Rojak and Cendol

It is a sunny day

It is a hot day for us residing in west of Peninsular Malaysia, compared to our counterparts that live in the southern state and east coast state whereby they have to experience cold spells.

I am looking for dessert or drinks that go great together with a meal. Usually, people will decide on the main meal to eat and think about the drinks later on.

However, I would like to make a twist here. Finding the perfect meal for my already decided drinks or desserts.

I have been thinking of these three different items in my mind in these past few days. I am craving for something sweet and cold on these hot scorching days.

The three items are Ais Batu Campur (ABC), Lai Chi Kang and Cendol. Thinking about it,  I rather categorised it as desserts rather than drinks. 

In South-East Asia is popular with these, especially in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. I am certain you can find it once the travel ban is lifted and the border is open resulting in the tourism operating back to normal once again. 

What is cendol?

the definition of cendol
The definition of cendol according to Wikipedia

This is another definition that is described by the Malay dictionary.

It is a type of porridge that the fillings are made from rice flour and the shape is a bit long. The porridge is made up of coconut milk mixed with sugar.

Actually, there is more into it. 

The basic ingredients for making cendol are green jelly, coconut milk, ice and palm sugar.

There is more to be added! To name it could be red bean, glutinous rice and corn. Sometimes people also add grass jelly. 🙂

The word cendol referred to the green jelly. There are many ways to make one. Here is one of the common ways to make green jelly.

The information is abundant, I filtered it through additional information from my mother. 

Behind the green jelly 

Ingredients

It is actually made from rice flour, cornflour, salt, sugar and a half cup of water. Mixed the ingredients together and put it aside.

In another pot, cook pandan water until it half boiled.

Combined both the mixture of flour and the half-cooked pandan water together with clear water. This clear water is not an ordinary one; it is made from lime water.

They only took the clear part and put aside the residue. The reason to use lime water is to get the jelly-like taste. Without it, it will be just plain flour. 

Cook the mixture  

The mixtures needed to be cooked until the mixture boils and becomes a thick consistency. 

Pressed through small holes

The concentrated mixture is placed and pressed in the muruku mould or using steam pot. The reasons are to let it left out through the perforated container to make it long shape. Then make sure under the steam pot place a bucket containing water and ice.

Knowing this will be extra informational but to make it quite difficult. Thus, I usually prefer to buy it ready-made. We can find it in the grocery store.

What is inside the box? 

Rojak means campur in Malay or in English it is known as mixed of any kind of variety. The term rojak is varied between the state.

Differences between rojak and pasembur

cendol together with rojak
A box of rojak, peanut sauce and cendol

If you order in area such as Kuala Lumpur and Selangor they will give you this as rojak.

Here, rojak actually is a mixture of hard-boiled egg, slices of sweet turnip and cucumber, slices of wheat flour that had been deep-fry, deep-fried tofu. This usually to be eaten with peanut sauce. The ingredients being decided by the sellers.

However, if you ask Penangite they will refer it as Pasembur.

The basic is similar to rojak in KL but they have an add-on selection to choose from. For example, prawn fritters, pieces of fried meat, fish cake and fish ball. All this in the menu is prepared by coating with flour and deep-fried.

The seller usually arranged the fritters in a countertop food display and allowed the customer to choose it using food tong and a plate to place their selection.

Once they have choose, the customer will give it to the seller to chopped the fritters and determined the prices.

Where do I get this? 

Our neighbourhood is packed with people selling food items. It began to flourish recently. 

Therefore, to get it I do not have to order from food delivery services. Only within a 3-minute drive, I managed to get to the food truck  stall located in our neighbourhood. 

Even though it is located at the roadside, the stall had been set up many years back. 

My brother and mother used to buy when they packed the food using a plastic bag and twist using a rubber band. Both to pack rojak and cendol. 

Now, it has been many years since they have changed their packaging into the food box to pack the rojak and the plastic cup with the lid to pack cendol.

After one and half years, I went to the stall, and I almost forgot how to order the cendol. Hence, I asked for all the mix accessories that they offered on the menu.

The seller packed me one large cup of cendol with all the accessories for cendol which are glutinous rice, red bean and corn. 

Rojak and Food Truck 

Commonly, when we eat rojak here in Kuala Lumpur, they used to sell it in the food truck. The truck is usually parked under a large tree to give natural shed to its customer who will eat at the place. 

They will prepare three to four plastic stools without a table for the customer. The customer usually eats with the left hand to place the bowl.

It’s a common scenario as the food truck is only used for cooking and preparing a simple meal on the menu.  

However, not in the current situation where our government would only allow for take-away. 

Another food truck in Bangsar 

Bangsar is the residential place in the suburb of Kuala Lumpur. It is a preference for the expat to live in.

What is special about this place for the food lover is another food truck that specialises in selling rojak and cendol.

It has been there for over forty years. It used to be the father who managed the stall and today it was the son. 

Location details

It is located in the neighbourhood lane at the front of Petronas pump station in Bangsar. It can be seen from the main road of Jalan Maarof. The opposite of the road there is another petrol station. 

It is my mother favourite’s place. She used to do a 5-minute drive for lunch at the stall as it is located near her previous office. The stall opens from 10 am every day except on Sunday. 

Favourite Menu 

Her favourite is sambal sotong with the rojak. “The deep-fried wheat flour is crunchy”, mentions her regarding the taste.  For her, it is better to taste the food at the stall as it is.  

Mom was so delighted to tell me about the story. Even she introduced to me and my other two brothers. 

Type of customer 

People from all walks of life  have been to this place. According to mom, we are not sure whether a person is a boss or an employee will drive in luxury cars and stop by to quench their taste and satisfy their craving for delicious rojak and cendol. 

The word had  been spread from mouth to mouth about this stall for them to retain the loyal customer and in addition new people frequently eat at the stall.  

Finally…

That is how the story goes about rojak connected to cendol. Rojak always goes hand in hand with cendol and is a popular combination. It is always in demand among Malaysian.

Seeing Malaysian eating rojak and cendol at the stall is a normal scenario here in Kuala Lumpur where I live with my family. 

For me it is happening to see people come in groups with friends or family members even though we eat at the roadside. Everyone is cheerful and enjoying cendol and rojak.

After we finish eating, we get up to give other people who are waiting in line a chance to enjoy the food.

Remember this, no chit chat at this stall, eat quietly with a deep feeling of the delicacy. 

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