Sweet Potato Stew (BuBur Cha Cha)


DSC02751 sFirstly, I’ve to apologize for a massive disappearance as I spent the last 1 1/2 months moving from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Now that I’m finally settled, I have a kitchen to cook in again and it feels great.  What’s even better is of course being back blogging at A Skinny Dish.

As this is my first post from KL, it’s only fitting that I share with you a fiercely popular dessert here in Malaysia called Bubur Cha Cha or Sweet Potato stew.  It’s in fact a sweet dish traditional to the Nyonyas (Indonesian/Malaysian Chinese) that’s simply a Pandan flavored coconut soup with steamed sweet potato and yam cubes along with tapioca pearls.  For those not so familiar, Nyonya cuisine uses Chinese ingredients but is largely influenced by Malay and Indian cooking resulting a taste that’s much stronger compared to traditional Chinese food.

DSC02702But as always, this is my take on Bubur Cha Cha which means its wholesome & healthy unlike the refined sugar-loaded original but still so delicious.  So whether you decide to make this sweet dish with a twist for dessert or breakfast, trust me you’re going go Bubur and Cha Cha.

Sweet Potato Stew (BuBur Cha Cha)

Recipe type: Breakfast, Sweet treats, Vegan, Dairy free

Author: www.askinnydish.com

Serves: 6-8 (depending on size of serving bowl)


  • 3/4 cup Purple sweet potato (diced into cubes)
  • 3/4 cup Orange sweet potato (diced into cubes)
  • 3/4 cup Taro (diced into cubes. maybe called Yam in certain countries)
  • 1 Banana (sliced. make sure its ripe but still firm)
  • 2 heaping tbsp Black-eyed peas (rinsed, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes)
  • 3 tbsp Pearl Barley (rinsed)
  • 2-3 Pandan leaves (tied with a knot in the middle)
  • 1/2 cup Coconut palm sugar
  • 3/4 cup Coconut milk
  • 750 liters of Water + more for cooking peas & barley
  • Himalayan pink salt (to taste)


  1. Boil the black eyed peas in water with an added pinch of salt over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes until softened but not mushy. Drain well & set aside
  2. Bring the Pearl barley to boil in water (ratio approximately 1:3) with an added pinch of salt over high heat. When it reaches a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and continue to cook until done & all the water is absorbed (should be approximately 25 minutes). Leave to cool & set aside.
  3. Steam the potato and taro cubes over high heat until softened. This should take about 20 minutes (test by pricking with fork/toothpick).
  4. Add 750ml of water to a large pot over high heat. When boiling, add coconut palm sugar and pandan leaves. Let boil for 1-2 minutes then reduce heat to simmer for 10-12 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and once it boils again, discard the panda leaves. Keep stirring gently.
  5. Add steamed sweet potato and taro cubes, black eyed peas & pearl barley. Let simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Turn the heat off, add the banana slices and serve hot. If you prefer it cold, let the Bubur Cha Cha cool down, transfer to the fridge and serve it chilled or even over crushed iced.


Remember to go organic as much as you can!


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