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The Kitchen as LaboratoryReflections on the Science of Food and Cooking$
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César Vega, Job Ubbink, and Erik van der Linden

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153454

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153454.001.0001

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The Sticky Science of Malaysian Dodol

The Sticky Science of Malaysian Dodol

(p.52) Eight The Sticky Science of Malaysian Dodol
The Kitchen as Laboratory

Alias A. Karim

Rajeev Bhat

Columbia University Press

Malaysia is a melting pot of ethnic backgrounds, which is reflected in the diverse food culture. This chapter describes the physics and chemistry behind the preparation of dodol, a sticky, sweet rice-based dessert. Dodol is a dark brown product with a soft, chewy, and sticky texture. Its main ingredients are coconut milk, glutinous rice flour, regular rice flour, palm sugar, and pandan leaves (from the pandan plant). Almost every attribute (texture, color, flavor) of dodol is the consequence of a complex series of reactions from a short list of common ingredients. Starch in particular plays a central role in controlling the textural attributes, whereas coconut milk and palm sugar provide the characteristic flavors and color. From the chef's perspective, an understanding of the science behind the process allows for informed manipulation of the recipe.

Keywords:   science-based cooking, Malaysia, Malaysian cuisine, desserts, coconut milk, rice flour, pandan leaves

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