|Alternative name(s)||chendol, lot chong (Thailand), bánh lọt (Vietnam), mont let saung (Myanmar)|
|Main ingredient(s)||Coconut milk, rice flour jelly with green food coloring, shaved ice, palm sugar|
Cendol // is a traditional dessert originating from Southeast Asia which is popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar (where it is known as mont let saung or မုန့်လက်ဆောင်း), Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand.
There is popular belief in Indonesia that the name "cendol" is related to and originated from the word jendol; in Javanese, Sundanese and Indonesian, it means "bump" or "bulge", in reference the sensation of drinking the green worm-like jelly. In Vietnam, it is called "bánh lọt," or fall cake. Bánh lọt is a common ingredient in a Vietnamese dessert called chè, or more commonly chè ba màu. In Thailand it is called lot chong (Thai: ลอดช่อง) which can be translated as "gone through a hole", indicating the way it is made by pressing the warm dough through a sieve into a container with cold water.
The dessert's basic ingredients are coconut milk, jelly noodles made from rice flour with green food coloring (usually derived from the pandan leaf), shaved ice and palm sugar. Other ingredients such as red beans, glutinous rice, grass jelly, creamed corn, might also be included.
In Sunda, Indonesia, cendol is a dark-green pulpy dish of rice (or sago) flour worms with coconut milk and syrup of areca sugar. It used to be served without ice. In Javanese, cendol refers to the green jelly-like part of the beverage, while the combination of cendol, palm sugar and coconut milk is called dawet. The most famous variant of Javanese es dawet is from Banjarnegara, Central Java.
Roadside cendol vendor in Jakarta
Cendol has become a quintessential part of cuisine in Southeast Asia and is often sold by vendors at roadsides, hawker centres and food courts. Cendol vendors are almost ubiquitous in Indonesian cities, especially Jakarta, Bandung, and Yogyakarta. Originally cendol or dawet in Java was served without ice, however after the introduction of refrigeration technology, the cold cendol with shaved ice (es serut) was available and widely popular. It is possible that each country developed its own recipes once ice became readily available. This explains why it is most popular in Malayan port cities such as Malacca, Penang and Kuala Lumpur where British refrigerated ships' technology would provide the required ice.
In Indonesia and Malaysia, cendol is commonly sold on the roadside by vendors. It is even dessert fare in Singapore, found in dessert stalls, food centres, coffee shops and food courts.
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