Cendol Recipe 3 (With Sweet Red Kidney Beans Hack)

I've made my cendol recipe a few times, but it was always missing those classic sweet red kidney beans that it's normally served with in Malaysia. This time I found a quick hack to make them at home.

The secret to making sweet red kidney beans for cendol in minutes is... use canned beans. No more soaking overnight and boiling for hours on end. Easy. Simply used canned beans in water (not in brine or sauce!), drain them, and cook them in a simple syrup for a few minutes. Easy.

You can also watch how I make this on YouTube:

Ready? Let's go.

Ingredients for Gula Melaka Syrup:

250g gula melaka sugar, chopped
200ml water

Ingredients for Sweet Red Kidney Beans:

100g caster sugar
100ml water
1 can red kidney beans in water, drained

Ingredients for Cendol:

5 tbsp hoen kwe flour (green pea/ mung bean flour)
2 tbsp rice flour
2 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tsp pandan paste (or pandan essence + green food colouring)
625 ml water
A large bowl of ice water (for cooling the cendol mixture)

To Serve:

Thick coconut milk


1. In a small saucepan, bring the gula melaka and 200ml water to a boil, let the sugar fully dissolve and boil for three minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

2. To make the sweetened red beans, repeat this process with the caster sugar and 100ml water in a separate pan, also dissolving the sugar and boiling for three minutes. After three minutes, add in the drained kidney beans, and cook for another three minutes before removing from the heat and leaving the beans to cool completely in the syrup.

3. To make the cendol jellies, mix the flours with the water and pandan essence together in a small saucepan, first adding the flours and then the liquids bit by bit to prevent lumps.

4. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it thickens. Continue to cook until the mixture is really thick and turns darker and translucent.

5. Using either a colander or a potato ricer, push/squeeze your still-hot cendol batter through the holes over the icy water to make short noodles. You can store this, along with the water, in an airtight for a week.

6. Make some shaved ice (I use my blender) and place it in a serving bowl, spoon on some sweet beans and drained cendol noodles, and generously pour over some coconut milk and your gula melaka syrup.

Enjoy, and have fun.


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