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Recipe: sweet potato balls with coconut and bean filling

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Peel and cube 450 gr. sweet potatoes*. Steam for 10 minutes over boiling water. Leave to cool for 15 minutes and mash with a fork. Mix in 150 gr. rice flour or baozi flour until a soft dough forms. If the dough becomes too wet add in some more flour, if it gets too dry add a few drops of water. Chop 100 gr. Gula Jawa (Indonesian palm sugar) and, with 2 tbs. of water, melt in a pot over low heat. Stir and add 50 gr. grated coconut. In a bowl, stir and smoothen 150 gr. sweat red bean paste (also known as adzuki bean paste), possibly adding 1 tbs. water, then add 1 tbs. black sesame seeds. Roll the sweet potato dough into 12 balls. With your thumb press a hole in each and fill 6 balls with the warm coconut filling and 6 balls with the red bean paste. Fold the balls and seal them well. Steam over boiling water for 10 minutes. Then roll the balls through another 50gr. grated coconut and serve immediately.

*for different colours make each half with either yellow, white or purple sweet potatoes.

photography by Alan Jensen