Cendol

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

Jackfruit and Blue Ginger

Jackfruit and Blue Ginger

By Sasha Gill

Published 2019

  • About

This colourful drink is traditionally made with coconut milk, red adzuki beans and emerald, jelly-like noodles. Luminescent and unsettlingly worm-like, the jelly noodles can be a bit hard to wrap your head around – but trust me, cendol just isn’t quite the same without them. You will need a cheese grater with large holes, which you can use to squeeze the jelly through and create the little strands. Otherwise, a slotted spoon with circular holes or something similar will do the trick.

Cendol is generally served over shaved ice or very cold: oh-so-inviting in the tropical heat of Singapore, but equally enticing even if it’s cold and rainy in your corner of the world.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (100 g) lightly packed grated palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 pandan leaf, knotted
  • 1 cup (125 ml) crushed ice – optional
  • ¾ cup (95 g) cooked adzuki beans – optional
  • 1 x 400 ml tin coconut milk

Pandan jelly

  • 1/3 cup (55 g) rice flour
  • tablespoons (15 g) tapioca starch
  • 2 teaspoons pandan extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ice cubes

Method

Put the sugar and pandan leaf in a small saucepan with ¼ cup (60 ml) water. Bring to the boil, then let it simmer for 15–20 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved to form a dark, caramel-like syrup. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile, make the pandan jelly. Put the rice flour, tapioca starch, pandan extract, salt and 1½ cups (375 ml) water in a saucepan and whisk until smooth and lump-free. Have ready a large bowl of iced water. Place the jelly mixture over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens and forms a very thick, glossy paste, about 5–7 minutes. Remove from the heat and, holding a cheese grater with coarse holes over the bowl of iced water, drop a large dollop of jelly mixture onto the grater, then use a large spoon to press the jelly through the holes into the ice-cold water. Repeat until all the jelly is used up. Leave the jelly strands in the water for 15 minutes, before gently draining and placing in a bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.

To serve, place some crushed ice in each glass, if using. Add some adzuki beans, if using, then a scoop of pandan jelly. Pour in some coconut milk – the amount you use will depend on how creamy you like your cendol. Drizzle with a thin layer of syrup and serve right away.