Last Updated on January 24, 2021 by Chef Mireille
Javanese Rose Dawet – This Lemongrass & Coconut Milk drink is popular from Indonesia to Suriname! Check out the recipe for this Vegan milkshake!
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Are you looking for a delicious sweet drink to enjoy as a snack or a treat? You may wonder how this drink got from Java in Indonesia to Suriname.
Well, there is a very large Indonesian population in Suriname, the small Dutch speaking country located on the northeastern coast of South America.
Indonesian cuisine is very familiar to me as my mother’s family is from Suriname. There is a large Indonesian community in Suriname and even within my own family, specifically Javanese. In Suriname, the Indonesian community is referred to as Javanese. The original Indonesian immigrants most likely came from Java.
My first experience with this cuisine was when my Indonesian Surinamese family visited us in NY on their way to the Netherlands. That year, I was able to meet much of my extended family from Suriname as many of them were migrating to the Netherlands as Suriname was in economic upheaval immediately after achieving its independence from the Netherlands.
Even at 4 years old, I think I must have fallen in love with the cuisine as I certainly don’t recall any bad food memories of the time they stayed with us. As I became older and they often visited us, I completely went mad over the fusion multi layered flavorful cuisine they often cooked for us when visiting. As my interest in culinary arts developed, I started collecting recipes from my Indonesian family and here is one of them!
Check out the 70’s style photo of my cousin and I…part of the migrating family! Hope you enjoy the journey as I love sharing this little bit of my family history with you!
As what often happens, recipes change when they cross oceans according to food availability and local cultural preferences. Even though the Suriname version of the drink differs from the Indonesian version a bit, I am sure Indonesians will enjoy this version as much as the Surinamese do.
Indonesian version – Cendol recipe
In larger Indonesia, this drink is named Cendol but in Java, it has the same name as Dawet. Their version is a drink made of coconut milk and palm sugar with green, flavored with pandan, rice flour or tapioca noodles. Our Suriname version is flavored with lemongrass and young coconut meat. While food coloring is usually used to give our version a pink color, I opted for rose paste for a more flavorful beverage.
- Young Coconut Meat – sold in cans or jars in Asian markets. The coconut meat is usually sliced up already for you in the jars, but in the canned version it is in large chunks. Just cut up into thin slices to garnish the drink. You can also reconstitute dried coconut in hot water if you cannot find young coconut meat in jars or cans.
- Rose Paste – The rose paste might be a little harder to find, but if it is a store that carries a good variety of Southeast Asian products, it should be available. However, although it might not be as flavorful, you can substitute a little rose water and red food coloring if you cannot source the rose paste.
- Coconut Milk – You need to use full fat canned coconut milk. Carton or tetra pack coconut milk will not yield the same result.
To learn more about the differences between the types of coconut milk, read all about it here – Types of Coconut Milk.
Here in NYC you can find these products at Asia Market Corp.
Let’s go over all of the ingredients you will need to make delicious Javanese Rose Dawet
- 1 cup sugar
- rose paste
- coconut milk
- young coconut meat
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HOW TO MAKE SURINAMESE STYLE JAVANESE ROSE DAWET BEVERAGE
This Vegan drink is cool and refreshing on a hot summer day!
Suriname Style Javanese Rose Dawet
- 1 ½ cups water
- 2 stalks lemongrass
- 1 cup sugar
- a few drops of rose paste
- 5 ice cubes
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1/4 cup syrup from above
- 4 tablespoons young coconut meat
- In a saucepan, place lemongrass in the water. Bring to a boil.
- Add sugar and boil for 10 minutes, until syrup consistency.
- Remove lemongrass and let cool.
- Add rose paste and stir to combine.
- In a blender, crush 5 ice cubes. Add coconut milk and rose syrup. Blend until thoroughly combined.
- To serve, place some of the coconut meat in the bottom of each glass. Add dawet. Garnish with more coconut meat on top.
Need more culinary inspiration? Check out the Recipe Index with over 1500 Recipes from Around the World with lots of Vegetarian 🥕🍆🍅and Gluten Free Recipes!
The drink sounds very flavourful , I am sure the paandan and green too would taste awesome .Rose is my personal favourite and I must try it with coconut milk .
And hey ! That picture is so cute.
Yes. I will have to try the pandan version the next time I make it
This looks like rose milk that is available in India, but the ingredients are very different. Beautiful color.
thanks – yes it does look like rose milk but different flavor profile!
Mir, I totally enjoyed reading your history and you look so cute :0)..lovely drink!
thanks – I am sure you would love it
an eye-catching drink ! and made a lovely read too ! thanks for sharing this, Mir 🙂 bookmarked 🙂
Glad you enjoyed it
Love the picture you have shared Mir. As for the drink, it looks refreshing.
Yes it’s great on a hot summer day
Love the color of this drink. Looks delicious
Yes it’s aesthetically appealing as it is delicious
Love the picture and the colour is so appealing
thanks – it is as aesthetically appealing as it is delicious~
This drink looks amazing Mir. The flavour sounds wonderful with rose, lemon grass and coconut.
it really is a delicious drink!
I have only seen pandan leaves in cookery shows and always imagined the flavors only. I guess this would be a very flavourful drink.
yes – you must look for them in Asian markets that sell southeast asian stuff – they are usually in the frozen section. I have never seen them fresh here in US
This is totally new to me and as Jayasree mentioned I am reminded of the Indian drink because of the colour. Bookmarked and now I should try to source the ingredients.
I love the name Dawat – In Urudu it means feast 🙂 🙂
since it is so similar to the Indian drink, am sure you will like it
Being an immigrant myself, I can relate to how some dishes change slightly but the basic taste remains the same. I love the idea of this rose flavoured Dawet drink. As others have mentioned it reminds me a bit of a rose flavoured drink you get in Indian homes but we don’t add coconut to it.
I always find it interesting the similarities between foods of different cultures!
Refreshing drink for summer.. I make something similar without the addition of lemon grass..
it’s a perfect summer cooler
Love the colour of the drink. I’ll be going to Indonesia next month so will definitely look out for this drink. Interesting flavors with coconut, lemongrass and rose paste.
don’t forget to get some pandan paste while you are there so you can experiment with southeast asian desserts when you get back 🙂 – also maybe some galangal powder