Agar-Agar Santan

Recipe and picture from

30g agar-agar powder
250ml water
750ml hot water (in a large saucepan)
300g sugar
3 screwpine (pandan) leaves, knotted*
180ml thick coconut milk
1/4 tsp any colour (food colouring)

Combine agar-agar powder with 250ml water. Stir to dissolve, then pour into the hot water. (If the agar-agar does not dissolve well, use a balloon whisk and whisk the mixture in the saucepan until smooth) Add sugar and screwpine leaves and bring to a boil for 10–15 minutes over a medium heat. Stir occasionally while cooking. Divide agar-agar into three portions. Add colouring to the two-thirds portion and pour into individual moulds or a large mould.

Bring the remaining one-thirds liquid to a gentle simmer, then add thick coconut milk. When it begins to boil, remove from the heat at once. Test the firmness of the coloured portion. It should be about set. Gently pour spoonfuls of coconut milk agar-agar mixture over the coloured jelly(take care not to break through the surface of the coloured jelly). Leave to set completely. Chill in the refrigerator before serving.

*Screwpine leaves or pandan leaves can be found in the frozen section of your local asian grocery. Alternatively, you may substitute with 1 tbsp of rose water/rose essence.