closeup Cendol or Iced dawet dessert of Thailand and Indonesia

How to Make Es Cendol

Es cendol, sometimes also referred to as chendol or Es Dawet, is a traditional Indonesian dessert that is popular in many Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

bowl of es cendol

This sweet and refreshing treat is perfect for hot and humid days and is enjoyed by people of all ages.

About Es Cendol

Es cendol is often served in a bowl, but can also be served in a cup or glass as a drink. The recipe is made with “cendol noodles” which are actually rice and tapioca flour mixed with water. They come out with a jelly consistency.

The rice flour is mixed with water to create a dough that is then pushed through a strainer to create small droplets that resemble noodles. These noodles are boiled until they are cooked and then soaked in cold water to prevent them from sticking together.

In Indonesia, es cendol is typically sold by street vendors and can be found in various markets and food stalls. However, it has also become a popular item in many restaurants and cafes around the world, making it easily accessible to those who want to try this delicious dessert.

street vendor serving cendol and dawet

Es Cendol Ingredients

The main ingredients of es cendol are rice flour, palm sugar, and coconut milk.  Ideally a bit of Pandan leaf is also used, but the drink can be made without it. It is best though if you get the Pandan flavor.

You can use Pandan leaf, extract or paste for the flavor. You can find those on Amazon here (associates link): Padan products.

The palm sugar is dissolved in water to create a syrup that is used to sweeten the dish. Coconut milk is also added to give the dessert a rich and creamy texture. The cendol noodles are then placed in a bowl, along with shaved ice and the sweetened coconut milk.

Palm sugar makes the dish a bit healthier than using regular sugar, as it has a lower glycemic index and is less likely to cause blood sugar spikes.

closeup Cendol or Iced dawet dessert of Thailand and Indonesia

Using a Cendol Strainer

When making es cendol, the jelly noodles are made by pressing through a strainer. You can do this by pushing the mixture through a kitchen strainer, but the easier way is to get a noodle press a potato ricer can also work, although I prefer the noodle press. (Amazon associate links)

cendol noodle press

Serving Es Cendol

The dish is typically garnished with additional toppings such as red beans, jackfruit, or durian. It is a versatile dessert that can be customized to suit individual preferences. For those who prefer a lighter flavor, the dessert can be made with less sugar or coconut milk. Those who enjoy a richer taste can add more coconut milk or mix in condensed milk for added sweetness.

Typically, Es Cendol is served in a bowl, but it can also be served like a drink in a tall glass.

Es Dawet in a glass

Overall, es cendol is a sweet and refreshing dessert that is perfect for those hot summer days. With its unique blend of flavors and textures, it’s no wonder why it has become a beloved dish in many parts of the world.

Interested in other interesting refreshing desserts or drinks? Try Es Teler, which is an Indonesian fruit cocktail dessert.  Or give Vietnamese Egg Coffee a try!

Or give Klepon a try. It is also made with rice flour and pandan.

bowl of es cendol

How to Make Es Cendol

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Es Cendol (aka Dawet) is an Indonesian or Thai drink and dessert that is made with a sticky rice noodle and flavored with Pandan. It is served with a sweet syrup and coconut milk.


  • For the Cendol noodles:
  • 1 cup rice flour.
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour.
  • 2 ¾ cups water.
  • ½ teaspoon salt.
  • ½ teaspoon pandan paste, or 1/4 teaspoon Padan extract (optional).
  • Green food coloring (optional)
  • For the syrup/drink:
  • 1 ¾ cups palm sugar
  • ¾ cup water.
  • 1 ⅔ cups coconut milk.
  • 1 ¼ cups water.
  • Pandan leaf, paste or extract (optional)
  • For Final Mix:
  • 3 cups ice cubes.
  • 2 cups water.


  1. For the cendol:
  2. mix the rice flour, tapioca flour and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Slowly add 3/4 cup water, stirring or blending well until well combined.
  4. Add the pandan paste or extract to the mixture.
  5. Optional: consider adding a drop of green food coloring.
  6. Set aside.
  7. In a large bowl, add 2 cups of cold water and set aside for later assembly.
  8. In a pot, boil 1 3/4 cup water.
  9. Add the hot water into the green flour mixture and mix well
  10. Return the mixture to the cooking pot.
  11. Heat the mixture, stirring often until boiling.
  12. Simmer until the mix becomes a sticky loose dough.
  13. Place the ice cubes in the bowl of water that was set aside.
  14. Add the cendol mixture to a noodle strainer, kitchen strainer or potato ricer.
  15. Hold the strainer or ricer above the ice water bowl and press the mixture into the bowl, forming the cendol noodles.
  16. Set aside.
  17. For the syrup
  18. In a small pot, Boil the palm sugar, ¾ cup of water and ⅓ pandan leaf or pinch of pandan paste or extract until sticky and dissolved.
  19. In a second pot, boil the coconut milk with one and ¼ cup water and 1/3 pandan leaf or small pinch of paste or extract.
  20. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes.
  21. Assemble:
  22. Place 3-4 tablespoons of syrup in a soup bowl or tall glass.
  23. with a slotted spoon add cendol to the bowl or glass.
  24. Add coconut milk over the cendol.
  25. Garnish with jackfruit pieces, red beans, or durian, if desired.
  26. Serve with a spoon

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest




Last Updated on September 25, 2023 by Carleen

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *