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Monday, July 30, 2012

Homemade Cendol II

Colour enhanced with the presense of alkaline water
 I haven't been making cendol for a long long time. It's time now.

I have found the texture I like. The missing link was cornstarch, LOL. So common that anyone from anywhere can make this at home now. Before this I was asked many times about mung bean starch (green bean flour) saying it's not available in their countries. From my experience of making kuih tako of which cornstarch yields a softer texture, I thought, could I use cornstarch for cendol? I’m glad that this blog confirmed my thoughts for the use of cornstarch. Cendol made with only mung bean starch is too firm for my liking, a bit too “crispy”. Although traditional cendol is made with rice flour, it is brittle. So, when I tried using cornstarch, that was it!

I experimented in small batches by using only cornstarch and by mixing both cornstarch with bean starch. I prefer the latter.

I made a few batches, some using alkaline water, some using food colouring, some using pandan paste, some additive free. You can compare the pictures here and see which one do you like. For me, the best colour is pandan juice + alkaline water. It looks fresh and natural.

FYI, ever wonder why the vegetables that comes with your noodles always remain green?? And vibrantly green? Wheat noodles are made using some alkaline/lye water and the water they are cooked in will have traces of that. When the vegetables are cooked in the same water, it stays beautifully green.

My previous recipe uses cup to measure and I do think it may cause difference in texture just in case one wrongly does it. Weighing is always the best choice.

Colour enhanced by adding in a small amount of green food colouring

Homemade Cendol II
Recipe source: WendyinKK

50gm mung bean starch
50gm cornstarch
600ml pandan juice + 1 drop alkaline water

100gm cornstarch
500ml pandan juice + 1 drop alkaline water

1. Prepare a basin of ice water, keep it in the fridge. Or, prepare a basin of water and another container of ice cube ready (keep in freezer). Prepare oven mittens and a food grade plastic bag (like ziplock or HDPE bags), and scissors, ready at your working spot.
2. Combine everything and cook on medium low heat, stirring gently all the time, until it turns thick, translucent and glossy.
3. Bring out your basin of ice water.
4. Immediately transfer the hot starch mixture into the plastic bag (wear mittens on your working hand. See here).
5. Snip one corner of the bag (about 3mm) and squeeze the contents into the ice water. See picture here.
6. Leave the cendol ‘noodles’ in the ice water for 15 minutes. Strain and it’s ready for use

*You can use the microwave to cook cendol, make half the amount and zap it 20 sec and stir. Repeat zapping and stirring until you can see the mixture glossy and some small bubbles in the mixture.
**to keep cendol, please keep them submerged in water in the fridge*
***the colour of my pandan juice is like the 3rd extraction here


  1. So good of you to make into small batch of different types coloring. Still using the natural ingredients the best, right?

  2. That's a big 'project' with all the experiments. Good job!

  3. Oh I so loved your cendol. I've been wanting to make cendol for a long time but haven't got the 'gut' to try. Yours look so beautiful. Thanks for sharing Wendy.

  4. It is nice that you went through the trouble of doing your own "ujikaji" and we can benefit from it :)

  5. I love how you always do comparisons, takes all the work out of comparing recipes for me! I have so many of your recipes bookmarked because of that. Very informative also, that bit about the lye water. I heard from people that lye water is not good for health though, is that true?? :o

  6. Mel,
    Errr..... up to the individual

    hehehe.... i was curious ma

    Not hard to make la, try it

    Phong Hong,
    hahaha, that's me. N ow that u reminded me, I forgot to label this post into 'experiments'

    Shu Han,
    For the same reason I don't condemn gypsum, the same reason I won't condemn lye water.
    Our ancestors have been consuming these for centuries. And only idiots will be drinking that bottle of lye water and burn their throat.

  7. wow, you are really good!! can even make your own chendol!!

  8. amboi, cacing hijau pun tahu buat! i hv never really read a chendol making recipe but your method is a good one, simple!

