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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Homemade Cendol

For you, Yuan Horng. Hope u can make it in the US. ;)

This is a Malay dessert , served with palm sugar syrup and coconut milk. When I was small, I used to think that it's made of worms! Well, they do look like green worms, wriggling around. Of course, I still ate them, worms or not.

The Singapore version uses only green bean flour. But the Malaysian version uses rice flour, or maybe mixed with some tapioca starch. Tapioca starch is more stretchable, whereas green bean flour gives the cendol a slightly springy texture.

So, if u can’t find green bean flour, u can just substitute it with tapioca/cassava starch.

Cendol is usually pressed with a cendol press, that looks like a murukku press, but not everybody has one at home. Or some use a metal bowl pricked with holes, or some homemade cendol use the holey ladle. The holey ladle makes the cendol short and stout. I like mine long and slender. I used to do this with the cookie press (with the piece with many small holes on)I need to think of a way that everybody can make this at home with easy to get apparatus.
And Ah!!!! I got it, a clean durable food grade plastic bag!

½ cup rice flour
½ cup green bean flour
3 cups pandan juice (1 cup loosely packed pandan leaves(washed, snipped with scissors), blended with 3 cups water, strained. If fresh pandan juice is not available, just use 2 tsp green pandan paste/essence with 3 cups of water)
1/4 tsp alkaline water

Prepare a basin of ice water. Mix the above ingredients together and cook on low heat until mixture thickens and turns glossy.
Fill mixture into a ziplock bag, snip off a small corner about 2-3mm (don't do it too big, it'll get bigger after being squeezed for some time). By using oven mittens, squeeze mixture out from bag, dropping into the ice water. Don't work slow, the mixture solidifies quite quickly!
When the cendol mixture has all been squeezed into the ice water, keep cendol in fridge together with the ice water.

5/5/09: I'm going to try other flour combinations, and will post whichever is the best. The flour composition in this post is less hard(when cold) compared to pure green bean flour cendol.

24/11/09: I tried using half tapioca starch with half rice flour. The result was DISASTROUS!! The cendol will melt. *sigh


  1. Wah...thanks Wendy. I will do it at home.

    From: Yuan Horng (Iris)

  2. Hmm!you are really good.I think i am going to make this tomorrow.My kids love this ...:)

  3. Do tell me how it came out, ya!
    Hope ur kids will have a good time enjoying it!

  4. Gosh, you are definitely creative! I will give your version a try tomorrow. I am pretty disappointed with store-bought version. I really miss the cendol I used to have every Sunday when I was a little girl.

    Do you know how to make the mushy mashy red bean? I really love that too but haven't been successful in making it.

  5. If u're trying this out, why not try substituting the green bean flour with tapioca flour. I find this recipe's flour combination a bit too brittle for my liking. Tapioca flour has better tensile strength compared to green bean flour.

  6. Oh ya Max, abt the red beans, read abt it in my red beans dumpling post. I made mushy red bean there.
    But for cendol, I think it's better u buy those red kidney beans in cans, much easier.

  7. Hi Wendy,

    Do you have chendol receipes?

    For this cendol receipe, you mean cook over direct slow fire and not double cook right?
    Once cook, do we have to wait awhile before we could pour it to the plastic. How long should we wait before we could pour to the plastic?

    Sorry hope I did not ask you silly question.

    Thank you.


  8. Jo,
    THIS is a cendol recipe. Or did you mean other recipes using cendol as an ingredient?
    Try the agar-agar cendol then.

    Cook over direct fire.
    Do not wait, cos it will start to harden.

    It's better to ask now than to ask after you've encountered problems and waste the ingredients

  9. Wendy,

    Thank you for your quick reply. :)


  10. Hi Wendy,

    Another quick question before I make it. Since I need to transfer it to the plastic without any waiting time. Will the Plastic bag melt?

    Is there any particular ype of Plastic bag need to be use?

    Sorry to disturb you again. Thank you!


  11. Jo,
    It won't melt. Just use any food grade bags. Some are even microwave safe. Brands like Reynolds, Ziploc or Glad.
    I just use resealable Tesco bags (those that come in a box like reynolds or glad).

  12. Hello Wendy,

    Have not had Cendol for 10 years and the ingredients is difficult to find here in the UK especially the pea flour can I make it from dried green pea or is it a different pea like green mung bean?

    Thanks Lisa

  13. Lisa,
    This is actually Mung Bean starch. It's the usual name used here, of which I know is not correct. Try asian grocers, and look for mung bean starch.

  14. Lisa, (again)
    Sorry, you can't make the flour yourself.

  15. water chest nut flour is good for that dessert !

  16. Hi. I want to try making this dish but I wanted to know if I can make it a little differently. Possibly with just rice flour? I cannot find the other flour you have on this recipe, my only other flours are potato and besan. Could you give me some adivce? my email is please reply. thank you. :]

  17. Raisha,
    I have no idea what besan is.
    Just rice flour and the cendol will be very very brittle. Plus it'll expand a lot when soaked in water, justy like noodles.
    Plus if you use only rice flour, the recipe will be very different, as rice flour needs much less water.

  18. hi, I need help. I made this twice and fail badly. I put on low heat but I really don't know when it's cook so I continued until it was thicken and turn off the heat anyway I failed twice.

  19. Lien,
    Before it is cooked, it is watery, when it is cooked, it is thick. You can try to taste it, it should be smooth and not taste floury.
    BTW, you can refer to this technique and use full green bean flour, I haven't perfected the perfect ratio for rice flour+green bean flour.

  20. When it cooked, it was very thick and not be able co go through the holes like your. I will try again w/green bean flour one more time. Thank you for your responsed.

