Durian is a fruit that either people will love it or hate it. Durian’s name comes from a Indonesian/Malay word “duri” which means thorn and -an is a suffix together for building a noun in bahasa Indonesia and bahasa Melayu.
The durian tree grows best in ultra-tropical climate zone. It is a native of Borneo/Kalimantan (an island that is shared between 3 countries; Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia) and Sumatra (Indonesia). Although durian is not native to Thailand, this country is currently one of the major exporters of durians especially Mon Thong variety. Those who know only the standard Thai Mon Thong variety will be surprised in how many different flavors and textures durian can come. As my late dad hometown is in Sumatra, I was introduced to the classical durian variety first then knew mon thong when I was a teenager.
Classical durian varieties as they are common in Indonesia (mainly Sumatra and Borneo) have to ripen on the tree and are harvested only once they have. One of example of classical durian is durian Sumatra. It has a distinct flavour and taste with durian mon thong. Durian Sumatra has stronger alcoholic flavour and less fruity taste.
In Indonesia, people can make this for savoury and sweet dishes, including making sambal tempoyak (fermented durian sambal).
Speaking about dishes, this time I made something sweet. Yeah… yeah… I know what you are going to say, “Pepy, don’t you declare that you are not a sweet tooth” But once a while I still eat sweet things.
Anybody who grew up in Indonesia must know chocolate pudding with vanilla vla. Vla is a thickening creamy sauce that is often enjoyed with pudding. Vla is what other nations know as thin custard or crème anglaise. In this recipe, I keep everything vegan. If you want to substitute the coconut milk with evaporated milk or other milk or cream, it’s your call.
Before I forgot, I’d like to say many thanks to my foodie friend, Ann of Anncoo Journal who sent me this pretty moulds. Gorgeous moulds!!!!
Durian Pudding with Pandan Vla
400 gram durian flesh, fine blended
1 liter thin coconut milk (I used an UHT coconut milk and mixed with water)
40 grams coconut sugar (gula merah, gula Jawa, gula Bali) or palm sugar (gula aren)**
40 grams raw sugar**
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 grams konnyaku jelly powder (you can substitute for agar-agar powder)
1/8 teaspoon durian paste (optional)
Vla (Thin Custard):
300 milliliters thin coconut milk
150 grams raw sugar**
1/4 cup chopped pandan leaves*
1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolve in 50 milliliters water
1. In a bowl, combine 200 mL thin coconut milk with coconut sugar and microwave them until the sugar dissolves. If you use coconut sugar in granule form, omit this step. Instead, combine all coconut milk with other ingredients as step 2.
2. Transfer coconut sugar mixture with the rest of coconut milk (about 800mL) in a pot. Whisk in raw sugar, blended durian flesh and konnyaku jelly powder. Bring it to a boil and continue to boil for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir until the bubbles disappear. Transfer to a pouring jug.
3. Rinse off the mould with water before filling it with moud Konnyaku mixture. Fill moulds with Konnyaku mixture. Set aside to cool before refrigerating to chill and set. It takes about 3 hours. Best to leave it overnight. Remove the jelly from the mould before serving. Enjoy with pandan vla.
Pandan Vla (Pandan Custard)
In a sauce pot, bring to a boil pandan leaves, sugar and water until it turns green. Strain pandan mixture in a bowl, transfer back to the pot and reboil. Thicken the sauce by pouring cornstarch mixture and stir well. Set aside.
* Suji leaves are used for natural food colour/dye in Indonesian cooking while pandan leaves give a fragrant flavour to foods. Both of them are used to complete each other since pandan leaves can’t give a stable colour when suji leaves don’t have any fragrant. To give more greenish, I have to use lots pandan in this case. The easiest way you can use pandan paste that is available sold at most Asian markets.
** About sweetness, please adjust to your liking.
Other related posts:
– Duri Duriang (Makassarese Durian Tarts)
– Cantik Manis (Indonesian Sweet Pretty Cake)
– Ayam Garo Rica (Manadonese Chilie and Lemon Basil Chicken)
– Kue Pepe/Lapi Sagu (Indonesian Steamed Layered Sago Cake)
– Es Pallu Butung (Makassarese Banana Ice)
– Wedang Jahe (Indonesian Ginger Tea)
– Flan de Kiwi y Pandan (Kiw and Pandan Flan)