Black Rice (Boo Boo Cha Cha)

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Black rice is coloured red due to its anthocyanin content and has a gentle nutty flavour has its own beautiful fragrance like basmati and jasmine rice. The beautiful purplish colour is wonderful to look at as well.  As its unpolished, the endosperm, bran, and germ have a very high nutritional value. When cooked thoroughly it gets sticky due to its gelling capacity which aids in digestion. Making a combination of coconut cream or butter with coconut sugar, rice syrup, and ginger juice or slices, the rice gets such incredible texture and taste when it’s done right.

This dessert is called Bubo Cha Cha, which in the Malay language refers to “Congee” a thick rice porridge and ‘cha cha’ refers to dancing.  You can refer to this as a dance of different cultures. This dessert sounds not only funny but it is very colourful and delicious. The name Bubo chacha is a traditional Nyonya term that comes from the mixture of Malayan, Chinese, Indonesian and Singaporean influence in culinary cooking style. The early settlers from China and India whose mixture with the local Malay, Indonesian are called Peranakan or Nyonya cuisine. In the Malaysian language, the word nonya is a way to address an older lady with respect and affection, especially for elderly women. It is similar when you become acquainted with an elderly lady and established a cordial relationship, you address her as aunty or madame. The Nyonya style of cooking food is aromatic, tangy, spicy with local herbs.

Black Rice Bubo Chacha

Dessert Asian
By Dada Shivananada Serves: 3-4
Prep Time: 15 mins Cooking Time: 45 mins Total Time: 1 hour

Let's try something unique ad different by making Black rice Bubo Chacha that is a true essence of an amalgam of cultures.


  • Plain and simply
  • 1 cup red rice
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 block of coconut bar
  • 2 tablespoon sliced or grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cups of water to cook the rice thoroughly
  • 1 cup rice syrup if unavailable use (optional) coconut sugar and dark brown molasses
  • A pinch of salt.
  • Options include
  • 1 ripe golden banana
  • 1 purple sweet potato or any sweet variety will do
  • Lemongrass essence oil



Slightly rinse the rice in water and cook rice with 4 cups of normal water over medium heat in a high pot.


As the rice gets cooked, the water will reduce. When rice gets creamy, add ginger, a cup of coconut milk, and simmer for a few minutes, then remove from heat. The Black rice is delicious, simply as it is, and ready to serve with a dash of coconut milk or cream. For elaborate options, continue the instruction below.



As the rice is almost cooked,


Separately boil sweet potato until soft, cut into bite-size cubes. Cut small dices of banana and add them to the rice.


Finally, remove from heat and add a drop of lemongrass or vanilla oil (optional) over the dessert. The rich fragrance and is absolutely delightful.


Serve it in a shallow bowl with a topping of coconut milk or cream as you please, it's ready to serve hot and creamy.


This keeps for two days in the refrigerator. Enjoy this Yummy Asian breakfast and snack. You can also buy crystallized ginger from any local Asian shop as a replacement for fresh ginger for this dessert.

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