Cucur Badak / Sweet Potato with Spicy Coconut Filling

May 24, 2013
Sweet Potato dough with Spicy Coconut  Filling

What do Malaysians do when they get together?

We would feast on Malaysian food of course. Everyone will make /cook and bring something that reminded us of Malaysia. It will be like a mini 'Pasar Malam' or night market that sells delicious, scrumptious Malaysian delicacy.
E or D (or sometimes both) would ask "Mom, what are you making for the party?"

cucur badak

This time round, it was E who posed the question...
me : I am making something with sweet potato and its called Cucur Badak 
E : what's that? (asked the girl with limited knowledge of Malay words...) 
I see a window of opportunity to wind her up...  who would need an enemy when you have a mom like me
me: English ~ that would be Deep Fried Hippopotamus
E: *rolling her eyes* Seriously?...
Spicy coconut in sweet potato dumplings

Cucur means deep fried finger food, either sweet or savoury
Badak means Hippopotamus

So I wasn't wrong... was I?

One may find Cucur Badak in most Malaysians or Singaporeans or Indonesians blogs. None of us could resist sharing thus shout to the world about these fantabulous morsels.
It is one of our lovable kuihs /snacks /bites of all time, made of sweet potato dough and fill it up with spicy coconut filling, then deep fry till golden. Just like doughnuts with savoury fillings.

We will have it for breakfast or for afternoon tea.
Delicious to have Cucur Badak with Malaysian coffee.

Malaysian kuih

Note : Hippopotamus came to no harm here ... so Don't go round chasing hippopotamus, yeah  

Cucur Badak /Sweet Potato with Spicy Coconut Filling

Makes about 20 pieces
 click to Print

500 g sweet potato - peeled (I used kumara –orange colour sweet potato)
180 g plain flour

2 cups of oil for deep frying

75 g shredded coconut (in dried forms from grocer)
20 g dried shrimps
75 g shallots
2 lemongrass stalks – finely chopped
10 pieces dried chillies – washed and soaked
¼ teaspoon coriander seeds- ground
¼ teaspoon fennel- ground
¼ teaspoon cumin- ground
¼ teaspoon turmeric
10 g galangal
3 tablespoon sugar (to taste)
200 ml coconut cream
1 teaspoon salt

Make the Filling in advance....
  1. Blend dried chillies, galangal, lemongrass, spices, turmeric, shallots and dried shrimps with 3 tablespoon of oil. 
  2. Heat up 2 tablespoon of oil in a wok. 
  3. Saute the blended ingredients above until aromatic. 
  4. Add in dried shredded coconut, coconut cream and salt to taste. 
  5. Stir for 5 minutes until the mixture is well mixed. 
  6. Add sugar and give it a good stir. 
  7. Transfer to a bowl and leave it to cool.

Now onto the Dough...
  1. Cut sweet potato into chunks and place in a microwaveable container. 
  2. Microwave or use the function for ‘Root Veg’ on your microwave (if there is one), until soft (or steam until soft). check with your manual.
  3. Leave it to cool. 
  4. Drain off the water.  
  5. Mash the sweet potato. 
  6. Add plain flour and mix into smooth dough.
  7. Roll into a 35g ball of dough. 
  8. Flatten into a disc. 
  9. Fill up with 1-2 teaspoon of filling (approximate weight of 10g). 
  10. Enclose the filling with the dough. 
  11. Optional: if you have a small shrimp, gently placed it on top of the dough prior to frying.
  12. Heat up 2 cups of oil in a deep saucepan. 
  13. Fry until its turn colour to golden brown. 
  14. Serve immediately


  1. Hi Lisa
    It has been ages I had this! I remember I learnt to make this was in Home Science class. Looking at your cucur badak bring back some memories in school days. Yourcucur badak must be taste great with all that spices in.

    1. Thanks Mel, its nice to eat in cold wet Auckland :P

  2. That looks delicious! A wonderful combination of spices.

    The first click is wonderful!



  3. I always love the combination of potatoes and coconut and looking at the photos I am pretty sure this will taste awesome.

  4. Love your shots, Lisa! Was that an old table top or props for your photography? :D

    1. Hi Chef,
      Thank you :D
      Its one of few props that I have :D

  5. Lovely pictures Lisa! I love the dark wood of the table and the contrast with the cucur badak

  6. I love sweet potato and this is such an interesting and unique way to serve it.

  7. I love sweet potatoes! This looks wonderful - I especially love that you made with coconut!