Glutinous Rice Balls in Thick Cane Sugar Syrup Recipe

Glutinous Rice Balls in Thick Cane Sugar Syrup


  1. 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, steamed/boiled, mashed
  2. 300 gr (approximately) glutinous rice flour
  3. 1/4 cup water
  4. 1 L water for the syrup
  5. Canned jackfruits, cut into small pieces
  6. 300 gr cane sugar, break into small pieces
  7. 100 gr sugar
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 3 tbsp rice flour, dissolved in water
  10. 250 ml coconut milk
  11. 1/4 tsp salt for the coconut milk
  12. 4 pandan leaves, knotted

How to make Glutinous Rice Balls in Thick Cane Sugar Syrup

By reading glutinous rice balls you must have thought that this was a mochi recipe. Well, it's quite close actually. They both have similar tastes in terms of the texture, since they both use the same main ingredient. This is a traditional Indonesian dessert. There are many traditional Indonesian pastries and desserts that use glutinous rice flour and and rice flour. This is one of my favourites, because it's quite simple and easy. You don't need those special kitchen tools and equipments to make this (you know, the uber traditional ones that are only available in the origin country).

OH, and one of the differences beside we eat it in a thick syrup, is that this recipe uses mashed sweet potatoes in it. Actually, I don't know if the official recipe in Indonesia uses mashed sweet potatoes in it or not, but I can guarantee you, it really MATTERS!!! Once I made this without the sweet potatoes (only glutinous rice flour & water). The first day, hmm oh yeah it's SO delicious! Well you know the soft and chewy texture of mochi, right? It existed, BUT!!! The next day and the day after that?? It was soooooo hard I could break a window if I threw it over. And finally, my hubby, being as charming as ever (j/k darling :D), FINALLY remembered his mom's secret ingredient of this: sweet potatoes, the savior!!! THEN, we made this again, we refrigerated it for DAYS (it's far better when eaten cold btw), and it's still as soft and chewy as the first day we made it. YAAAYYY!!!

Right, and one more thing, I must apologize that I rarely measure my ingredients when making a dish. I usually just use my intuition. I know, I know it's a crime for a chef. But what can I say, I'm just a housewife, I always have FUN when cooking..*shrugs*.. So, when you make this it's better to suit your own taste, whether it's the sweetness or the thickness of the syrup :)

Okey dokey, so this is how we do it:

  1. In a bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes, water and salt. Mix it well
  2. Mix in the glutinous rice flour. 300 gr maybe enough for 2 medium sized sweet potatoes (I bought a 400 gr pack), but just adjust it, it should be enough if the dough is not sticky anymore when you knead it with your hand
  3. Make bite sized balls out of the dough. Set aside
  4. Meanwhile, boil water for the syrup, add cane sugar, sugar and 3 knotted pandan leaves. Stir until the cane sugar is dissolved. 
  5. Using a small strainer, strain the syrup mixture (sometimes there are small itsy bitsy parts of cane sugar that you just want to get rid of)
  6. After the syrup boils, drop the cutesy balls slowly. Cook until the balls float.
  7. Stir in the dissolved rice flour, keep stirring until it thickens. Drop in the jackfruits, cook until it boils
  8. Let it cool off. You can take out the pandan leaves if you want

Coconut milk sauce:
Boil the coconut milk with salt and 1 knotted pandan leaves

You can serve it while it's still hot. Or you can refrigerate it first and serve it cold. Serve the glutinous rice balls and the syrup with a drizzle of coconut milk sauce. 

  • I'm not quite sure if I translated the cane sugar in English correctly. Some people translate it as Palm Sugar (Indonesian Sugar: Gula Merah). Like this one. Another said Gula Merah (Pure Cane Sugar). But I'm pretty sure in Europe you'll find it in Asian grocery stores (preferably in Southeast Asian stores) in the name Cane Sugar. 
  • Like I've said, you can adjust the recipe into your own personal preference, e.g if you like it sweeter (or not) you can adjust the amount of cane sugar and sugar. Also, I don't like the syrup to be too thick, so if you like it thicker just add more rice flour :)

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