Don't panic: Indonesian 'chendol' different from Singaporean 'chendol'

Don't panic: Indonesian 'chendol' different from Singaporean 'chendol'
PHOTO: The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

Traditional iced dessert chendol is in the spotlight as it was included on CNN's "50 of the World's Best Desserts" published on Saturday.

However, the fact that CNN mentioned chendol as a Singaporean dessert had upset our Malaysian friends.

"Versions of this blissfully cool dessert can be found throughout Southeast Asia, but with the addition of a scoop of sweetened red beans, Singapore's take on the classic treat remains especially tempting," writes CNN.

Many had gone to social media and expressed their anger upon reading the news.

on Twitter

on Twitter

Some also mentioned that chendol is from Indonesia.

on Twitter

But before you get into the online debate, let us give you a lowdown on what Indonesian chendol is all about.

Indonesian food expert William Wongso told The Jakarta Post via telephone on Tuesday that chendol is not only available in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, but also other Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam and Thailand.

In regard to Singaporean/Malaysian chendol, William said it was different from Indonesian chendol.

If you see the Singaporean or Malaysian version of chendol, you will discover a colorful bowl of dessert, comprising worm-like green jelly, sweetened red beans and, sometimes, sweet corn served with palm sugar and coconut milk. Indonesian chendol is less colorful as it only comprises green jelly, coconut milk and palm sugar.

"In Indonesia, chendol, also known as dawet in Java, only refers to the (pandan jelly served in coconut milk)," he said, saying that some may put pandanus leaves or jackfruit to add more aroma.

"In Singapore, the chendol is mixed with other (ingredients), like our es campur," he explained.

William added that there are many version of chendol in Indonesia based on its place of origin.

"There is chendol Banjarnegara, es cendol Elizabeth [from Bandung] and even chendol ireng (black-coloured chendol)," explained William.

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