I once ordered ‘cola’ at an Indonesian restaurant in LA many years ago. Instead I was served ‘kolak’. I looked very surprised and said to the waiter that I meant the drink. Oh, you mean ‘coke or pepsi?!’ Anyway, I decided to finish the kolak and it turned out to be the better choice. Kolak is an Indonesian dessert made with a base of palm sugar, coconut milk and pandan leaf. It is usually served warm or at room temperature. Kolak comes in different variations with ingredients such as banana, sweet potatoes, jackfruit, cassava, plantains and tapioca pearls. Pumpkins are in season, therefore I would like to share my recipe for kolak labu kuning. In this recipe I used its cousin ‘butternut squash’ – deep and richly flavored, sweet with smooth flesh.
350 gr. pumpkin or butternut squash
250 ml water
250 ml coconut cream
150 gr palm sugar (or more to taste)
2 pieces of pandan leaves
1 tsp salt
Peel the pumpkin or squash and cut into pieces.
Boil the pieces with pandan leaves in water for about 5 minutes.
Add the coconut milk with the palm sugar and stir well. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until done. Serve while still warm.