Es Pallu Butung Recipe (Makassar Iced Banana)

August 3, 2010 Update: This post was featured on FoodBuzz Top 9 today
Es Pallu Butung is very popular dessert from Makassar, South Sulawesi. It is also known as Es Nasu Butung. Literally translated, es means ice, pallu or nasu means cooked, butung means banana. Pallu, nasu and butung are words from a Makassar dialect. I don’t speak any Makassar dialects, so I got the translation from kak Yaty whom native to Makassar (also known as Ujung Pandang).

I think many people who come from tropical countries know many different type of bananas, not just one type banana. In order to make this dessert, you need cooking bananas. I used saba bananas (known as pisang kepok in Indonesian). You can see all the ingredients you need from the picture below.

Ingredients 1
Es Pallu Butung is a typical street food. According kak Yaty, red colour syrup for drizzling the top is commonly used at warungs (small hawkers/kiosks). When her mom makes it at home, she never adds the syrup. She also mentioned the kind of red syrup that the warungs use is a pisang ambon (literally translated Ambonese banana) flavour. For your information, pisang ambon is a Dutch brand liquor that got inspired by Indonesian words. It has a dominating banana flavour, with additional tropical fruit nuances, and a bright green colour. It is based on the recipe of an old Indonesian liqueur/flavour.

You can make your own red syrup by mixing simple syrup with drops of pisang ambon flavour or just buy cocopandan flavour syrup at Asian markets. I myself used the cocopandan one. Really, I’m not a big fan of this artificial red syrup. But since the recipe said so, I just added a bit.

For this recipe, I made my own pandan juice from fresh pandan leaves. In case, you can not find any pandan leaves, just buy a bottle of pandan flavour at Asian markets. Here is the picture of ingredients that I mentioned.

Ingredients 2
This recipe is a submission for Masbar with a theme “Variety of Banana-Based Dishes“.

Es Pallu Butung
– Indonesian Banana Ice Dessert (Makasar) – 
recipe by yasaboga and kak Yaty, modified by me


  • 50 g rice flour
  • 400 mL coconut milk 
  • 200 mL water 
  • 3 pandan leaves
  • 70 g granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp seasalt
  • 8 ripe raja or kepok (marketed as saba bananas in Canada), steamed, peeled and cut into pieces.
  • red colour syrup
  • ice cubes

1. Combine coconut milk and water.

2. Dilute rice flour with part of the coconut milk mixture.

3. Shred 1 1/2 pandan leaves and grind the rest.

4. In a saucepan, warm up the remaining coconut milk with shredded pandan leaves. Take 1/2 cup of the warm coconut milk and mix with ground pandan leaves. Squeeze the mixture to get pandan juice. Pour pandan juice in the saucepan back. Add sugar, vanilla and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil.

5. Pour the rice flour mixture into coconut milk mixture and stir well.

6. To serve: pour rice flour porridge onto bananas, then drizzle red syrup over and add ice cubes.

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About the Author

An Indonesian born who lives in Winnipeg, Canada for more than a decade and decided to move a bit west. Edmonton is now where she is based on. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.