Pronounced "ess-chen-doll", this is a dessert or aperitif consisting of highly textural "green worm" noodles called cendol that are made of mung bean flour and coloured with pandan essence. (If you can’t find mung bean flour then rice flour will suffice but the cendol will be mildly different in flavour, more like the Malaysian version than the traditional Indonesian recipe.) The noodles are accompanied by a selection of fruit that you can vary as you please (this recipe includes tinned toddy palm seeds and jackfruit) and topped with coconut milk, shaved ice and palm sugar syrup.
Yum! If you have something of the child in you and a bit of sweet tooth, this wild confection is just right – and it’s so much fun to shave the ice. (Or you can bang ice cubes together in a tea towel until they’re crushed ... although an ice shaver can be found in Asian emporiums for under $20.)
- 225 g mung bean flour (hon kwe, see Note)
- few drops of pandan essence
- palm sugar
- 1 tin toddy palm seeds in syrup, drained and cut into small bite-sized pieces
- 1 tin jackfruit in syrup, drained and cut into small bite-sized pieces
- coconut milk
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Pour some water into a large bowl and add plenty of ice.
Pour another 100 ml of water into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Slowly add the mung bean flour, stirring constantly. Once the mixture is thick and paste-like, stir in the pandan essence and remove from the heat. Push the paste through the holes of a colander directly into the ice bath to form short noodles. The noodles will harden in the water and can remain there for a while, but if you are making them in advance, they can be scooped out and stored in a container with some coconut milk in the refrigerator.
Finely shave some palm sugar and stir it into a small amount of hot water to make a dark syrup.
Shave or crush some more ice.
To serve, layer the ingredients in a tall glass, starting with the cendol noodles, then the toddy palm seeds and jackfruit. Top with coconut milk and lots of shaved ice and drizzle with a little palm sugar syrup. Serve with a long spoon and straw.
• If you cannot find mung bean flour then rice flour will suffice but it will be mildly different in flavour, and more like the Malaysian style of cendol than the traditional Indonesian.