What is Kolang-kaling Made of? Here’s the Explanation, Benefits, and Recipe Ideas

During the month of Ramadan, kolang-kaling becomes one of the readily available ingredients for beverages in various regions of Indonesia. Although it is frequently consumed and often used as a key ingredient in beverages, there may still be some people who are unfamiliar with what kolang-kaling is made of.

For your information, kolang-kaling refers to a type of elongated, translucent, and mostly white ingredient used in beverages. Generally, kolang-kaling doesn’t have a distinct taste, but its texture tends to be chewy and often soft when bitten into.

So, what is the process of making kolang-kaling? Here’s a complete explanation along with the benefits and ideas for using kolang-kaling in various recipes.

According to information provided on the official website of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Kemlu RI), kolang-kaling is made from the seeds of the sugar palm tree. Before being processed into the readily available kolang-kaling consumed by the public, these seeds are flattened and contain sap.

To make kolang-kaling edible, a processing method is required to prepare the seeds for consumption. Referring back to the same source, the process involves burning the sugar palm fruit until it is charred. Only then are the fruit’s seeds peeled and extracted to make kolang-kaling

The seeds from the sugar palm fruit are then boiled for several hours. But it doesn’t stop there; the boiled sugar palm seeds undergo a soaking process using lime water. This process even takes several days until the sugar palm seeds ferment and become the kolang-kaling that we consume.

Benefits of Kolang-kaling

Not only is kolang-kaling one of the favorite ingredients for beverages among most Indonesians, but it also provides various health benefits. This is in line with what is mentioned in the book ‘Healthy High Calcium Foods: Kolang-kaling & Siwalan’ by Hindah J. Muaris, which states that kolang-kaling is rich in calcium, making it a good alternative source of calcium for bone growth.

kolang kaling

Moreover, kolang-kaling also contains beneficial fiber for health. The carbohydrate content in the form of galactomannan in kolang-kaling is also frequently used as a natural remedy for health issues such as joint inflammation. The galactomannan content functions to alleviate and reduce pain caused by joint inflammation.

Kolang-kaling Recipe Ideas

Curious about what interesting and delicious kolang-kaling recipes you can try? Drawing from books such as “Creative Skills” by Nandang Subarnas, “Healthy High Calcium Foods: Kolang-kaling & Siwalan” by Hindah J. Muaris, “Nutritious Foods” by Lilly T. Erwin, and “1010 Authentic Indonesian Recipes” compiled by Tim Tujuh Sembilan Tujuh, here are some kolang-kaling recipe ideas:

Candied Kolang-kaling

The first kolang-kaling dish to try is making it into candied form. This candied kolang-kaling can then be added to various refreshing beverages such as mixed ice, kolak (sweet dessert soup), or fruit ice. Here are the ingredients and steps to make candied kolang-kaling:


  • As much as kolang-kaling desired
  • 500 grams granulated sugar
  • Sufficient amount of rice water
  • 1 liter of clean water
  • 4 pandan leaves
  • 10 grams citric acid
  • Vanilla or raspberry flavoring
  • Food coloring as desired
  • A basin
  • A pot
  • A stove
  • A wooden spoon
  • Jars


  1. Clean the kolang-kaling thoroughly and remove the seeds.
  2. Soak the kolang-kaling in rice water for one day.
  3. Rinse the kolang-kaling until clean.
  4. Boil the kolang-kaling in a mixture of water, granulated sugar, citric acid, pandan leaves, and food coloring.
  5. Cook for 20 minutes or until the liquid reduces.
  6. Remove from heat and let the kolang-kaling cool.
  7. Store in jars.
  8. Add flavoring, stirring until well combined.
  9. The candied kolang-kaling is ready to be served.


