple cakes (cakes made by one bowl, one spoon method) for me is about 80%.  Satisfaction level from eating elaborate cakes (involves electric mixer) is about 90-100%.  Given that the difference is quite little, all things considered, I think I’d prefer to choose to make simple cakes. Ha ha.

Steaming cake is another way of “baking” for those who do not own an oven.  Think of it this way: instead of using dry heat, you’d be using moist heat.

One doesn’t need a special electric steamer to steam food.  You just need a big pot.  Fill it to about an inch or two of water.  Put in a steamer stand or if you don’t have one, make do with a bowl and then a plate on top of the bowl.  That’ll work too. Steamed food is healthier too as baking is one of the cooking method suspected to cause cancer.

This steamed coconut muffin is local fare.  We call it huat (read as ‘what’) kueh.  It’s basically a steamed muffin with a characteristic split at the top. There are various varieties and this is just a rich coconut version I came up with over the years.

Steamed Coconut Muffin (makes about 4-5 muffins)

40-80g sugar

130 g self-raising flour

130 ml coconut milk

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tsp pandan essence/vanilla/coffee

A few drops of coloring

Mix everything together until well blended.  Then scoop batter into muffin cases.  Fill it up almost to the brim.  Then steam in rapidly boiling water for about 10 min.

It’s a really simple steamed muffin, easily put together with minimal fuss.  If you are craving for cake pronto, this is the one for you.   One bowl, one spoon and ready in about 15 min from start to finish.  Satisfaction level, 80%.




Coconut Chocolate Muffins


Usually I would take a recipe and hack it beyond recognition. I usually do it to save time, and coz I-wonder-if-I-can-do-it-this-way, and coz I always feel that MY way is the better way coz it’s the short cut faster way. “Softened butter? Let’s melt it. That should be soft enough!”; “That sounds like a lot of sugar. Let’s save some money and half the sugar. Haha!”;”Cream the butter and sugar together? Let’s cut short and cream everything in one go!”;”I think I shall use oil instead of butter.” Etc etc. Then I wonder why it turned out different. As my friend Shanice said, “Sure will turn out. Only whether good or bad.” Haha. *What, pray tell, can go wrong with anything CHOCOLATE??

This coconut chocolate muffin is one of my hacks. I changed the method and ingredients and viola! A brand new recipe is born.

Coconut Chocolate Muffins (makes 8-9)

1/3 of a block of 250g salted butter, melted. (Just eyeball it)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

Scant 1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup coconut milk (from packet so it’s quite thick)

1/4 water

3/4 cup flour (plain flour or white whole wheat)

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 tsp instant coffee (this enhances the chocolate flavor)

Melt and brown butter slightly. When butter is still hot, add in cocoa powder. This will “open” up the chocolate flavor. Let it cool down (a little warm is ok). Then in goes everything else. Stir with a whisk to blend everything together.  Leave it to rest for a little while (up to 30 min). Scoop into muffin cases. Bake at 180c for about 20 min or until when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

Enjoy. It’s chocolate.

*once I doubled the recipe but forgot to double the sugar. So it was pretty tasteless. Even then I managed to salvage it by making a simple sweet milky sauce for it. My friend Susan happened to stop by and I served  that to her. To this day, she still raves about it. See? It’s chocolate! Nothing can go wrong. Haha. 

Bobo Chacha (shortcut)


When I said in my previous post that it’s now school Hols and we have time, I meant the Underlings. Not me. I always have to produce food fast. That’s why I love shortcuts.

Bobo chacha is my mom’s favorite dessert. She used to cook a huge pot when I was young. I didn’t fancy it so much then because of 3 things: I love sago and there was never enough; I didn’t like taro; and the sweet potatoes were never sweet.

So this recipe is not the traditional bobo chacha. Mine is quick and it is the way I like it.

Indonesian honey sweet potatoes

Bobo Chacha (my way)

2 sweet potatoes

1/4 cup small sago

1 pkt coconut milk (200ml)

brown sugar or gula Melaka

1  pandan leaf

Boil sweet potatoes whole with their skin. This retains the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. It takes about 10-20 min to cook, depending on the size of your sweet potatoes. Then dunk in cold water for easy peeling. Dice them up.

Boil 2-3 cups of water. Only when the water is rapidly boiling do you add in the sago. If the water is not boiling, the sago will turn into goop. Give it an occasional stir and boil until sago is almost clear but still a little white in the middle. Then strain and add in *fresh water (doesn’t have to be hot now). Pour in a pkt of coconut milk, put in a pandan leaf and bring to a boil. Add in the diced sweet potatoes. Sweeten with brown sugar or gula Melaka to taste.


Serve it hot. And soon. Coz as you delay, the sago will absorb more liquid and the whole thing will resemble tapioca pudding. Which I also likey so it’s ok for me.

*how much water to add depends on how soupy you like your bobo chacha to be.