Coconut-pandan pancakes (kueh dadar)

• SERVES 6 •

These delicious pancakes are a traditional sweet from Bali, most commonly eaten for breakfast or as a snack. But you’ll also find them in Malaysia too and they make a fabulous dessert. Make the pancakes and filling in advance then assemble the pancakes just before serving. If you can't get fresh pandan leaves, substitute 1 teaspoon pandan paste, which you can easily buy from Asian or Indian food stores. Be warned though - this stuff turns the batter a lurid green. 

6 pandan leaves, chopped
200 ml (7 fl oz) water
100 ml (3 ½ fl oz) coconut milk
1 egg
150 g (1 cup) plain flour
Large pinch of salt
Vegetable oil, for cooking

150 g (1½ cups) fresh grated or grated frozen coconut, thawed
80 ml (⅓ cup / 2 ½ fl oz) water
90 g (½ cup) shaved palm sugar

For the filling, combine the palm sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Add the coconut and stir to combine well.

Meanwhile, combine the pandan leaves and water in a food processor and process until leaves are very finely chopped and the liquid is green. Transfer to a sieve placed over a bowl and strain the mixture well, squeezing the pandan with your hands to extract as much liquid as possible.  Discard the solids.

Combine the pandan liquid, coconut milk, egg, flour and salt in a food processor and process until a smooth, thin batter forms, adding a little extra water if the mixture is too thick (it should lightly coat the back of a spoon.) 

Heat a 16 cm /6 ¼ in (base measurement) non-stick frying pan or crepe pan over medium-high and brush lightly with oil. Add about 2 ½ tbsp of the batter to the pan, or enough to thinly coat the base,  working quickly and swirling the pan to coat it evenly. Cook for 2 minutes or until the pancake looks dry on the top then turn over and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining mixture, brushing the pan with a little extra oil if necessary and adding a little more water to the batter if it thickens on standing.  Divide the coconut filling among the pancakes, placing it in a neat line about 9 cm (3 ½ in) long in the middle of each. Fold the sides of each pancake over the filling then neatly roll up to form a log. 

East: Culinary Adventures in Southeast Asia
By Leanne Kitchen, Antony Suvalko