Es cendol (or ice cendol) is one of the most beloved dessert in Indonesia, it looks like a tinier version of gummy worms, with bright green color, and infused with the fragrance of pandan leaves :) There are three different parts to a delicious es cendol, palm sugar syrup, coconut milk, and the cendol itself. Since pandan leaves are used in the making of all three parts, es cendol is definitely one of the most heavenly pandan desserts ever created. ♥
Sometimes you might hear some Indonesians call cendol as dawet, and some call cendol as cendol. Turned out, both are right since there are actually two kinds of super similar looking desserts with super similar taste and almost similar texture. So what’s the difference?
Some of you might have tried very similar-looking dessert from your visit to Indonesia, or maybe Malaysia or Singapore. In most cases, what you tried was more likely cendol (a guaranteed 100% if your visit was to Malaysia/Singapore). Even for Indonesians, what most people get nowadays is cendol, unless the sellers specifically say “es dawet” in their menu.
I will give you two options in my recipe, but I think most people will love cendol more than dawet.
If you want to make cendol, you will need:
If you want to make dawet, you will need:
Whether you choose to make cendol or dawet, I highly recommend adding a little amount of lye water (1 teaspoon if you follow my recipe) to the cendol/dawet batter. Lye water adds chewiness and firmer texture to the final product, and the texture will be closer to what you get from cendol/dawet sellers. Also, if you don’t plan to serve the cendol/dawet immediately, the lye water helps retain the bright green color of the pandan in your cendol/dawet.
To get the bright green signature color of cendol/dawet, we rely on pandan leaves. You can use anywhere from 50 gram to 80 gram of pandan leaves for this recipe. Both will be super fragrant, but the 80 gram will give a much darker green color, while the 50 gram will be on the paler side. If you have a lot of supply of pandan leaves, I highly suggest the 80 gram option.
If you don’t have a fine-mesh strainer, you can place a coffee filter over your regular strainer. That way, you don’t end up with pureed pandan leaves in your cendol/dawet.
Regardless of whether you choose to make cendol or dawet, the cooking and shaping process is the same.
When it comes to shaping cendol, you have several options:
Cendol/dawet has no taste. Some people add a very minimal amount of sugar and salt to these, but even these will be super bland. The best way to enjoy cendol/dawet is by preparing es cendol/es dawet! You will need:
Once you have everything, let’s prepare this super simple version of es cendol by doing the following: