Polychrome Interest

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Indonesia Banget #12: Fasting and Kolak

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Hello again in my monthly post about my country, Indonesia Banget, where I share things related to my country. This month will be my first post related to food ๐Ÿ™‚

I remember I have said that most Indonesian is Muslim but we are not Islamic country, we have so many religions across the country. Because most people are Muslim, this tradition can be considered as our countryโ€™s tradition.

In August, all Muslim of the world will be visited by the holy month of Ramadhan. In this month, all dedicated Muslim MUST do fasting from the time the sun is about to rise till the time the sun is already set. I am fortunate to life in the equator because the sun-time never changed much like countries above or below the equator. I only need to fast from 5 AM till 6 PM, around 13 hours in total. I have read that Muslim in England sometimes have to fast up to18 hours because the sun showed her face that long.

Fasting here means that we are not allowed to eat, drink, smoke, make love even though they are husband and wife, tell a lie, get angry, talk bad about other people, and most certainly not to do all sins.

However…I am not here to talk about fasting as it will make me talk about my religion rather than my country. I am here to talk about the food or dessert we always eat to break our fast ๐Ÿ™‚

Breaking the fast is always fun because we got to eat delicious and sweet food that usually difficult to find in normal months, one of the famous food or dessert to break the fast is Kolak. People rarely eat Kolak in no-Ramadhan month. Most people make their own Kolak but we can also find buy it almost everywhere.

What is Kolak?

Itโ€™s kinda like a sweet soup made of coconut milk and palm sugar (we usually call it red sugar). We put banana, sweet potato, cassava, kolang-kaling (atap seed), and pumpkin inside the soup. The content is not always as complete as the ones I have mentioned, some people only put banana and sweet potato or banana and pumpkin. It all depends on their personal taste.

I was lucky to come across this great site called Indochine Kitchen. I copied the recipe to share it with you all. You can see picture of how to do it by visiting her post about making Kolak.

Picture belongs to Indochine Kitchen

This is her recipe:

Indonesian Banana Compote with Coconut Milk, Kolak Pisang

Makes 10 servings


2 screwpine leaves (daun pandan), optional
2 ltr water, diluted with 25 g coconut milk
250 g coconut milk
250 g palm sugar (gula merah or gula melaka)
1/2 tsp salt
1 kg cassava, peeled and steamed
1 kg sweet potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
8 plantains, cut into 2cm thickness
100 g atap seeds


In a large stock pot, cook the water and coconut milk over medium heat. When the water is slightly heated, toss in sweet potatoes and palm sugar.

Lower heat and continue cooking. It is okay for the water to be slightly simmering. If it starts to boil, lower heat. Maintain the heat to just cooking the sweet potatoes by hot water, not boiling water. Do this for as long as 30 minutes.

Add steamed cassava and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the rest of coconut milk. Keep cooking over low heat. Keep stirring for 10-15 minutes. Don’t stop stirring as the coconut milk will boil, and coconut oil will separate from the milk. This will ruin the dessert.

Toss in cut fruits and remove from heat.

Serve warm or cold.

I have never made Kolak, thatโ€™s why I needed a little help from the net ๐Ÿ˜‰

I will make it for the first time this coming Ramadhan because my mom is no longer strong enough to cook (I have been the chef of my family since early 2011). She (the author of Indochine Kitchen) said that she didn’t let it boil, but my mom used to boil it and we can keep it in the fridge up to 2 days.

Some people like it hot some like it cold, I am one of the later ones ๐Ÿ™‚ My favorite is pumpkin and sweet potato. I donโ€™t really like Kolang-kaling and cassava.

The picture on the right is what we call kolang-kaling (the white one).

You can try the recipeย  and tell me your opinion afterward ๐Ÿ™‚

Other than Kolak, most people often drink Es Kelapa Muda (coconut ice). But Es kelapa Muda is easy to find everyday, not only in Ramadhan.

I am so looking forward for Ramadhan ๐Ÿ™‚

Updated on August 14.

This is my Kolak ๐Ÿ™‚

Related post:

About Novroz

I actively maintained 2 blogs. My personal blog is about things that I love: Turtles, Books, Movies, Music, Larc en Ciel, Muse, Cillian Murphy, The Mighty Boosh and many more. I also help my 3 super cute turtles, Kroten, Papoe and Kurome, to maintain their own blog: http://kamekroten.wordpress.com

23 comments on “Indonesia Banget #12: Fasting and Kolak

  1. Binky
    July 17, 2011

    Interesting! I’ve never heard of Kolang.
    Sorry to hear about your mother. I hope she’ll get better.

