These gluten-free, vegan, soft and chewy sweet potato dumplings are served in palm sugar syrup and coconut sauce. Something so simple but so satisfying at every level!
This dessert is called bubur biji salak or bubur candil in Indonesia. Bubur means porridge/congee in Indonesian. They are called as biji salak because of the shape resemblance to the seeds found in the middle of snake fruits (Salak). This fruit is native to Indonesia, but you can find them across Southeast Asia.
Candil on the other refers to the “ball” shape. There are candil ketan, which is usually made with mainly glutinous rice flour and a bit of tapioca flour and also candil ubi jalar like in this recipe, made with sweet potato and tapioca flour.
Bubur candil or biji salak is something that is so simple and economical to make but is seriously so satisfying in every level. Perhaps because I grew up with this. In case you haven’t noticed, lots of cooking, baking, and dessert in Southeast Asia have coconut milk/cream in them.
These bubur candil is not overly sweet, but just the right amount to be called dessert and to satisfy that craving for sweets
Besides sweet potato, you can also use: mashed pumpkin, mashed purple sweet potato, mashed ube yam
Please weigh ingredients with a digital kitchen scale instead of using measuring cups as they are not very accurate especially when it comes to recipe that requires precision.
Sweet potato dumplings:
- 500 gr sweet potatoes (peeled)
- 250 gr tapioca flour - more or less depending on the water content in your sweet potatoes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Warm water as needed - see notes
- 1200 ml water
- 3 pandan leaves - knotted
- 200 gr coconut sugar - palm sugar/dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 45 gr tapioca starch/flour + 3 Tbsp of water
- 400 gr coconut cream - (not coconut milk)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100 ml water
Make biji salak:
- Cut the sweet potatoes into large cubes and place in steamer and steam for about 15-20 minutes over high heat until fork-tender. Drain off some water after steaming if any. Mashed the sweet potatoes while still warm with a fork or you can put it in a blender or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth
- Sprinkle in the salt and tapioca starch and knead the dough with your hand until you can get a smooth dough. If it feels a bit dry, you can add a bit of warm water, likewise, if it's too wet, add a bit more tapioca flour. Roll the dough into an oval shape about 2 inches in size
- You can freeze these shaped doughs for future use. Place them on a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper, not touching each other. Place them in the freezer for about 1 hour then transfer to the freezer bag and they won't stick to each other anymore. Push all air out and seal the bag. They can be kept this way for up t 3 months in the freezer
Prepare sugar syrup:
- While the sweet potatoes are steaming, prepare a medium to large pot and pour in 1200 ml of water. Bring to a boil and then add in the sugar, pinch of salt and pandan leaves. Lower the heat to let it gently simmer for 15 minutes and keep it warm on very low heat while you are preparing the rest
Prepare coconut sauce:
- In another small saucepan, add in the coconut cream, water, and salt and let it heat on low heat for about 15 minutes. Do not boil the coconut cream. Turn off the heat and set aside
Cook the biji salak and thicken the syrup:
- When ready to serve, place the sweet potato dumplings in the syrup. Bring it to a gentle boil and cook until the sweet potato dumplings float to the top. Give the tapioca flour + water mixture a stir and pour it in and continue to stir. The syrup will thicken and get shiny and start to bubble. Remove from the heat
How to serve:
- This dessert can be served warm or room temperature. Ladle some sweet potato dumplings along with the thickened syrup into a serving bowl and drizzle with a generous amount of coconut cream sauce and enjoy!
You might like Bubur Sum Sum (Indonesian sweet coconut rice porridge) too 😉