  21. Lien,
    Few reasons,
    1.You must've measured the flour wrongly.
    2. It's been cooked for too long. It will only take as long as the water will boil, maybe just slightly longer, but not much.

  22. This dish is not from malay,it is from Indonesia :)whoever wrote this,didnt know what she is talkin' about :)

  23. Anonymous,
    Whoever you are, you have no idea that Malay is a race and not a country.
    Indonesian is a nationality, but they are Malays.
    I am a Malaysian, but I am not a Malay

  24. Hi Wendy, thanks for the recipe! I'd like to ask if the green bean flour u used is hoen kwe flour, available in white cylindrical paper packaging? Thanks! I'd like to try this as I dislike the taste of the commercially available ones.

  25. Ananta,
    Hoen Kwe flour is not pure green bean flour. It has some flavourings added in.
    Get pure green bean flour/starch at bakery supply shops.

  26. Hi Wendy

    Just some happy thoughts to share with you. Your experiment with these common street foods brings back happy (or should I say yummy) memories I had when I was young. Cendol is one of my favourite. Do I care where it originated? Definitely not. All I wanted to say is thank you for sharing amidst your busy schedule caring for 3 little ones.


  27. Jane,
    thankyou for the encouraging words.

  28. Hi Wendy
    thanks for clarifying on the green bean flour. Will try to look for it :) Oh by the way, I noticed yr earlier answer to Raisha re: besan. Besan is chickpea flour :)

  29. Hi there, sorry Im not quite sure what Alkaline water is (sorry for my stupidity). can I replace it with anything else? thanks

  30. Anonymous,
    Alkaline water is also known as Lye water. Or in Chinese (Gan Sui/jiansui). You can try heating up 1/4 tsp baking soda in 1 cup of water, bring it to a boil, cool down and use it as part of the liquid composition. The recipe needs some alkaline components to retain the greeness of the screwpine leaf and it's supposed to give better texture if rice flour is used.

  31. Wow thank you for this recipe! I love the cendol in KL Sogo's food court and as a drink in Masjid Jamek :)

  32. Hi Wendy,

    Thanks for your recipes, lovely.

    Tried making twice today, happy with the texture and the color.. However can you pls guide me more cuz the cendols are mashy and it broke into tiny pieces when I tried to scoop them out from the cold water.

    Should they be kept over night so it will become harder?

    Can you guide me pls? Really craving for cendol here in Australia.. Thanks a lot..

  33. Rebecca,
    Yeah,after a while they do seem brittle.
    I have yet perfected this recipe as I did mention I am looking for other options besides using pure starch, of which is not the original method.
    I recommend u try full mung bean starch instead if you find this brittle. That one is more translucent, less brittle, but don't taste like the original cendol.

  34. i love chendol & glad i found your blog. Thank you so much for your generous sharing of all this wonderful recipe :)

  35. Thanks Wendy ! Was wondering how they make cendol. Now I know. Learning everyday. As usual will bookmark. I am at awe how you managed your time ! BTW , someone told me that there's 1 type of leaves they used for chendol. They call it pandan serani.

  36. Mai Lin,
    This one very easy to make la. Can cope can cope, haha.

  37. Hi
    I tried making cendol and it was successful. But when it was mixed with shaved ice the cendol hardened. Wonder where did I do wrong. Any idea?
    Thanks for the recipe and wonderful pics.


  38. Melissa,
    That's common. That means ur ice is very cold.
    Nothing is wrong :)

  39. Wendy

    I think you have to do more experiments. Haha. The cendol i tasted at few places here, does not hardened in ice water.
    I asked this seller, he said he bought it from this person who make these nice soft cendol.

    Hmmmm..... wonder what type of flour combination the seller used. Thats why I said, you have to make more 'experiments'. haha

    Anyway, Thank you very much for the recipe and other wonderful recipes you have shared.


  40. Melissa,
    I thought you posted in the wrong cendol recipe, cos I have two.
    When I eat at my hometown, all cendol gets hard after the ice is laid on them, and those are made with rice flour. I'm not refering to those I made, but those I ate outside.
    You check out the latest cendol recipe and that is made with different flour and that doesn't harden. Anyway, my experiment will no longer go on and I like my latest one.

  41. hi wendy

    oh I just realized I should have posted at "Chendol II" post.

    I will try th cornflour+mung bean starch version. Maybe its my mistake in preparing the chendol drink. Maybe i should not let the chendol has straight contact with ice.

    The chendol itself is great. It stay soft in cold iced water.

    Thank you again.


  42. what elase I could say, WAH SEH! Thumb's up for you!

  43. Nary:
    I really appreciat for your recipe. My friend tells me that the Cendol can make rice flour and 1 table spoon of Glutinous flour, pandan juice. Is that possible ? She cannot tell me exact measurement that is why I can not make it. Is that possible if can tell me to make Cendol with rice flour ? I use to eat rice Cendol but no body can tell what recipi is. Thank

  44. nary,
    This version wasn't that nice. Maybe you can refer to the 2nd version.
    It is possible but, I think that version is quite brittle

  45. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge on cendol making. Even if we don't do it ourselves, we at least know what is good cendol!!

    KK Foodie

  46. Dear Wendy, I can't find rice flour anywhere, can I use glutinous rice flour?

  47. Hi Wendy, I really want to try making the chendol, I've found split mung beans which I have to find a way to grind into powder... Would you suggest I just use 100% tapioca starch instead? Many thanks for your advice.

  48. Jess,
    NOoooooo, mung bean powder is not the same as mung bean starch. The starch is white like cornstarch.
    I suggest you refer to my 2nd cendol recipe that uses cornstarch since u can't get mung bean starch


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