I’m a big fan of the Indonesian cuisine. I could eat rendang in particular almost every day. But the Indonesian cuisine also has several sweet treats. Think spekkoek, a layered cake. Cakes in different bright colors with crazy flavors also do well among the locals. An Indonesian dessert that I love is klepon. These sticky rice balls are filled with palm sugar and coated in grated coconut.
The first time I tried klepon, I was with a friend from high school. During school breaks, we often went to her house and regularly made klepon. During my travel in Indonesia I also ate it a few times, but it had been a while since I had made klepon myself. It therefore took me a few tries to make a perfect klepon. The first time I used rice flour instead of glutinous rice flour. There is not much difference in the name, but there is in the end result! Because of the rice flour, the balls had become hard and dry after cooking. Not quite the intention. Fortunately, my second attempt with glutinous rice flour was very successful!
Klepon balls should therefore be soft and a little sticky. Klepon is green because of the pandan paste, a common ingredient in Indonesian desserts. In principle, all ingredients are available Asian stores.
Ingredients (for 10 – 15 klepon balls)
- 100 grams of ketan flour (glutinous rice flour)
- 1 tbsp rice flour
- pinch of salt
- 100 ml of water
- few drops of pandan paste
- 20-30 grams of Gula Djawa (palm sugar)
- 30-40 grams of coconut grater
Spoon the ketan flour and a tablespoon of rice flour into a bowl with some salt. Mix 100 ml of water with a few drops of pandan paste and add this little by little to the flour with constant stirring. You may not need all the water, or maybe just some more.
In the end, use your hands to knead. The dough is ready when you can make a nice firm ball without tearing quickly.
Chop the palm sugar into small pieces. Take a small piece of dough and roll it into a ball. Press a dimple with your thumb and spoon some palm sugar into it. Close the ball again and roll it between your hands.
Put a pan of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Add the klepon balls one by one and keep the water boiling. The klepon are cooked when they float to the surface. If you have used some bigger pieces of palm sugar, it’s recommended to cook them a little longer so the palm sugar can melt fully.
Spoon the balls out of the pan and coat them in grated coconut on a plate.
Tip: Make sure you buy the right flour, namely ketan flour or glutinous rice flour. So don’t make the same mistake as me to only use rice flour, because this doesn’t work.