Dodol is a sweet toffee-like sugar palm-based confection commonly found in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.[3] Originating from the culinary traditions of Indonesia,[1][2] it is also popular in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, Southern India (Southern Coastal Tamil Nadu and Goa), Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Burma, where it is called mont kalama. It is made from coconut milk, jaggery, and rice flour, and is sticky, thick, and sweet.[4][1]

Dodol as one of traditional Balinese snack in Indonesia
Place of originIndonesia[1]
Region or stateJava[2]
Associated cuisineSoutheast Asia and Indian subcontinent
Main ingredientsCoconut milk, jaggery, rice flour


Peeling durians in a dodol factory at Tangerang. Durian is used for dodol flavour since ancient Java
Dodols sold in a market in Sri Lanka

The term "dodol" believed as a word of Sundanese origin, which in Old Javanese also known as "dwadal", whereas in modern Javanese it is called jenang.[5] In ancient Java, dodol is mentioned as dwadal. At that time dodol was made using the main ingredients of brown coconut sugar, rice flour and additional flavouring agent such as durian.[6] In the royal banquets during the ancient Mataram Kingdom circa 8th to 11th century, dodol was served as a dessert described as brown-coloured sweet treat.[2] Dodol is mentioned in the Gemekan inscription dated from the year 852 Saka or 930 CE, from the Medang Mataram Kingdom period, right side, line 23-24: "nañjapan, kurawu, kurima, asam, dwadal, kapwa madulur malariḥ" (and snacks, such as kurawu, kurima, tamarind, dodol, all are illuminated and approached).[7]

The history of dodol production is closely related to one of its main ingredients, gula aren or palm sugar, a traditional sugar made from the sap of Arenga pinnata plant, and also rice flour. It is a popular sweet treat and one of the oldest indigenous sweets developed in the Maritime Southeast Asia. The exact origin of dodol is unclear; while there is a remarkable diversity in preparations of the product within the island communities of Java and Sumatra, the variants tend to be adaptations of post-colonial crops.[8]

Dodol is believed to have been introduced to Southern India and Sri Lanka by migrants from Indonesia.[9] It has also been attributed to the Portuguese, who occupied parts of the country during the 16th and 17th centuries.[10] Several dodol recipes have been developed in Sri Lanka, such as kalu dodol. Dodol is very famous recipe in Kilakarai, Tamil Nadu. It was possibly believed to introduce by Sri Lankan Muslim immigrants. Dodol is a traditional Christmas dessert in Goa.[11]

Cultural significance

Traditional Betawi dodol making in Tangerang near Jakarta

In Muslim majority countries, such as Indonesia and Malaysia, dodol is commonly served during festivals, such as Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha as sweet treats for children.[8][4] In Hindu-majority province of Bali, dodol is also recognised as one of Balinese traditional snack. Garut town in West Java is known as a major dodol production center. Dodol Garut is well known in Indonesia, which led to the town gaining the nickname as "the town of dodol".[5]

The Betawi people take pride in making homemade dodol during the Lebaran (Eid ul-Fitr), where family members will gather together to make dodol. Traditional home made dodol Betawi production center is located in Pasar Minggu area, South Jakarta,[12] and also in towns around Jakarta such as in Tangerang. In Chinese community of Indonesia, dodol is adopted and integrated in their culture as a sweet treat requisite for imlek (Chinese new year) festival, locally known as dodol cina (Chinese dodol).[13]

Dodol is also popular among the Roman Catholics from the Indian west coast, also known as the former Estado da Índia Portuguesa, which includes Bombay East Indians from Mumbai, the state of Goa, and the city of Mangalore. Dodol Hj Ideris manufactures dodol and the company has now entered the Middle Eastern market, including Iran.[14] Catholic devotees from Paoay, Ilocos Norte, Philippines celebrates the Guling-Guling Festival a religious festival which “dudol” is one of the main delicacy. Is a traditional festival, started during Spanish era by Spanish priest at the beginning of the 16th century. It is celebrated at the UNESCO world heritage site Paoay Church or San Agustin Church, the Tuesday before the Ash Wednesday—the last day for merrymaking before the start of the Lenten season. Locals dress and furnish their homes in a local way. Street festivities, cultural performances, pageants, and a food fair featuring Ilocano cuisine are all available to tourists.[15] The celebration starts with a ritual called “Guling.” This word can be translated as “mark” or “sign.” In the old days, the mayor of the town smeared people’s foreheads with a white cross made of wet rice flour.[16]

