Every day is a hot day in Bali, and the Balinese like to invent new ways to combat the heat with the resources that nature provides. One of the ingenious inventions is es daluman. It’s basically green jelly, made from the leaves of a plant, put in fresh coconut milk mixed with some palm sugar and topped with ice cubes. Refreshingly healthy!
Es daluman is a signature traditional drink in Bali; it has been for many years. It is, however, hard to trace the origins of the delicious drink. Maybe long ago, the Balinese were just bored and found that leaves made good jelly. Who knows? Es daluman today can be found everywhere in Bali, from small family shops to even high-end restaurants. The green jelly is made from the plant Cyclea barbata miers, or known in Indonesian as “cincau”. The name comes from the local Hokkien Chinese dialect, sienchau. Actually, real grass jelly is black in color, but jelly from the Cyclea barbata miers is green and more dense. The plant is easily cultivated, even in home gardens!
Not only is es daluman refreshing and delicious, it also has a lot of health benefits, especially the jelly. The jelly is high in fiber and low in calories. Perhaps the only calories you’d get is from the palm sugar and coconut milk! The jelly also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties due to the high chlorophyll content, making it very useful to fight off the heat and be healthy in the process. So, whenever you feel hot, grab a glass of es daluman and enjoy the sweet freshness of the green jelly!