Also known as Kolak Pisang – is an everyday dessert that can be found in every street corner in the country. Very economical and cheap to make, this can be served cold or warm. The sweetness is a great pick-me-up for a slow day at work. Most favorite snack for open-fasting at Ramadhan, this is eaten all year long.
The main ingredients are ripe cooking banana (saba / plantain), coconut milk, pandan leaves and palm sugar (also known as red sugar / gula aren / gula melaka – sold in round blocks). A whole lot of others can also be added, such as Kolang Kaling (fruit of sugar palm tree), jackfruit, sweet potatoes.
We only had sweet potatoes at home, even though I had a sudden urge of creative idea of dropping some canned lychees in there, I refrained from doing that. Maybe next time. Although, I absolutely believe that crunchy lychee and longan would give the most interesting texture to the dessert.
The most important part of the cooking process is the constant boiling and constant stirring. Not easy, I might add. But the caramel flavor developed by the boiling coconut milk, pandan leaves and palm sugar was my main motivation.
100 gr palm sugar (or brown sugar)
2 (200 gr) medium sized sweet potatoes, cubed
4 (450 gr) ripe cooking banana
4 pandan leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup thick coconut cream
1 cup thick coconut cream, diluted by 2 cups water
- In a medium saucepan, add diluted coconut cream, pandan, banana pieces, sweet potato cubes and salt. Bring to boil over medium heat and stir constantly for 10 minutes
- In a smaller saucepan, melt palm sugar with 1/2 cup of the coconut water from the first boiling saucepan. When fully melted, strain the liquid to remove foreign objects / insects (very possible to find dead flies trapped in the palm sugar block)
- Add the palm sugar syrup and the rest of the thick coconut cream into the saucepan, lower heat
- Simmer for another 15 minutes
- Remove from heat, serve warm or cold (with ice or chilled thoroughly in refrigerator)
When served cold with ice cubes, the coconut fat will separate from the rest of the liquid, resulting in whitish flakes floating around the dessert. I don’t mind that, but others might find it strange.
Step by step shot of the process