This Lemongrass & Coconut Milk drink is popular from Indonesia to Suriname! Check out the recipe for this Vegan milkshake!
My BM theme this week was Oceanic Countries, not to be confused with the countries of Oceania, but Oceanic countries are those that border two or more oceans. I decided to present three Indonesian recipes. Indonesian cuisine is very familiar to me as my mother’s family is from Suriname. There is a large Indonesian community in Suriname and even within my own family, specifically Javanese. In Suriname, the Indonesian community is referred to as Javanese. The original Indonesian immigrants most likely came from Java.
My first experience with this cuisine was when my Indonesian Surinamese family visited us in NY on their way to the Netherlands. That year, I was able to meet much of my extended family from Suriname as many of them were migrating to the Netherlands as Suriname was in economic upheaval immediately after achieving its independence from the Netherlands. Even at 4 years old, I think I must have fallen in love with the cuisine as I certainly don’t recall any bad food memories of the time they stayed with us. As I became older and they often visited us, I completely went mad over the fusion multi layered flavorful cuisine they often cooked for us when visiting. As my interest in culinary arts developed, I started collecting recipes from my Indonesian family and here is one of them!
Check out the 70’s style photo of my cousin and I…part of the migrating family! Hope you enjoy the journey as I love sharing this little bit of my family history with you!
As what often happens, recipes change when they cross oceans according to food availability and local cultural preferences. Even though the Suriname version of the drink differs from the Indonesian version a bit, I am using a loose interpretation of the theme and presenting you with the Suriname version.
In larger Indonesia, this drink is named Cendol but in Java, it has the same name as Dawet. Their version is a drink made of coconut milk and palm sugar with green, flavored with pandan, rice flour or tapioca noodles. Our Suriname version is flavored with lemongrass and young coconut meat. While food coloring is usually used to give our version a pink color, I opted for rose paste for a more flavorful beverage.
You can find the young coconut meat sold in cans or jars in Asian markets, as well as the rose paste. The rose paste might be a little harder to find, but if it is a store that carries a good variety of Southeast Asian products, it should be available. It’s usually sliced up already for you in the jars, but in the canned version it is in large chunks. Just cut up into thin slices to garnish the drink.
Here in NYC you can find these products at Asia Market Corp.
IN THE MAKING
This Vegan drink is cool and refreshing on a hot summer day!