Home » Purple Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls (Onde Onde) 紫薯汤圆椰丝球

Purple Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls (Onde Onde) 紫薯汤圆椰丝球

by Angie Liew
Purple Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls
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Purple Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls

One Of The Most Popular Traditional Kuih: Purple Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls (Onde Onde)

Onde Onde (Glutinous Rice Balls) is one of the most popular traditional Malaysian Kuih (cakes). They are either made from sweet potato or just glutinous rice flour. Onde Onde made from sweet potato has a softer texture compared to the one made from just glutinous rice flour, which has a more chewy bite. So, it all depends on what you prefer. Either one is just as delicious, that you can be assured.

Purple Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls

A Wonderful Variation on The Traditional Onde Onde, Using Delicious Purple Sweet Potatoes

For this recipe of Purple Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls, these Onde Onde are made with purple sweet potatoes instead of the normal orange ones. The lilac colour from the purple sweet potato certainly gives the Kuih a more vibrant and special look. These cute little Onde Onde are filled with coconut palm sugar or Gula Melaka and then, rolled in white freshly grated coconut. The caramel taste of the coconut palm sugar that’s in it is just amazing, which literally bursts in your mouth when you take a bite.

Purple Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls

Purple Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls, A Delicious Kuih That Is Actually Quite Simple To Make

It is actually quite simple to make this traditional Kuih, just a few steps to take. First, steam freshly grated coconut with a pinch of salt. The slightly salted grated coconut greatly enhance the overall taste of the Onde Onde. Better still, steam together with a knotted pandan leaf. Then, set aside to coat with the glutinous rice balls when cooked.  Next, prepare the filling by chopping up some coconut palm sugar (Gula Melaka). Try to choose a premium grade palm sugar if possible, as the amazing taste of the Onde Onde actually comes from the palm sugar which has a unique toffee taste to it.

Next, prepare the Onde Onde dough by first steaming the purple sweet potato and mashing into a paste. Add some glutinous rice flour, some water and knead into a soft dough. 

Divide the dough into small pieces and rolled into balls. Make a hole in the middle and fill with the chopped palm sugar. Then, seal and roll back into balls. Immediately drop into boiling water to cook the Onde Onde. When cooked, the balls will float to the surface.

Remove from the boiling water and roll to coat the cooked glutinous rice balls in the white freshly grated coconut. And we’re done! Cool slightly and serve. Best eaten on the same day.

Purple Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls

An Enjoyable Treat of Chewy Glutinous Rice Balls Filled With Molten Palm Sugar Filling

Purple Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls make an ideal tea-time snack or dessert. All I can say is that these traditional Onde Onde make a delightful treat for just any occasion. They are not too sweet and super delicious. With just a bite into the Onde Onde, the unique caramel-like flavour and aroma of palm sugar that oozes out will simply overwhelm your taste buds.

So Enjoy!

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Purple Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls (Onde Onde) 紫薯汤圆椰丝球

Recipe by Huang Kitchen, Angie Liew
A variation on the popular traditional Kuih, Purple Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls (Onde Onde) are a delightful treat for any occasion! The purple sweet potatoes certainly give this kuih such a vibrant and special look too.
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time5 minutes

Tap or Hover to Adjust Servings

Servings: 32 balls



  • 200 grams glutinous rice flour, sifted
  • 30 grams tapioca flour, sifted
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 180 grams purple sweet potato, steamed and mashed
  • 180 grams water


  • 100 grams palm sugar, crushed and chopped


  • 200 grams young grated coconut
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 1 stalk pandan leaf (optional), knotted


    Preparing Coconut Topping:

    • Steam grated coconut
      Prepare the coating by placing grated coconut in a shallow plate and add in salt. Mix to combine. Add in a knotted pandan leaf for extra fragrance.
    • Steam grated coconut for 10 minutes
      Place in a steamer and steam for 10 minutes. Then set aside.

    Preparing Filling:

    • Use a good grade palm sugar. Slice the palm sugar and then chop till fine and set aside to use later.

    Preparing dough:

    • Peel and mash purple sweet potato
      Steam purple sweet potato over high heat in a steamer for about 20 minutes till cooked and soft. Then remove skin and mash into a paste while it is still hot.
    • Add in glutinous rice flour, tapioca flour and sugar. Using spatula, mix till just combined. Then slowly add in warm water. Continue to mix till water is absorbed into the flour mixture. Add in cooking oil.
    • Using your hand, knead till you can feel that the texture is smooth and the dough no longer sticks to your fingers. And we are ready to made ondeh ondeh.

    Making purple sweet potato onde onde:

    • Divide the purple sweet potato dough into small portions, about 15g each and roll into balls. Made a hole in the middle of the ball and fill the centre of dough with 1/2 tsp of chopped palm sugar. Seal the filling with the dough and gently roll into a ball again.
    • Purple Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls
      Repeat with the remaining dough till all are done. Then immediately cook the glutinous rice balls.
    • Boil water to cook Onde Onde
      Place a pot of water to a boil. Add in knotted pandan leaf to enhance the flavour.
    • Boil glutinous rice balls
      Gently put the dough balls into the pot of boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes. Cook in batches and do not overcrowd the pot.
    • Stir while cooking the glutinous rice balls.
      Give the glutinous rice balls a few stirs during cooking and cook till the dough balls float to the surface.
    • Then remove with a small sieve and shake off the excess water.
    • Coat with steamed grated coconut
      Immediately place the cooked glutinous rice balls on the plate of grated coconut. Coat thoroughly the glutinous rice balls in the steamed grated coconut.
    • Purple Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls
      Place on a plate and allow to cool a little before serving. Best eaten fresh the day they are made. So Enjoy!


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Recipe Video


  • If you don’t have purple sweet potatoes, regular sweet potatoes work just as well.
  • Coconut palm sugar is readily available in most Asian supermarket. Otherwise can substitute with brown sugar.
  • If freshly grated coconut is not available you can use desiccated coconut instead.
  • Steaming the freshly grated coconut can help to prevent the coconut from turning sour. However, do not over steam. Otherwise the white grated coconut will turn brown.
  • You can cover the dough and set aside 15 min before making the glutinous rice balls (Onde Onde)
  • Do not leave the dough balls to stand as the palm sugar (Gula Melaka) will ooze out if left not cooked after they are done.
  • Stir the dough balls a few times while cooking in the boiling water to prevent sticking together.
  • Best to serve the onde- onde the same day they are made. Do not keep overnight if possible. If need to, you can be kept in an air tight container and consumer within at most 2 days. 
Course: Appetizer, Desserts
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Malaysian
Keyword: coconut, dessert, glutinous rice balls, gula melaka, purple sweet potato

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