Bubur Cha Cha (摩摩喳喳)



While I know many bloggers have blogged this common dessert, to be frank, I am rather reluctant to share this recipe as the recipe is so flexible and most household will know how to prepare in their unique way.


However, whenever I posted my home cooked bubur cha cha, there are many LIKES in Facebook post and members are always requesting for recipes. To avoid this, i have decided to document down the recipe for easier referral..


I do not think that I need to explain what is bubur cha cha. It is such a common dessert among Singaporeans and Malaysians. Bubur in Malay means porridge and Cha cha, I presumed is a dance. Does that mean that after you drink this sweet porridge, you are going to dance Cha Cha? Ha-ha and I do not there is any one who can provide me with the answer.


The main ingredients of this dessert are yam, sweet potatoes and some types of tapioca flour cubes. Bubur Cha Cha experts are placing emphasis on the colour combinations. Some may use up to three types of sweet potatoes (orange, purple and yellow) colour. Besides this, black eye beans, banana and jackfruits were added to the sweet porridge. In recent years, tapioca pearls were used instead of tapioca cubes. As for the shapes of these items, as i am not a Peranakan and I will tell you that you are free to cut into your favourite shapes.. Sweetener can range from normal white granulated sugar, brown nipah palm sugar (gula apong), gula Melaka (coconut sugar) or red sugar! To make it creamier, you can either used coconut milk or substituted it with fresh milk or evaporated milk.


As for the colour combination, you can try the following suggested combo. Though gula melaka can be used, for beautiful combination, it is suggested that castor sugar be used such that the colour stands out in a white background.

  • Purple: Purple sweet potatoes
  • Orange: Orange sweet potatoes
  • Yellow:  Yellow sweet potatoes or bananas or jackfruits
  • Green: Green colour tapioca jelly and some cut pandan leaves as decoration
  • Blue : Blue pea flower tapioca jelly
  • Red: Red colour tapioca jelly or red kidney beans or Thai red ruby dessert
  • Maroon to black : Black eye peas
  • White: Yam



Servings: 4-5 adult servings


  • 150 grams of sweet potatoes (cut into desired shape with about 1-2 cm thickness)
  • 150 grams of yam or taro (cut into desired shape with about 1-2 cm thickness)
  • 50 grams of sago balls (soak in cold water for at least 30 minutes)
  • 2-3 bananas
  • 10 Pandan leaves
  • Pinches of salt
  • 200 ml of castor sugar
  • 400 ml of thin coconut milk
  • 600 ml of plain water

Tapioca Jelly

  • 100 grams of tapioca flour
  • 60 grams of hot boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon of icing sugar
  • Some permitted food colouring of your choice



PicMonkey Collage1

  • In a bowl, put icing, tapioca flour and cooking oil. Pour in the hot boiling water. Use a chopstick to stir until lumps are formed. When the temperature drops slightly, use your hand to knead it into a pliable dough. Divide the dough into 3 portions. Add in 1-2 drops of  green, red and blue permitted food colouring for each portion. Knead again until the colour is well combined. Pinch a small dough, rub between palms until both ends tapered and set aside the pellet.. Perform the same for all the others. Dust some tapioca flour to prevent sticking.

  • Get ready a pot of hot boiling water, throw in these tapioca dough, boil until the tapioca dough float upwards and appear transparent. Get ready another bowl of icing cold water, transfer these cooked tapioca dough to the icy water. Soak for 5 minutes, drain and set aside for later use.


  • For tapioca jelly, you can chose to do any shape. Alternative method is to roll the dough until a flat piece of about 1 cm thickness, use knife to cut into diamond, triangle or other shapes. I have chosen this pellet shape as I found that this is faster for me..

  • Your colouring cannot be too much, otherwise, the colour will stain your coconut milk. Your white santan may become red colour santan.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • While you are doing the tapioca jelly, you can do the steaming first. In a lightly grease tray, steam the sweet potatoes, taro and sago balls until 80% cooked through and sago balls turn transparent. The timing of steaming will very much depend on the size of the sweet potatoes cube. It should be around 10-15 minutes.  Please be reminded that since all these will continue to be cooked again in the next step, you have to ensure that the sweet potatoes and yam will not be overly cooked. Otherwise, they will disintegrates in the next step.

  • In a big pot, put in 600 ml of water, pandan leaves, sugar, pinches of salt and bring to boil. Add the ingredients in the following sequence: Tapioca jelly, sago balls, steamed sweet potatoes and yam. Once it boils, add the coconut milk and let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes.  Off the heat, add the cut banana and the dessert is ready to be served.  (It is advisable that you add the sugar gradually as every body’s taste bud are different. If it is too sweet to your liking, just dilute with some water.



This recipe is totally flexible and you can add and minus the types and quantities of all the ingredients listed about.. However, the pinches of salt is critical in the preparation of a good bowl of this famous dessert.. It’s role is to negate the creaminess and sweetness of the dessert. With this small amount of salt, your guest may an additional bowl whereas without it, one bowl will make your guest feels bloated (jelak in Malay).


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.



One thought on “Bubur Cha Cha (摩摩喳喳)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s