Dodol susu, milk-based dodol from Pangalengan, Bandung

A related dessert in the Philippines is known as kalamay (literally "sugar"), which is made from sugarcane sugar instead of palm sugar. It also has a liquid consistency unlike dodol, since it uses ground glutinous rice rather than rice flour. However, the basic ingredients and preparation is similar.[17]

In Ilocos Region, Dudol makes for the perfect symbol of the Ilocano food heritage, It signifying solidarity, sticking together and will help enhance and deepen family ties if you eat dudol. Although it is also popular in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Southern India, dudol is a classic delicacy found in the Philippines' Ilocos Region. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, it is supposed to have passed through the Malay and Indian settlements on the coastal towns of the Ilocos region. Ilocano dudol is consisting of “diket” rice flour, coconut milk, and “benńal” sugarcane juice.

In Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago of the southern Philippines, dodol or dudul is more similar to the Indonesian and Malaysian variants and is known by the same name. It is usually prepared into thick cylinders wrapped in corn husks or coloured cellophane that is then cut into disks before serving. Although, like the kalamay, Filipino dodol is made with ground glutinous rice paste and muscovado sugarcane sugar, not palm sugar.[18][19]


Dodol making at Tangerang town near Jakarta, Indonesia

Dodol is made from coconut milk, jaggery, and rice flour, and is sticky, thick, and sweet. The cooking process would reduce the contents up to half as the liquid evaporates.[20] It normally takes 2 to 9 hours to cook, depending on the technique and tools used.[21] During the entire cooking process, the dodol must be constantly stirred in a big wok. Pausing in between would cause it to burn, spoiling the taste and aroma. The dodol is completely cooked when it is firm, and does not stick to one's fingers when touching it.[1]


Assorted Garut dodols, the most popular variant of Dodol, on display in Bandung



There is a diverse variety of dodol recipes found in Indonesia. The town of Garut in West Java is the main production center of dodol in Indonesia.[5] Many flavours of dodol are available, including a durian flavor called lempuk, which is popular in Medan and other Sumatran cities. A major producer of Garut-style dodol incorporates chocolate as an ingredient into a specialized variant product, with the intention of producing edible souvenirs from the city called 'chocodot' or chocolate dodol.[22]

The Dodol Depok is a typical sweet rice cake from Depok made by glutinous rice, red sugar, and pandanus leaf.[23] The Dodol Depok was already there since the days of the Dutch who settled at Depok Lama.[24] In those days, The Dodol Depok into a cake that is always served at each meeting conducted by the Dutch functionary, and its workers.[24]

A sample of durian cake made from durian-flavoured lempok,[25] which is similar, but is not toffee-like dodol.

Other variants include:

  • Dodol bengkoang contains jicama.
  • Dodol kacang hijau contains mung beans.
  • Dodol tape contains tapai, a fermented rice product
  • Dodol ubi talam contains yam.
  • Dodol sirsak contains soursop.
  • Dodol nangka contains jackfruit.
  • Dodol lidah buaya contains aloe vera.
  • Dodol apel Malang contains apple, and is a speciality of Malang city, East Java.
  • Dodol susu is from Pangalengan, Bandung, West Java. It contains milk.
  • Dodol tomat contains tomato.
  • Dodol salak contains salak.
  • Dodol rumput laut contains seaweed.
  • Dodol pisang contains banana.
  • Dodol nenas contains pineapple.
  • Dodol mangga contains mango.
  • Dodol China is an Indonesian Chinese version of sweet nian gao with rich coconut sugar.
  • Dodol Betawi is made by the Betawi people in Jakarta from a mixture of white and black glutinous rice.[8]

