Green coconut pancakes

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

Fire Islands: Recipes from Indonesia

Fire Islands

By Eleanor Ford

Published 2019

  • About

Jade-coloured pancakes make you assume food colouring is at work (and indeed it often is in Indonesian sweets, dyeing cakes luminous pinks and greens). However, here it is the delicately scented pandan leaves that give these crepes both their colour and bosky sweetness. If you can’t find fresh leaves, you should be able to get pandan paste or extract in an Asian supermarket. Add a teaspoonful to the batter -it may or may not stain it green, depending on the brand. The treacly coconut filling made these my very favourite childhood treat.


  • 10 pandan leaves
  • 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Coconut filling

  • 150 g (scant 1 cup) dark palm sugar (gula jawa), shaved
  • 150 g ( oz) fresh grated coconut or 120 g ( oz) desiccated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 pandan leaves, bruised and tied in a knot


Prepare the filling first by heating the sugar with 200 ml (generous ¾ cup) water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes, until syrupy. Add the coconut (with a good splash of water if using desiccated), cinnamon, pandan leaves and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is dry and sticky. Set aside to cool.

To make the pancakes, blitz the pandan leaves with 500 ml (2 cups) water in a blender. Pass through a fine sieve, keeping the vibrant green liquid.

Tip the flour into a bowl, break in the eggs and slowly whisk in the green water to make a thin, smooth batter. Leave to rest for 15 minutes.

Lightly grease a small 15 cm (6 inch) frying pan and heat over a medium heat. Ladle in a little of the batter, swirl around the pan and cook until it sets and curls at the edges. Flip and cook for about 20 seconds on the other side. Slide onto a plate and repeat with the remaining batter. There is a certain lore with pancakes that the first will never be a success and they will improve as you go.

Fill the pancakes and roll them up to serve.