I’ve stated before that I’m not really big on Malaysian food as a whole because, well, they like to put seafood or prawn flavor in just about anything, even my chicken soup. I find it really difficult to explain to seafood likers that this is a big issue for me, and for Pat, I have to threaten the idea of having egg in every single dish he’s served before he understands. So, I’m not a Malaysian food lover, but what I do like of theirs (chicken rice and roti for example) I absolutely LOVE. Cendols (chendol) and Ais Kacangs (ice kachang) fall into this love category.
Although on the sweet side, the shaved ice in these desserts helps to make them a refreshing treat when walking around in the hot Malaysian sun. I became a little addicted, and getting one each day was always on my mind.
In light of my addiction, I posted a photo on Facebook of a cendol and got some puzzled responses because of the way it looks and the ingredients. So here is what they are:
A cendol is composed of shaved ice, gula melaka syrup (palm sugar), coconut milk, green rice flour jellies, red beans, grass jellies and sometimes corn, which I would forcefully request it without.
An ais kacang is composed of shaved ice, sweetened condenses milk, red rose syrup, red beans, grass jellies, palm seeds and sweet corn, again the latter of which I forcefully request it without. The ais kacang is not limited to these toppings, but they do make for the standard dessert.
Cendols: My Favorite
Both are great, refreshing desserts, but I would have to say that the cendols are my favorite since they don’t contain red rose syrup, a flavor I’m not passionate about in the least. It’s like night and day, in my mind, when comparing gula melaka syrup to rose syrup. Sure, I might enjoy that the ais kacang comes with several more jelly varieties, and a bright, fun color, but the cendol is the winner in flavor!
Cendols Come In Many Shapes and Sizes