February 6, 2009

Bone marrow porridge

Okay, okay... it's not actually the stuff you extract from an animal's bone, but a dessert named so because of its rich, melt-in-your-mouth texture that resembles cooked bone marrow (sumsum in Indonesian).

Bubur sumsum can be easily made at home from rice flour, coconut milk, sugar and salt, but more often than not, people simply buy it from the bubur sumsum vendor that hawks his stuff around the neighborhood (which is how I got this bowlful of goodies).

At its most basic, this white 'porridge' is eaten warm, topped with a sauce of thinned coconut milk or a syrup made from palm sugar. Others, like the street vendor I bought it from, treat the soft snowy mounds as a canvas for a myriad of toppings, as pictured above. Each of the 'topping' is also a dessert on their own terms: there are the yolk-like orbs of chewy biji salak (their characteristic taste and orange hue comes from a dough made mostly of yam or sweet potato), a spoonful of bubur ketan/pulut hitam (black glutinous rice porridge) and a smattering of pink tapioca pearls.

This was truly a comforting (and filling) dessert, perfect for a cool and rainy day!

If you'd like to make your own Bubur Sumsum, click here for a recipe, courtesy of Zara.

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