Palm Sugar Jelly (Agar-agar Gula Melaka)

Palm sugar, coconut milk and pandan leaves are good combination. You can find them in a lot of Nyonya Kueh and Chinese tongsoi (dessert) recipes. These food reminds me of childhood life in Teluk Intan.

My late Ah Ma (grandmother) and Ah Yi (mother’s sister) were good cook. I enjoyed making CNY cookies with them and always look forward to finish my school homework and weekend so that I could join them in making all these festive cookies. Ah Yi was good in making mee rebus, tongsoi and many other food. I wish I obtained all those recipes from them then.


My Mom was always busy sewing clothes and she did occasionally make simple dessert for us. One of it is Palm sugar jelly.



  • 750 ml (3 Cups) water
  • 220g (1 block) palm sugar (gula Melaka), roughly chopped
  • 20g agar-agar threads, washed and squeezed or 4.5 tsp agar-agar powder
  • 1 stalk of Pandan leaves, washed and tied into a knot
  • 450 ml coconut cream
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Put water, palm sugar, agar-agar threads and pandan leaves in a pot and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer until agar-agar threads completely dissolve.
  2. Remove pandan leaves.
  3. Stir in salt into coconut cream and pour this into the jelly mixture.
  4. Return the mixture to the heat and bring it up to a boil and turn off the heat immediately.
  5. Pour jelly through a sieve into a jelly mould and leave aside to set at room temperature.
  6. Chill jelly in refrigerator.
  7. Remove jelly from mould. Cut into bite sized and serve cold.

Jelly mould given by Mom

When jelly cools, the coconut cream floats to the top leaving the bottom half layer a beautifully translucent amber of palm sugar.

My first attempt was when my MIL and SIL were in town. The jelly was rich with the flavours of coconut milk and palm sugar. The texture was right and the jelly was light and refreshing.


Unfortunately, it did not separately nicely into 2 layers but only a very thin layer of coconut cream.


And today I made this again.


This time, I replaced the agar-agar threads with agar-agar powder.


I like this texture better but I need to boil the jelly longer for the palm sugar and agar-agar powder to melt completely.

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