Decades-old cendol recipe keeps ‘em coming back

by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA

SEREMBAN – Maideen Cendol hawker, Mohan T. Kadeer Mohaideen, 55, may have upgraded from a food cart to a food truck, but he is still using a decades-old family recipe for cendol (a shaved ice dessert) which keeps customers coming back.

Mohan said his father, T. Kadeer Mohaideen, 78, started selling cendol from a beca (trishaw) in Seremban in the 60s and that he was passed down the business in 2000.

“When I was small I used to help my father sell cendol. After I inherited the business, my wife, M. Anjali (54), and I set up shop outside Pasar Besar Seremban (a wet market).

“I upgraded to a truck in September, but although there are modern ice shavers, I’m still using the traditional method to maintain the authenticity of my father’s recipe,” he told Bernama, while adding that he can get 10 – 15 bowls of cendol from a block of ice.

He also said that he can sell up to 300 bowls of the cooling dessert per day which is priced from RM1.60 – RM2.50 and contains santan (coconut milk), gula melaka (palm sugar), homemade short, green noodles, jagung (creamed corn) and kacang merah (red beans).

He said that he uses 5kg of santan for his cendol but “before, I used 7kg – 10kg in a day because I could sell more than 300 bowls. Since COVID-19, however, I only sell 100 – 200 bowls per day”.

He said that his cendol isn’t just loved by the locals, but by people from as far as Sabah, too.

“Due to the conditional movement control order (CMCO) my customers from other districts and states can’t come for their cendol fix.

“Usually they will flock here at the weekend, including those from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor,” he said, while adding that the classic cendol (without corn and red beans) is the most popular.

The father-of-two said his business is open from 9am – 4.30pm every day except Tuesday and that he also accepts bookings for big events.

Loyal customer, Alizah Ahmad, 49, said she buys cendol every time she comes to the market to get cooking supplies.

“It is creamy, sweet and delicious with a taste you can’t forget. It also contains a lot of ingredients and is cheap,” she said.