Bubur cha cha with coconut milk skim milk and 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.

The more I practice the better it gets. I had certainly got it right like both grandma and mom texture. However, I didn’t have enough coconut milk, so I have added skim milk and to it banana with sesame seeds. I am glad it turned out well delicious and new creation. Let’s cook!!!


150 g sago
1 small, sweet potato, cut to bite size
1/4 yam, cut to bite size
1 – 1 1/2 L water
165 ml can coconut milk
135 ml skim milk
120 -150 g granulated sugar, to taste
750 ml -1 L water
a pinch of salt


5 cut pieces banana
sesame seeds


Microwave yam and sweet potato until cooked about 15 -20 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 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 65 ml milk mixture. See if not creamy, add the remaining skim milk. Let it simmer, stir occasionally for about 10 minutes. During simmering taste again for sweetness, add the remaining 30 g sugar, texture: soft not clumpy and creamy 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 some banana and sesame seeds.

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