In Indonesia, the favourite desserts are often those found in the market, called ‘jajanan pasar’, or market snacks. You may get these at Indonesian restaurants, or perhaps with an Indonesian-twist of a high-tea experience. One of the most popular is ‘klepon’, glutinous rice balls with a sugary filling. Here we share an easy-to-follow recipe for klepon.
Essentially many market snacks are made up of glutinous rice, coconut and palm sugar; klepon is made up of similar elements. Glutinous rice flour, but with the added fragrance and flavour of the aromatic pandan leaf, covered with coconut and at its centre a delightful explosion of palm sugar!
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Makes 12-14 balls of klepon
• 175ml of warm water
• 200gr sticky rice flour
• Pandan Essence
• 1 Tbsp rice flour or Normal Flour
• 30g grated palm sugar
• 100g grated coconut
• Pandan leaves (optional)
Making the dough
• Pour 2 tsp of pandan essence into the warm water
• In a mixing bowl, mix the 200g sticky rice flour and 1 tbsp of rice (or regular) flour
• Whilst constantly stirring the flour, pour the warm pandan water into the bowl – taking breaks between pours to allow proper mixing.
• Once all the water is poured and mixed, use your hands to further mix the solution until it is a dough-like consistency. It should not be sticky on your skin, if so, add more sticky rice flour to the mix.
Now that the ‘dough’ is ready, it’s time to make the balls:-
• Pinch a dollop of the dough and roll in your hands, making a ball around 3cm in diameter (take more dough or reduce dough to this size).
• Once you’ve made a ball, use a finger to create a crater at its centre. Push until around half the depth of the ball.
• Now, place the palm sugar in the crater (difficult to measure, roughly the edge of a teaspoon)
• Once the sugar is in the crater, close it by pinching the dough around it, making sure it is airtight.
• Carefully roll the ball again making sure there are no gaps for the sugar to leak out
Cooking the balls
• Prepare a pot of water, add 1 tsp of pandan essence OR tie a pandan leaf and place in water
• Boil the water until bubbling
• Once bubbling, place the balls into the water, the balls will sink to the bottom
• When they are ready to take out they will rise to the top of the water
• Place the grated coconut on a wide plate
• Remove the cooked klepon (with a strainer) and place onto the bed of grated coconut
• Roll the klepon balls on the grated coconut until they are full covered
And you’re done! Allow time for the sugar to cool at the centre before biting in.