  9. cendol does not use glutinous rice flour? Alamak, now only I know. My late mom used to nag that cendol use glutinous rice flour, took too much, can cause indigestion..

  10. Lena,
    Hahaha, i used to think they really were cacing hijau.

    Not that I heard of. Can't be la.

  11. didn't know it's so easy to make cendol! can't wait to try this new experiment :)

  12. Hi,
    For this combination of flour, is the cendol still brittle?

  13. SueBee,
    Nope, not brittle :)
    But it's not elastic. I kept mine over night and I could still scoop them out nicely.
    See my durian cendol, they were made with overnight cendol.

  14. wow! you are amazing! thank you or your wonderful recipes


  15. Hi Wendy,

    My name is Amy. The question I am about to ask have nothing to do with cendol. My question is do you know where I can buy moon cake mold? Almost Mid-Autum anh I am far from home, I really want to make mooncake but can't find it any where in US. Please help me out

  16. My email is

    Thank you.

  17. Me Cubi,
    I have sent u the email.
    I did some googling and got u 2 links

  18. good day wendy

    i am lover of cendol
    thanks for the simple recipe
    i would like to ask whether shld i put the mixing of cornstarch and wheat starch in one of your paragraph which u prefer

    also, can check wht brand of products to use for the ingredients


    fm, ann

  19. Ann Loy,
    I did not use wheat starch.
    I am loyal to Holland manufactured cornstarch, country specific, not brand specific.

  20. Hi Wendy,

    Im in KK as well. Do you where I can buy green pea flour? I couldnt find any here:(


  21. J,
    Go to the kedai bahan kek Noraini next to Arena Square. Ask for tepung kacang hijau

  22. Wendy, the texture of your cendol recipe is absolutely perfect!! I have searched high and low and was glad to note how carefully you tested different combinations. I also wanted a "tastier" noodle and so I added 3 tbsp coconut powder and 4 tbsp sugar to your recipe and it came out perfect. Now I have the texture and taste just right. Thank you!! Christy

  23. Christy,
    I'm glad you liked the texture of my recipe.
    As cendol is usually eaten with palm syrup, here, they are prepared bland.
    Adding in some sugar will make them good enough on their own.

  24. Dear Wendy,

    Enjoy your blog and the beautiful photos accompanying each entry. I am hosting a party for 30 people and want to make cendol as a dessert. May I have an indication of how many serves one recipe of yours makes up? I'm looking to use the recipe with mung bean and corn starch. Thanks alot.

  25. Cheng,
    I don't know how big portion will you want to serve them with, or how much cendol 'noodles' you want to be put into the bowl.
    For me, I'll go with 4-6 servings per portion of this recipe. My serving size is one rice bowl, plus the ice, coconut milk and palm sugar syrup

  26. Hi Wendy,

    I made the cendol for the gathering over the weekend and the texture of the cendol was very nice. I did have to add some pandan essence, though, as I am in Australia and using solely pandan leaves would have been too expensive considering the volume I had to make. Served it with palm sugar granita and everyone liked it! Thanks very much!

  27. Hi Wendy,

    I made the cendol using 100gram constarch and the texture turn out pretty nice. However it has sour aftertaste. I did not use lye water and have checked corn starch did not expire yet. So do you know why this happen? Or do you have any substitute for cornstarch :| ?

  28. Patrick,
    The sourish taste could be due to your cornstarch's manufacturing method.
    Lye can help reduce the sourish taste as it is alkaline.
    You can only use mung bean starch as a replacement. I haven't found another one yet.
    I suggest maybe you try another cornstarch manufactured in another country,or another brand that you are sure that does not repack,as they might be from the same manufacturer as the sourish cornstarch. (some buy in bulk and repack to sell)

    1. Yeah you may be right. Will try out other brand soon. Really thanks for your help! Tq si fu

  29. Hi Wendy,

    I tried the mung bean + cornstarch combination and it turned out surprisingly well! How long can i store the cendol in the fridge?

