Mama Chan taught me how to make these and I am pleased to have been able
to show a few friends the technique, and now I can share it with the world wide web!

Makes about 20.
1 c boiled kumara, peeled and mashed (purple flesh but you can use the orangey ones if you like)
1 ½ c glutinous rice flour (available at Asian grocers. This does not have gluten in it;
it’s called glutinous because of the sticky nature of the flour when it’s cooked)
½ c sugar (could be icing, brown, white)

Mix together and knead until smooth. Add a little water if it’s too doughy or more flour
if it’s too sticky. At this stage you can wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 10-15 mins if you like.
Heat some oil for frying in a pot/high-sided pan.
Make kumara dough into 1-inch size balls and roll in a plate with about ½ c sesame seeds in it
(I always try to use unhulled).
When the oil is hot place one ball in and time how long it takes to come to the surface.
Should take about 3 mins, then cook for another minute or two until it’s golden brown.
Put a bunch of balls in to fry, careful not to crowd the pot. All up the balls should take less than
6 mins to cook so adjust your oil temperature accordingly.
Here’s a slightly different approach from Mama Chan: after about a minute in the oil, press
down the balls with a metal spatula or draining spoon. The balls will rise to the surface and
become more disc-shaped, and therefore easier to turn over.
Drain on a paper towel. Serve hot or cold.

These are so moreish they’ll be gone before you can say “kumara-sesame-balls-with-gloo-tin-
iss-rice-flour”. My friend Annabelle Guinness in Matakana loved these when I made them for
her one day. She has made her version by putting a quail egg inside the kumara ball before
frying! It becomes quite a big kumara ball and she calls it a Chinese Whisper. She sells them
every Saturday morning at the Matakana Farmers’ Market, along with other delicious homemade
treats such as fish stew, polenta and stewed plums and churros. Annabelle also makes her
range of Love Sorbet, Love Soup (shitake mushroom tea is my fave) and Love Fudge.
If you visit her, tell her I said hi!