    • Novroz
      July 17, 2011

      You should try it Binky…maybe Wombat will like it too ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Thank you Bink, I hope so too.

  2. Asop
    July 17, 2011

    *menelan ludah* Seger banget tuh, enak diminum pas buka. Habis lari sore pula. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Novroz
      July 17, 2011

      Hahaha…jadi ga sabar mau buru2 puasa ya ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Gnoe (@ Graasland)
    July 17, 2011

    Wow, I hope we’ll be seeing a picture of your Kolak version as the time comes, Novroz? Would love to! I think it’s a bit hard for us to copy here in Holland.. Any ideas what sugar to use as substitute? Goela djawa (sorry, ‘old school’ grammar again ;)) is the only Indonesian sugar I have seen over here.

    Good luck with your fasting! Isn’t it hard to do the cooking while you’re hungry?

    • Novroz
      July 17, 2011

      I will update this post by putting my Kolak and I will let you know through Twitter ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Hehehe…well, actually GULA MERAH (palm sugar) is GOELA DJAWA. Most non-Javanese people called it gula merah or red sugar because of the color. You can easily try it, Gnoe. And let me know when you finally make it ๐Ÿ˜‰

      If I am cooking in ordinary month while I am hungry, it does feel hard…but somehow in Ramadhan, it doesn’t feel hard at all. I am used with fasting since third grade of elementary.

    • wati busby
      August 7, 2011

      you can substitute gula jawa with brown sugar good luck

  4. Caroline
    July 17, 2011

    I love this post, I love to read about food from other countries. I had Indonesian food before, and like it a lot but it was spicy. I might try to do this one.
    I’m very sad to read about your mom.

    • Novroz
      July 18, 2011

      Thank you so much, Caroline ๐Ÿ™‚
      I hope you will try it and share me your opinion. The spicy ones probably Padang Food or Manado Food, food from these two places are known for its spiciness.
      I will try to share more Indonesian food in the future ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you for the concern, we are hanging on together here.

      • Caroline
        July 18, 2011

        I would love to read more recipes. It was very nice food, I liked it a lot. One was a spicy salad.

        • Novroz
          July 19, 2011

          You make me curious of what you were eating.

          I am planning to compare similar Indonesian and Japanese food for my Hello Japan post in September (or October). There’ll be at least 2 recipes. Hope you’re going to like that article ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. mee
    July 18, 2011

    Oh kolak! I really want it now *sigh*. Mmm I’ll try to make it myself sometime. But I haven’t found gula merah here so I need to keep looking.

    Btw do you watch Masterchef Indonesia? I’ve been watching the episodes from youtube lol. There are a couple of things I don’t like (I loved the Australian Masterchef–from which the Indonesian version is taken), but overall it’s quite good and I love how they use Indonesian ingredients and style for a lot of the food.

    • Novroz
      July 19, 2011

      Since you are in England, maybe you can find it. Gnoe said she can find it in Netherlands. I know England and Netherlands are far but since they are still in one continent…so maybe.

      But if you can’t find it, you can just use ordinary sugar…my mom often made that kind of Kolak. The color becomes white not brown but the taste still great.

      Hehehe unfortunately (fortunate for me) I never wathed any Indonesian Reality Show…they are just not interesting enough for me. My mom and dad like it but I stay in my room blogginng or reading while they are watching it.

  6. kelly
    July 18, 2011

    Are atop seeds like Lychee seeds at all. I think it would be hard to get them but I’d love to try ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • kelly
      July 18, 2011

      Atap ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Novroz
        July 19, 2011

        No, they are different. Atap seed has no sour taste, it was quite plain. Before you cook it, it feels hard but than become softer afterward.

        You can try it without using atap seed, Kel ๐Ÿ™‚
        Just use banana, sweet potato, and pumpkin. I don’t know if atap seed exist outside Indonesia but I can assure you that you don’t miss much if you can’t find it.

  7. Link Journal
    July 19, 2011

    kalo puasa gak ada kolag gak lengkap deh, walau gak setiap hari, tapi salah satu hari di bulan puasa wajib ada kolak apapun itu hehehehhe

    • Novroz
      July 19, 2011

      Hahaha bener bgt Link!! Kolak itu wajib…makanya Indonesia Banget ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Castor
    July 20, 2011

    Looks appetizing! Good luck making Kolak ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Novroz
      August 3, 2011

      Thank you, Cas.
      Will see if I can make it as good as my mom’s ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. kangaroo984
    August 23, 2011

    Enjoy your meal!

    • Novroz
      August 23, 2011

      Thank you, Claud ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Pingback: Indonesia Banget #32 : Recipe – Balado Eggplant | Polychrome Interest

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