Cendol (Che Banh Lot)

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 24/07/2022 Updated: 01/12/2023
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 25 minutes
Chewy, bouncy pandan-flavored cendol or che banh lot served with palm sugar syrup and sweetened coconut milk is the best dessert to quench your thirst. This popular Southeast Asian dessert is well known for a reason—it's delicious!
Cendol (Che Banh Lot)

Chewy, bouncy pandan-flavored cendol or che banh lot served with palm sugar syrup and sweetened coconut milk is the best dessert to quench your thirst. This popular Southeast Asian dessert is well known for a reason—it’s delicious!

Pouring sweetened coconut milk into a glass of cendol.

Cendol, chendol, che banh lot, lot chang, or dawet is a refreshing chewy, pandan-flavored dessert that is sweetened with palm sugar syrup and thickened coconut milk. You can serve cendol in a variety of ways–with shaved ice, red beans, and mung beans– but the bouncy green pandan worms always remain the one constant.

This delicious cendol recipe is perfect for those hot spring/summer days when all you want to do is go outside, bask in the sun and enjoy a refreshingly cold dessert. If you are looking for other delicious, refreshing Vietnamese desserts check out my Che Thai or Che Ba Mau (Tri-colored dessert).

Fun Fact: President Obama made it his personal mission to find a refreshing bowl of cendol on his Indonesian visit in 2017. Cendol was rated by CNN as among the world’s 50 most delicious drinks in 2011. The more you know.

A spoon lifting pandan jelly worms from a glass.

What is Cendol?

Cendol refers to a pandan worm-shaped jelly commonly served with sweetened coconut juice and palm sugar. They are soft in consistency with a slight chew to them. The vibrant green color comes from pandan extract which also gives them a subtle pandan vanilla flavor.

The origins of cendol are unclear. The earliest mention of cendol was found in a Malaysian 1932 article but the dessert is also commonly served in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Burma, Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Singapore.

A fresh glass of cendol ready to be consumed.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Foolproof recipe to make quick and easy cendol
  • The pandan jelly is soft and bouncy with a rich pandan flavor
  • This che banh lot can be customizable based on your sweetness preferences.

Kitchen Equipment

  • Kitchen Scale: for optimal texture and consistency, I recommend using a kitchen scale to measure out all the flours. Different measuring cups and spoons vary slightly and using a kitchen scale will yield the most accurate foolproof results.
  • Small saucepan: you will need a small saucepan to cook the cendol and thicken up the coconut milk.
  • Potato Ricer: using a potato ricer is the quickest and easiest way to get the worm-shaped pandan jelly cendol that we all love.
  • Large mixing bowl: you will need a large mixing bowl in order to hold an ice water bath to firm up the cendol.

Ingredients

You can find all of these ingredients for this cendol recipe online or at your local Asian, preferably Southeast Asian grocery store.

  • Mung Bean Starch: is the base of this pandan jelly. Mung bean starch has gelling properties that are commonly used to make noodles as well.
  • Tapioca Starch: also known as tapioca starch it helps give the cendol it’s signature bouncy texture.
  • Rice Flour: rice flour has a stickier and stronger thickening capacity than tapioca starch which will help bind the jelly together. Do NOT mistake rice flour for glutinous rice flour.
  • Pandan Extract: you can either use fresh pandan or pandan extract. Use pandan extract for the quickest, easiest, and most vibrant method. You can buy pandan extract online or at your local Asian grocery store.
  • Coconut Milk: use full-fat coconut milk for the best flavor. I recommend using Chef’s Choice coconut milk for the best-tasting brand of coconut milk.
  • Salt: used to enhance the flavor of coconut milk.
  • Granulated Sugar: used to sweeten the coconut milk
  • Palm Sugar: palm sugar adds a subtle caramel/smokey/maple flavor to the dessert. It usually comes in a pack of round hard balls.

Substitutions and Additions

Southeast Asia has multiple varieties of cendol scattered among each country. This cendol recipe makes a Vietnamese cendol (che banh lot) with pandan jelly in coconut milk. To serve, you can also add these other toppings for a full dessert.

  • Red azuki beans
  • Yellow mung beans
  • Grass jelly
  • Shaved Ice

How to Make Cendol

This che banh lot recipe is incredibly simple to make all you need to do is 1) make the cendol, 2) sweeten the coconut milk, and 3) make the palm sugar simple syrup. Let’s begin!

Pandan Jelly (Cendol)

  1. Mix the batter. In a mixing medium saucepan, mix together the mung bean starch, tapioca starch, rice flour, and water until combined. Then add in 1 teaspoon of pandan extract and stir until combined.
  1. Cook until thickened. Cook on high heat and continuously stir until it reaches a boil and some pieces begin to cook underneath and small dark translucent pieces come to the top, about 3 minutes. Then turn the heat to low and keep stirring until it is thick, slightly translucent, and begins to bubble for about 3 minutes.
Cooking the pandan jelly until thickened.
  1. Mold worms. Working quickly, use the largest setting on your mashed potato ricer, pour a few scoops into the ricer, and gently squeeze the green worms over a bowl of ice water. Run your fingers through the worms to gently separate them and let them steep and firm up for about 10 minutes. Drain and aside in a medium bowl.

