I heard about this Burmese Coconut Jelly from my father who grew up in Burma and migrated to India shortly after WWII. Unfortunately, he just gave me its name but no recipe, nor any directions as to how it’s made. I searched for years with just bits and pieces as clues, and finally found it at Girl cooks world.
Kyawk Kyaw (pronounced Chhow chhow) is made with coconut milk and agar agar. The beauty of it is that the dessert separates itself into two layers as it sets. A pure white coconut layer, and the transparent water layer.
This Burmese Coconut jelly has a firm, yet soft texture that you can bite into, almost like a boiled egg. And has a beautiful coconut-y flavor, but its not over-powering, rather mild and comforting. More like ‘eating’ coconut water.
For those of you who have read the Mango and Coconut Jelly post last month, you would be familiar with Agar-agar. If not, check out this ‘All you need to know about Agar-agar‘ post and learn all about it. A lot of people have trouble getting Agar to set, but that’s because they are using it wrong. The agar-liquid ratio must be right, and the agar must be dissolved completely over heat for it to be effective.
With this dessert however, you need to remember a few more things to ensure success. It took me 4 tries to get the two beautiful layers to separate.
Here are a few tips to make sure you get it right the first time –
1. If using agar powder, just follow the recipe below.
2. If using flakes/strands, they need to be hydrated before they can dissolve with heat. Soak for 10-20 minutes before cooking it.
3. For substituting powder with flakes or strands, read the All you need to know about Agar-agar post.
4. Once the agar has dissolved completely, add the coconut milk and let it boil for a minute. This will separate the milk solids and coconut oil from the water, ensuring that the two liquids separate.
5. Let it simmer for a few minutes to continue cooking the coconut milk solids.
6. Pour into molds and let it set at room temperature. This is essential, because if you refrigerate it before it sets, the gelling process will accelerate and the jelly might set before the layers have had the time to separate.
7. You can make this with canned coconut milk as well as freshly pressed coconut milk. Be sure to extract coconut milk from freshly grated coconut without adding too much water. You want to get a concentrated form of coconut milk. I tried it with frozen coconut, it just didn’t work as well. I needed to add a lot of water to extract the milk, and the layers did not quite separate.
Thanks to Girl Cooks World for this simple, delicious recipe. I owe you one!