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Bubur Cha Cha

A Southeast Asian/Malaysian Chinese dessert soup made with taro, yams, tapioca jellies, sago pearls in a flavourful pandan coconut milk.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Malaysian, Southeast Asian
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 177kcal
Author Michelle


  • 1 large taro root peeled and diced
  • 1 medium yellow yam peeled and diced
  • 1 medium purple yam peeled and diced
  • 3 C water
  • 2-3 discs palm sugar (sweeten to taste)
  • 3-4 pandan leaves knotted
  • 1 ½ cans coconut milk

Pink Tapioca Jellies:

  • 50 g tapioca starch
  • ¼ C hot boiled water
  • 8 g pink pitaya powder

Sago Pearls:

  • ½ C dried sago pearls
  • 1 C water


Boil the taro and yam:

  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add in the diced taro and yam. Boil until taro and yam have softened, about 10-15 minutes. Drain into a colander and set aside.

Make the tapioca jellies:

  • Next, make the tapioca jellies. Put the tapioca starch and pink pitaya powder into a medium bowl and add in the hot boiling water. Use a spatula to mix until a dough forms. If the dough feels too dry, add in a little water at a time. The consistency should feel like playdough.
  • Use your hands to knead the dough and transfer it onto a flat surface. Roll into a long coil and cut into desired shape. Or flatten with a rolling pin and use a small cookie cutter to cut out shapes (like I did with the stars). Dust with additional tapioca starch if it's too sticky.
  • Fill a small pot with water and bring to a boil. Add in the tapioca jellies and cook for about 6-7 minutes, until they float to the top. Strain out the jellies and set aside in a clean bowl.

Cook the sago pearls:

  • Using a small pot, add in the 1 C water and bring to a boil.
  • Pour in the sago pearls, give it a quick stir and turn off the heat. Remove the pot from heat and replace the lid. Give it a stir every so often. The sago pearls will be cooked when they're translucent, about 20-30 minutes.


  • In a large pot, add the 3 C of water and the palm sugar discs. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  • Tie the pandan leaves into a knot and throw them into the pot. When the sugar has completely dissolved, bring the heat down to a simmer and stir in the coconut milk. Remove the pandan leaves.
  • Next, gently add the cooked taro, yam, tapioca jellies, and sago pearls into the coconut milk. When the mixture is warmed through, turn off the heat and serve.
  • Serve bubur cha cha warm or chilled.


Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 429mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 53IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 2mg