Nothing beats a bowl of cool cendol on hot days, especially if you have a ‘kaw‘ (strong) one made just the way you like it. Each family knows that one cendol store that makes a great bowl of this ice-cold dessert that they claim to be “the best”. While everyone is entitled to their own toppings and syrup to milk ratio, there are a few rules any decent cendol maker must abide by.
Firstly, fresh coconut milk is a must. The creamy and fragrant milk is an integral part of the makeup of a bowl of this sweet delicacy. Next, always use gula Melaka. The nutty and earthy flavour from the dark blocks of sugar provides the signature tan swirl you see in this bowl of dessert. On that note, those slippery green jellies are also another critical factor to a great bowl of this Malaysian favourite as well.
Not too thick and not too thin either; each jelly should be slurp-worthy! And lastly- ice. There are a few schools of thought here- shaved, crushed, cubed- it doesn’t really matter. As long as you’re not downing a hot bowl of cendol, we’re good.
Origin of Cendol
There is a widespread belief that the name cendol originated from the word jendol (bump), in reference to the swollen green worm-like rice flour jelly. However, the origin of cendol is not clear.
What we do know is that this sweet drink is widely spread across Southeast Asia. So, you’re most likely to see variations of this dessert in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.
Cendol Recipe: How to Make Homemade CendolDifficulty: Easy
If you find yourself craving a bowl of cendol, but your go-to stall is closed, try whipping up a batch of homemade cendol for you and the family. It’s simpler than you think!
- For the syrup:
290 g palm sugar (gula melaka)
1 pandan leaves
1⁄2 cup water
- For the jelly:
3⁄4 cup water
8 pandan leaves
55 g rice flour
25 g corn flour
15 g mungbean flour
1⁄4 tsp salt
- For the coconut milk:
1 tin creamed corn
1 tin kidney beans
4 cup coconut milk
8 cup water
1⁄4 tsp salt
- To make the syrup, dissolve the palm sugar in a pot of water together with a piece of knotted pandan leaf at low heat. Set aside after the syrup starts to thicken.
- To make the green jelly, blend pandan leaves with a bit of water to get pandan extract. In a separate bowl, whisk rice flour, corn flour, mung bean flour, salt until homogenous. Then add in the extract and mix well. Pour the mixture into a pot and cook over low heat until it thickens and becomes glossy.
- Then, transfer the cooled green paste into a plastic bag and nip off the end to create a piping bag. Prepare a bowl of ice water with a cup of ice and pipe thin strands of the jelly into the water. The jelly should float and stay separate.
- For the coconut milk, add a pinch of salt to the coconut milk and dilute with water. Set aside. In a large mug, add some of the jelly, cream corn and kidney beans according to your preference. Sweeten the drink with a few spoonfuls of palm sugar syrup. Top up with ice cubes and coconut milk. Drink up!
Ways to enjoy Cendol
One of the best ways to make this dessert better is by adding durian. If you’re a fan of the king of the fruits, you’ll enjoy this mix! If you’re not a fan, you could try adding on some sliced, canned lychees: the more toppings, the merrier.
Explore other popular Malaysian delights with Lokataste Recipe and more!