Wedang Ronde: Dessert Glutinous Rice Balls in Sweet Ginger Soup

Glutinous rice balls in a sweet soup of ginger, palm sugar, and pandan leaves — an Indonesian version of Tang Yuan, a Chinese dessert.

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

Wedang ronde is an Indonesian adaptation of tangyuan, a Chinese glutinous rice ball served in a hot broth or syrup. Wedang itself is the Javanese word for beverage, and ronde is a Dutch word for round. 

The round ball is made of glutinous rice flour, filled with crushed peanuts and sugar. The technique in making the ball is pretty much similar to making klepon. The sticky balls are served in a sweet ginger soup, prepared using fresh ginger, palm sugar and pandan leaves. 

Ginger is known to have several health benefits and it is also delicious when made into a drink. Because of its ability to make the body feel warm, ginger drinks are usually consumed when the weather is cold. As winter does not exist in Indonesia, wedang ronde or other ginger based drinks are popular at night or during the rainy season. 

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When I was little, I used to have a very simple wedang ronde, consisting of a small bowl of gingery soup with 2 or 3 sticky rice balls. The balls were always white — no colorful balls! Some peanuts might have been sprinkled, but that’s it. 

Wedang ronde has somehow evolved to be more colorful and attractive, though there are no changes in flavour. The vibrant glutinous balls swimming in the light clear brown ginger syrup make a great presentation. As long as the soup base and the dough are correct, all is good.

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Wedang Ronde: Dessert Glutinous Rice Balls in Sweet Ginger Soup

Wedang Ronde: Dessert Glutinous Rice Balls in Sweet Ginger Soup

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Wedang ronde is an Indonesian version of tang yuan, a popular Chinese dessert consisting of glutinous rice balls in a sweet soup. Here, the rice balls are cooked with ginger, palm sugar, and pandan leaves.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 25 gr roasted skinless peanuts
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 200 gr glutinous rice flour
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 120 ml warm water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 drops green food colouring
  • 2 drops pink red food colouring
  • 200 gr fresh ginger
  • 2 pandan leaves, knotted
  • 1 lt water
  • 100 gr palm sugar
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • Water for boiling
  • 50 gr sugar palm fruit, boil for around 15 minutes, cool and slice (optional)
  • Roasted peanuts for garnish

Instructions

  1. Put 1 lt of water in a cooking pan.
  2. Add the warm water to the flour mixture little by little while mixing it with a tablespoon. Make sure not to add too much water to avoid watery dough.
  3. Continue doing the same thing until you are done with all the dough.
  4. Put the balls in the serving bowls, add the sliced palm sugar fruit and the ginger soup.

Notes

  • To get a perfectly smooth round ball, after the ball is shaped, put it in the boiling water immediately until done.
  • The amount of ginger and sugar can be adjusted according to your preference.

Keywords: Non-spicy, palm sugar, pandan leaves, tang yuan

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