“Peranakan, Baba-Nyonya (娘惹) and Straits Chinese (after the Straits of Malacca) (土生華人) are terms used for the culture of the early Chinese immigrants to Malacca on the Malay Peninsula, who intermarried with the Malay population, and later spread throughout the British Straits Settlements to Singapore and Penang. The Peranakan have taken elements from both cultures, for instance from their Malay origin a unique (and very tasty) cuisine has developed making use of the abundant spices found in Malaysia (examples are Chicken Kapitan, a dry chicken curry, and Inchi Kabin, a Nyonya version of fried chicken). The women (Nyonyas) have taken to wearing the baju kebaya (a Malay dress, seen most notably as the uniform of Malaysia Airlines' female flight attendants). However, the Peranakan eschewed Islam, preferring the ancestral worship of the Chinese, although some have now converted to Christianity. The wedding ceremony of the Peranakan is mostly Chinese, and is one of the most fascinating wedding ceremonies in Malaysia. Their language, Baba Malay, is a dialect of the Malay language, which contains many Hokkien words. However, only members of the older generation still use it in daily life.”
Now back to Bubur ChaCha….this dessert can be eaten warm or cold and is enjoyed by many Malaysians and Singaporeans. If you are watching your waist line or your calorie intake, this is not the dessert for you! This dessert is super duper rich with thick coconut cream as base and contain pieces of sweet potatoes, yam, tapioca, banana and sometimes black eye pea bean. There is a slight variation from one Bubur Chacha to another, but the key ingredients are usually the same; sweet potatoes, yam and tapioca!
I made some last week using sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, yam, and large tapioca pearls (colored pink) cooked those in a thick rich coconut cream flavored with pandaneus leaves. Sugar and a pinch of salt were added to the dessert right before serving. Mmm… I wish I had some bananas to add in the dessert; that would have been perfect! The large tapioca pearls (dry) took a while to cook, so next time I might resort to either making my own tapioca pieces or just use the small tapioca pearls.Remember, my posting about how Malaysian and Filipino desserts are similar? Well, this is another similar dessert that we share! It is known as “Ginataang Halo Halo” in the Filipino community. Again, I found this out last year at Chris’s nephew’s birthday party. His family member made some of this dessert and boy was I pleased to see it coz I love Bubur Chacha! The taste and ingredients were almost spot on like how we have it in Malaysia except they added Jackfruit pieces which was equally yummy!
I did not follow any specific recipe to make this dessert and just eyeballed everything myself. So if you’re interested to make a batch of this dessert, I suggest for you to refer to Lily’s Wai Sek Hong for the Bubur Chacha recipe. I have not tried this recipe of hers, but am sure it’s as wonderful as other recipes that I’ve tried from her!