In culture


In colloquial Indonesian, dodol can also be used as a slang term for the word 'bodoh' to refer a person as being 'stupid' or 'illogical'. It is impolite to refer a person as 'dodol'.[26]

See also



  1. ^ a b c d Wibisono Notodirdjo (7 August 2011). "Sweet treats from the past". The Jakarta Post. Jakarta.
  2. ^ a b c Chaniago, Suci Wulandari Putri (3 July 2022). "8 Makanan Raja Mataram Kuno, Apa Saja?". (in Indonesian). Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  3. ^ "What Is Dodol?". wiseGEEK. 30 December 2023.
  4. ^ a b Bhuwon Sthapit; Hugo A.H. Lamers; V. Ramanatha Rao; Arwen Bailey, eds. (2016). Tropical Fruit Tree Diversity: Good Practices for in Situ and On-farm Conservation, Issues in Agricultural Biodiversity. Routledge. ISBN 9781317636229.
  5. ^ a b c Raihan, Muhammad Fadhil. "Dodol Garut, Sejarah dan Asal Usul Buah Tangan Khas Garut". detikjabar (in Indonesian). Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  6. ^ "Jejak Hidangan Mataram Kuno". Tutur Visual - (in Indonesian). 4 March 2023. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  7. ^ Budianto, Enggran Eko. "Terungkap! Pejabat Era Mpu Sindok 1.000 Tahun Lalu Pesta Miras Usai Penetapan Sima". detikjatim (in Indonesian). Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  8. ^ a b c Zieman (21 June 2014). "Dodol: Sticky treat for Hari Raya". The Star.
  9. ^ Guruge, Ananda (2003). Serendipity of Andrew George. AuthorHouse. pp. 402–403. ISBN 9781410757029.
  10. ^ Handunnetti, Dilrukshi (28 February 1999). "Hambantota: the kalu dodol capital". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  11. ^ Pinto, Xanti. "Dodol". Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  12. ^ "Menengok Pabrik Dodol Betawi Haji Tholib, Banyak Dapat Pesanan". Warta Kota (in Indonesian). 25 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Menengok Produksi Dodol Cina dan Kue Kerangjang di Tangerang Jelang Imlek 2573, Resep Turun Temurun". (in Indonesian). Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  14. ^ Market For Dodol Hj Ideris Expands To Middle East
  15. ^ Beltran, Maria Rona. "Guling Guling Festival : Paoay, Ilocos Norte's 400 Year Old Tradition". Travel and Wellness With Maria. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  16. ^ "Guling-Guling Festival 2022 in Philippines - Dates". Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  17. ^ "Calamay from Bohol". 22 June 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  18. ^ Damo, Ida. "Dodol: A Maranao Delicacy Perfect for Ramadan". ChoosePhilippines. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  19. ^ Tan, Kiki. "Discovering 'dodol'". Mindanaw. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Simple recipe to make authentic Dodol at home". LOKATASTE.COM. 18 May 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  21. ^ "Homemade Dodol Recipe (Glutinous Rice Sweet) - Sweet and Chewy -". Mykitchen101en. Mykitchen101en Team. Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  22. ^ "Sejarah Dodol Garut » Budaya Indonesia". Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  23. ^ "Dodol Depok Buatan warga Beji".
  24. ^ a b Jonathans, Yano. 2011. Depok Tempo Doeloe: Potret Kehidupan Sosial dan Budaya. Jakarta: Libri. Hal 98-118 dan 267-268.
  25. ^ Molesworth Allen, Betty (1967). Malayan fruits: an introduction to the cultivated species. Singapore: D. Moore Press. p. 99.
  26. ^ Yusup Priyasudiarja (2010). Kamus Gaul Percakapan Bahasa Inggris Indonesia-Inggris. PT Mizan Publika. ISBN 978-9791284738.