It’s my fourth time participating Ramadhan event regularly held by Lubna Karim of Yummy Food. This year Lubna has a different way of showing various foods from Moslem bloggers around the world. She specifically asked some food bloggers to write a post of Ramadhan along with a recipe of their favorite dishes commonly served during Ramadhan. When she offered me personally, of course I agreed and said yes to her, because I can share one of traditional and my most favorite recipe and a little story of Ramadan in my country, Indonesia.
My Ramadan this year is a complete different than the previous ones. After my father died last March, of course Ramadhan has never been the same anymore. My dad used to break the fast with a lukewarm tea, then he prayed maghrib before finally eating one or two fritters or drinking his favorite coconut ice. Before the Isha time, he went to the mosque and waiting for the Isha and tarawih prayers. Yes, I really miss those times with my dad.
Indonesia as a country with the largest Muslim population, will experience little change during Ramadhan. People would reduce physical activity during the day, most of the restaurants were closed and will reopen late afternoon and the best part is a lot of food vendors offering a wide variety of iftar meals. It’s like food party everywhere. Fritters, green bean porridge, fried bananas, numbers of fruit soup, compote with coconut milk and more. So, it doesn’t matter if you don’t cook iftar meal , because you can choose and buy any kind of dish you want. Feast your eyes on annual food Ramadhan festivals.
Especially for Lubna, I made one of my dad’s favorite sweet dish, it’s sweet potato balls in coconut sugar syrup. In Indonesia, we call it biji salak (snake fruit seeds) because the sweet potato balls are about the size of snake fruit seeds. The funny sensation when I eat those soft chewy balls and the coconut sugar syrup make it a perfect natural sweetness. Some sellers combine the sweet potato balls with rice pudding and sell them all in a plastic cup. I chose this dish aside from it is very easy to cook, it also uses inexpensive materials. You may try to make it with your kids. My biggest hope that this recipe can inspire you when looking for a recipe for an iftar meal. Hope you like it!
Sweet potato balls in coconut sugar syrup
- 150 gr sweet potatoes, wash, peeled and diced
- 75 gr sago
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 liter water
- 250 gr coconut sugar, chop coarsely
- 2 pandan leaves
- ½ tsp salt
- dissolve 20 gr sago in 100 ml water (sago water)
- Sauce: Bring water, coconut sugar and pandan leaves to boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat. Strain.
- Sweet potato balls: Steam sweet potato dices for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat. Transfer into a bowl, mash while sweet potatoes still hot. Add sago and salt, knead to a soft dough. Take a small pinch of the dough and form into balls. Repeat until the dough is finished. Set aside.
- Bring the coconut sugar syrup to boil over medium heat. Put all balls into the coconut sugar syrup. Wait until all balls float. Add sago water and keep stirring until it thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Coconut milk: Boil gently coconut milk, pandan leaf and salt in a pan. Stir gently. Remove from the heat.
- Serve sweet potato balls with coconut milk.