Onde Onde


These Indonesian dessert dumplings traditionally call for fresh coconut, which adheres to the brown-sugar-filled dumplings more readily than packaged coconut. Pandan, popular in Southeast Asian cooking, has a floral aroma and a slightly nutty flavor. It also adds a green tint to the dessert.


  • 2 cups glutinous rice flour, plus more for dusting and rolling

  • ¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons canned unsweetened coconut milk

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons pandan essence, optional

  • ¼ cup packed dark-brown sugar

  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut (see Cook's Note)


  1. Stir together flour, coconut milk, and salt in a medium bowl until a thick paste forms. Add pandan if desired, drop by drop, until dough is very pale green.

  2. With floured hands, roll 2 tablespoons dough into a ball, and use your thumb to make a deep indentation in center. Place 1/2 teaspoon sugar in center, pinch to enclose sugar, and press to seal. Roll into a ball. Roll in flour to coat lightly, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dumplings.

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 6 dumplings, and gently stir to prevent them from sticking together. Cook until filling has melted, 10 to 12 minutes (you will need to remove a dumpling and break it open to check). Using a slotted spoon, transfer dumplings to a clean kitchen towel, rolling them gently to dry slightly. Repeat.

  4. Place coconut on a plate, and roll warm dumplings in coconut to coat. Let cool completely. Serve immediately, or wrap tightly in plastic. Dumplings are best the day they are made.

Cook's Notes

How to Grate Fresh Coconut: Wrap the coconut in a clean kitchen towel. Crack the coconut around its equator with a meat mallet or a hammer, and let the liquid drip out into a bowl. Use the mallet to break the coconut into pieces that are small enough to handle. Use a table knife to pry flesh from shell, inserting the knife between shell and flesh and twisting. Grate the coconut on the large holes of a box grater. Grated coconut is best the day you make it; store it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out.

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