Klepon is Indonesian’s sweet made from sticky glutinous rice flour with a round shape (about 3 cm diameter), melting sweet palm sugar inside and saluted with grated coconut on the outside. Klepon is maybe one of the most popular Indonesian sweets where you can easily buy on the market daily. Klepon comes in many colors, it can be generally in white, green (the most common one), and dark purple. The white color klepon uses no coloring, the color of green klepon is traditionally derived from a shrub type of leaves called Suji (Dracaena Angustifolia) or pandan essence, the dark purple klepon is made from black glutinous rice, this type of klepon is much more difficult to make because dark glutinous rice is more difficult to handle than the white one.
One of the disadvantages of living abroad is the difficulty in finding foods you normally eat and easily buy at home. In Holland when you are lucky you can sometimes buy klepon in Asian Grocery stores in Amsterdam or Indonesian take outs, the only problem is that it never tasted as good as when you eat it at home. The Best klepon I have ever tasted was when I was on holiday on Bali, it was klepon from ibu Wayan one of the vendors I met at Denpasar morning market, and she was so kind to shared her recipe with me. Her klepon is famous because of the sticky –ness of the dough and just the right amount of melting palm sugar which burst generously giving the sensation of “melting in the mouth “on each bite. Thanks to ibu Wayan I can now make klepon at home which tasted almost as good as hers.
- 300 grams glutinous rice flour
- 4 tablespoons warm water
- 150ml warm coconut milk
- 50ml water from Suji/Pandan leaves
- 1/2 tablespoon of limewater (air kapur)
- 200 grams finely chopped palm sugar
- 1 young grated coconut
- Salt to taste
- Place the glutinous rice flour in a mixing bowl and add warm water, salt, suji/pandan water and limewater.
- Slowly add the coconut milk, Stop adding coconut milk when the dough forms a ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl but doesn’t stick to your hands.
- Pull off about 1 teaspoon of dough and flatten into a disc. Place about 1/2 teaspoon of palm sugar in the middle. Fold up the edges and seal completely. Roll into a ball about 2 to 3 cm in diameter with the palms of your hands. Place on an oiled plate. Repeat until all the dough or sugar is finished.
- Heat a large pot of water until it starts to boil.
- Prepare a large bowl of cold water. Combine the grated coconut and a little salt on a plate.
- Drop the balls one by one into the boiling water, making sure not to overcrowd the pot because the balls can stick to each other. When they float to the surface, let them cook for one more minute.
- Remove the balls with a slotted spoon and dunk them in the cold water.
- When they are cool, remove and drain well before rolling in the coconut-salt mixture.
- Serve immediately.
Tips & Notes:
If you can not find Suji/Pandan leaves, you can use pandan essence (you can purchase this on many Asian stores). To prevent the dough from sticking to your hand, cover your hand with flour when you working with the dough. In the absent of fresh coconut, use sweetened desiccated coconut instead. Be careful when you eating klepon for the first time, Bear in mind not to bite the ball as the palm sugar will burst out and dirt your face and cloths, put the whole ball in your mouth and chew it slowly.