Cendol is a traditional dessert originating from South East Asia which is still popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar (where it is known as Mont let saung), Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines and Southern Thailand (where it is called lortchorng singapore) .
There is popular belief in Indonesia that the name "cendol" is related to and originated from the word jendol; in Javanese, Sundanese and Indonesian language it means "bump" or "bulge", it refer to bumpy sensations of the green worm-like jelly passed through the mouth during drinking es cendol. In Malaysia, some cendol maker have been selling cendol for past three generation, since 1920 until now.
The dessert's basic ingredients consist of coconut milk, a worm-like jelly made from rice flour with green food coloring (usually derived from the pandan leaf), shaved ice and palm sugar. Next to these basic recipe, 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 the Javanese language, 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.
The affluence of Singapore, as well as Western influence, has given rise to different variations of cendol. One can occasionally come across variants such as cendol with vanilla ice-cream or cendol topped with durian.
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 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 shredded ice 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 Malaysia and Indonesia, 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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