Strawberry Kolang-kaling Salad

Next, kolang-kaling can also be transformed into a sweet and delicious salad. This time, kolang-kaling will be paired with strawberries. Here are the ingredients and the method:


  • 150 grams of strawberries (halved)
  • 150 grams of mango (peeled and diced)
  • 200 grams of seedless grapes (halved)
  • 150 grams of watermelon (diced)
  • 200 grams of candied kolang-kaling

Strawberry Sauce Ingredients:

  • 100 grams of strawberries (pureed)
  • 100 ml of strawberry-flavored yogurt
  • 10 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 10 tablespoons of pandan syrup


  1. Put all sauce ingredients into a blender, blend until smooth.
  2. Strain and set aside.
  3. Mix all ingredients including kolang-kaling desired into a refrigerator.
  4. Put the fruit pieces into serving glasses or bowls.
  5. Pour the strawberry sauce over the top.
  6. The strawberry kolang-kaling salad is ready to be served.


Seaweed Wedang (Wedang Rumput Laut)

If previously there was a refreshing drink, this time there is a drink that tends to warm the body. The kolang-kaling dish referred to here is called seaweed wedang. Follow the steps below to make seaweed wedang:


  • 150 grams of seaweed (washed and drained)
  • 800 ml of thin coconut milk
  • 100 grams of kolang-kaling
  • A little pink food coloring
  • 1 pandan leaf
  • 2 fingers of fresh ginger (bruised)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 150 grams of palm sugar
  • 50 grams of peeled boiled peanuts


  1. Boil the kolang-kaling until tender.
  2. Add a little pink food coloring.
  3. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then remove and drain.
  4. Then boil the thin coconut milk, pandan leaf, palm sugar, and kaffir lime leaves.
  5. Add sugar evenly.
  6. Add seaweed, cook again for about 15 minutes.
  7. Add kolang-kaling.
  8. Add ginger, then briefly bring to a boil.
  9. Remove and the seaweed wedang kolang-kaling is ready to be served.
  10. Optionally, you can sprinkle boiled peanuts on top.


Padang Guess Ice (Es Tebak Padang)

Who want to try a different kolang-kaling dish than usual, you can try Padang guess ice. This drink tends to be sweet and refreshing. Here are the ingredients and how to make Padang guess ice:

Cendol Ingredients:

  • 200 grams of rice flour
  • 600 ml of water
  • 100 ml of pandan leaf water
  • 1 teaspoon of lime water


  • 100 grams of black cincau (cut into small squares)
  • 1 young coconut (take out the flesh)
  • Sufficient amount of colored agar-agar
  • 100 grams of tape (fermented cassava)
  • 100 grams of kolang-kaling
  • Sufficient amount of pandan syrup
  • Sufficient amount of condensed milk (optional)


  1. First, make the cendol by cooking rice flour together with a mixture of water, pandan leaf water, and lime water.
  2. Stir continuously until thick and bubbling.
  3. Place the cendol mixture on a cendol mold, press down.
  4. The cendol mixture that falls into the container filled with cold water is then strained.
  5. Serve the cendol with syrup, shaved ice, condensed milk, and prepared additional ingredients.



Another kolang-kaling dish worth trying is kolak. Although it’s commonly associated with the month of Ramadan, kolak can be enjoyed anytime. Here’s a recipe for kolak that includes kolang-kaling:


  • 500 grams of cassava
  • 200 grams of kolang-kaling
  • 4 bananas
  • 3 cups of coconut milk from 1 coconut
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 pandan leaf
  • 200 grams of palm sugar


  1. Clean the cassava and bananas (cut into cubes).
  2. Put the coconut milk in a pot and boil it with palm sugar and water.
  3. Add pandan leaf, simmer until cooked.
  4. Boil cassava and bananas in coconut milk while continuously stirring.
  5. Add kolang-kaling.
  6. Add salt and pandan leaf.
  7. Add palm sugar.
  8. Stir until well combined, then remove from heat.
  9. The kolang-kaling kolak is ready to be served.

So, that was a summary of the explanation about what kolang-kaling is made of, along with its benefits and recipe ideas. Hopefully, this information can satisfy curiosity!

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