Bubur cha cha with black sesame seeds

What is bubur cha cha? In Malay, “bubur” means “porridge”, and “cha cha” means “well”My grandma said it should be “che che” in Hokkien Penang spoken language which means “prosperity”. My grandma doesn’t have a proper amount for the ingredients nor method.

To me, it’s just a coconut milk dessert; come from Malaysia-Nyonya (Peranakan Chinese), which make up of a mixture of sweet potatoes (in yellow, orange, and purple colour), yam and a few other ingredients that my grandma used to make for us during festive seasons in Penang and when we requested.

 Since I last made the bubur cha cha in April. I decided to try it again with less coconut milk and adding black sesame seeds. To make it colourful and have different texture and flavour. Let’s cook!!!!


150 g sago
1 small sweet potato, cut to bite size
1/2 yam, cut to bite size
330 ml can coconut milk
120-140 g granulated sugar, to taste
750 ml -1 L water
water to microwave yam and sweet potato
a pinch of salt
black sesame seeds, garnish


Microwave yam, and sweet potato until cooked about 22-28 minutes, drain and set aside. Boil sago on medium heat in a large pot with 250 ml water, give it a quick stir. Remember to stir occasionally and reduce heat for 10 minutes, until translucent. Remove from hob.

Next add 500ml water to the cooked sago to prevent them from clumping together. Give a couple of stir again; checking the bottom not stuck before putting back on hob; medium heat. Now add 120 g sugar, adjust the sweetness according to taste. Then, add 200 ml coconut milk and salt. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolved. When sugar had dissolved, reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add in cooked yam, and sweet potato into the sago and coconut milk mixture. See if not creamy, add the remaining 130 ml coconut milk. Let it simmer, stir occasionally for about 10 minutes. During simmering taste again for sweetness, add about 10 g sugar or 20 g if you like it sweeter. I didn’t add anymore sugar. The texture should be soft not clumpy and thick. If too thick add about 200 ml water and mix well. Serve it cold or hot or warm up to individual. I serve mine with black sesame seeds.

Note:  You can make more or less the portion. You can add the other colour sweet potatoes and banana. You can use palm sugar and add pandan leaves.