I always make this for gatherings. This recipe makes about 80 balls for about 15-20 people. To make smaller portion, just reduce the portion accordingly.
Ingredients (makes about 80 balls)
about 400g orange flesh sweet potato
about 150g Gula Melaka, finely chopped
250g grated coconut (store bought pack)
about 240g glutinous rice flour
about 100ml water
A pinch of salt
1. Finely chop the blocks of gula melaka. Set aside.
2. Prepare a steamer, peel and cut the sweet potato into smaller pieces. Steam the sweet potato for about 10-15 minutes until they are soft. Do not pour away the liquid, just mash together with a fork and set aside.
3. Spread the grated coconut evenly on a plate. Sprinkle some salt on the grated coconut . Mix well and steam for about 10-15 minutes. If you have pandan leaves, you can add a few leaves for fragrance. Set aside to cool.
4. While the mashed sweet potato is still warm and moist, add some flour and a pinch of salt and mix to combine. Add some water when the mixture is too dry. Alternate flour and water and mix with your hand to form a soft dough. This step takes about 10 minutes for me. Do worry if they don't come together in the beginning, do it slowly adding bit of flour and water and you will get a soft dough.
Note that you may not need to use all the flour and water stated or you could need more as it depends on the sweet potato. Some are more moist than others.
You need to be able to roll the dough into small balls without it cracking and falling apart, so adjust by adding more water or flour until you get a soft smooth dough. When you pinch the dough, it should somewhat be like your earlobe. ( If you like firmer balls, you can add more flour )
5. Roll the dough into small balls about 2.5-3.0cm diameter (I like them small). You can make bigger balls according to your preference. Flatten slightly and use your thumb to press to create an indent in the centre. Add a small scoop of palm sugar in the center. Bring the edges up to enclose . Roll again to form a ball. Repeat until dough is used up.
6. Bring a pot of water to boil. Drop the balls in batches. When the balls float to the surface, remove, drain and drop them on the grated coconut. Roll the balls to coat well.
7. Let cool before serving. The balls will firm up slightly after cooled.