Coconut Milk

  1. Make tapioca slurry. In a small bowl, mix together the tapioca starch and 2 tablespoons of water until combined.
  2. Cook the coconut milk. In a medium saucepan, add the tapioca slurry, coconut milk, water, salt, and sugar and mix to combine. Heat on medium-high heat and stir until thickened. Then, set aside to cool.

Palm Sugar Simple Syrup

  1. Make the palm sugar simple syrup. In a small saucepan, heat the palm sugar and 1 cup of water until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.
A small glass bowl of palm sugar simple syrup.

Assembly

  1. Assemble. In a tall glass, add a 1/2 cup of the cendol, 2-3 tablespoons of palm sugar simple syrup to taste, and 1/2 cup of coconut milk and crushed or shaved ice. Mix and enjoy!

Tips for the Best Cendol

  • Use a kitchen scale. You will need precise measurements of each flour for the optimal chew and texture. Measuring cups and spoons are all manufactured differently and can lead to varying results. The best way to achieve this is to use a kitchen scale.
  • Be patient when stirring. You will need to constantly stir the batter because it heats up rather quickly. Scrape the bottom of the pan so the bottom layer does not burn.
  • Have the water bath ready once you remove the pan from the stove. You will need to work quickly once you remove the pan from the stove so have the cold ice water bath ready. If the batter gets cold, it will clump up quickly and not flow as easily and you will get large lumps instead of worms.
  • Use the largest mold in the potato ricer. This will allow the cooked batter to easily flow through and create the perfect worm-shaped pandan jelly.
A glass of pandan cendol ready for coconut juice.

Storage Instructions

I recommend eating this cendol recipe the day that you make it. However, you can store the cendol jelly in an airtight container separate from the coconut milk and palm sugar in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Keep in mind, that they will lose their chewy texture over time.

Frequently Asked Q’s & A’s

What is cendol made of?

Cendol is a gluten-free jelly that is made from mung bean flour, rice flour, tapioca starch, and pandan extract.

Why is my pandan jelly lumpy and not worm-shaped?

You will need to work very quickly once you remove the batter from the stove. The batter is the most pliable when it is hot. When the pandan batter gets cold, the batter will start to clump up and will not run as smoothly through the potato ricer.

Why do I need an ice bath?

Using an ice bath will immediately firm up the cendol and create that signature bouncy chewy texture. Make sure to steep the pandan jelly in the ice bath for at least 10 minutes for the texture to hold its shape.

What is cendol also known as?

In Vietnam, it is known as che banh lot.
When in Thailand, it is known as lot chong.
In Indonesia, it is known as dawet.
When in Burma, it is known as mont lat saung.
In Malaysia, it is known as chendol.

Did you make Cendol?

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Recipe

Pouring sweetened coconut milk into a glass of cendol.

Cendol (Che Banh Lot)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Chewy, bouncy pandan-flavored cendol or che banh lot served with palm sugar syrup and sweetened coconut milk is the best dessert to quench your thirst. This popular Southeast Asian dessert is well known for a reason—it's delicious!
Servings: 4 servings
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Pandan Jelly (Cendol)

Coconut Milk

Palm Sugar Simple Syrup

Instructions

Pandan Jelly (Cendol)

  • Mix the batter. In a mixing medium saucepan, mix together the mung bean starch, tapioca starch, rice flour and water until combined. Then add in 1 teaspoon of pandan extract and stir until combined.
  • Cook until thickened. Cook on medium high heat and gently stir continuously until it reaches a boil and some pieces begin to cook underneath and small dark translucent pieces come to the top, about 2-3 minutes. Then turn the heat to low and keep stirring until it is thick, slightly translucent and begins to bubble, about 3 minutes .
  • Mold worms. Working quickly, use the largest setting on your mashed potato ricer, pour a few scoops into the ricer and gently squeeze the green worms over a bowl of ice water.
  • Separate and steep. Run your fingers through the worms to gently separate them and let them steep and firm up for about 10 minutes. Drain and aside in a medium bowl.

Coconut Milk

  • Make tapioca slurry. In a small bowl, mix together the tapioca starch and 2 tablespoons of water until combined.
  • Cook the coconut milk. In a medium saucepan, add the tapioca slurry, coconut milk, water, salt and sugar and mix to combine. Heat on medium high heat and stir until thickened. Then, set aside to cool.

Palm Sugar Simple Syrup

  • Make the palm sugar simple syrup. In a small saucepan, heat the palm sugar and 1 cup of water until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Assembly

  • Assemble. In a tall glass, add a 1/2 cup of the cendol, 2-3 tablespoons of palm sugar simple syrup to taste, 1/2 cup of the coconut milk and crushed or shaved ice. Mix and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use a kitchen scale. You will need precise measurements of each flour for the optimal chew and texture. Measuring cups and spoons are all manufactured differently and can lead to varying results. The best way to achieve this is to use a kitchen scale.
  • Be patient when stirring. You will need to constantly stir the batter because it heats up rather quickly. Scrape the bottom of the pan so the bottom layer does not get burned.
  • Have the water bath ready once you remove the pan from the stove. You will need to work quickly once you remove the pan from the stove so have the cold ice water bath ready. If the batter gets cold, it will clump up quickly and not flow as easily and you will get large lumps instead of worms.
  • Use the largest mold in the potato ricer. This will allow the cooked batter to easily flow through and create the perfect worm-shaped pandan jelly.

Nutrition:

Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 40mg | Potassium: 725mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 47IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 6mg

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