  30. Sita,
    I'm not too sure, but I've stored for 3 days before and it was ok

  31. hi wendy
    i enjoy visiting your site and well done on you entries with beautiful picture and good explaination too. i have question regarding the lye water and alkaline water. can email me the picture and in the case i cannot get one, any way i can susbtitute it?

    Lynn from Jordan with love :D

  32. Lynn,
    It's almost impossible that you will get the exact same bottle of lye as it is not sold under famous big brands. The bottle itself will write it clearly as "lye' or 'alkaline water'. Try to look for it along the Chinese sauces aisle

  33. Hi, may I know whether corn starch is same as corn flour? And whether mung bean starch is same as mung bean flour? Sorry for the silly questions. Thank you.

  34. May,
    If you are from Malaysia or Singapore, yes, cornstarch = corn flour
    Mung bean starch might not be mung bean flour. Many shops mislabel their mung bean type of flour, some even label it as green pea flour or green bean flour/starch. It is white like cornstarch, not beige. The beige mung bean flour is milled from whole mung beans.

  35. Hi Wendy,

    May I know how much pandan leaves you used for this recipe?


  36. Lannie,
    Its hard tell how many leaves as pandan leaves can be a few feet long or few inches short. To achieve this colour, 10-15gm of moderately mature pandan leaves will be sufficient.

  37. Hi Wendy! I tried using 100gm corn starch. Is it normal the cold water turns slightly cloudy as I scoop out the cendol? It is a little brittle, the texture is not chewy. Do you think I might have cooked the batter not long enough?

  38. Shanny,
    the water could turn out a little bit cloudy, but not too cloudy.
    I have never had a chewy cendol. It should be soft and tender.

  39. Hi Wendy! I learned from your other posts not to freeze the pandan juice... but can you freeze the cendol in water to save for later? Is the taste affected?

  40. Evelyn,
    I have never tried that, but when you thaw it, it might disintegrate.

  41. Hi Wendy. I want to 3 bakeries shop asking for mung bean starch. They even asked me back, what's that? They told me to use tepung hon kwee as substitute. I found tepung kacang hijau in groceries store but it's beige and not white. Is it the right one? I really have no idea where to get mung bean starch.

  42. Tatsuko,
    If you went to shops in Malaysia, I am just guessing, they don't call it by its proper name as in mung bean starch. They call it grean bean flour, grean pea flour, or tepung kacang hijau or 绿豆粉. But the problem is, there are few types of green bean flour or green pea flour. One is a green flour that is made from fried green peas and another is of Indian origin that brownish, used in traditional kuih and sweets recipes. It is utterly confusing!

    Hoen Kwee has flavouring in it, that's the only downside, but basically, it's made from mung bean starch too.

  43. Hi Wendy. Yes I went to shops in Malaysia. I even went to the market today to try my luck. But ended up all scratching head when I say mung bean starch. Then I asked for tepung kacang hijau, they give me green type and beige. Some even give me roasted pea flour. I'm really confused.
    None of the above is the right ones?? I'm suppose to get white type like starch?? I really have no idea where to get it..

  44. Tatsuko,
    It's mostly used by the Chinese community to make kuih. Not easy to find, unless u go to baking ingredient shops or Chinese grocery stores that specializes in Chinese pastry ingredients.

  45. Tatsuko,
    please contact me on Facebook, so that I will be able to share with u a picture if I see it somewhere.

  46. May I know the purpose of alkaline water in making cendol pls? Thx

  47. Hi Wendy, I just made cendol using rice flour but it did not turn out good.. taste like shit.. should I use dye instead of panda leaves?

  48. Hi Wendy. If I were to use combination of rice flour & cornflour, what do you think the taste will be like. It is difficult to find mung bean starch here in the UK. Thank you.

  49. Hi Wendy. So with a drop of alkaline water will make this chendol chewy? Also, does this stay chewy in the fridge the next day? Please reply to Thank you.


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