Kolak Waluh: Coconut Milk and Pumpkin Dessert Soup (Vegan)

Kolak waluh is a popular pumpkin recipe, especially in Central Java. The pumpkin is stewed in a dessert soup of coconut milk, pandan leaves, palm sugar, and spices, and served hot or cold.

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

I love pumpkin, not just for its flavour, but also for aesthetic reasons – it’s an attractive ornament for my kitchen. It also reminds me of the passing summer and upcoming fall — on the other side of the world, that is, when the weather slowly turns colder. Pumpkin is one of the things that triggers my memory of the years of living in countries with four seasons. Sometimes it’s hard to recreate that feeling as I have been living in tropical countries for so long. 

In the corner of my kitchen, I had some gorgeous pumpkins sitting around for a few days. They were waiting to be turned into carriages by the fairy godmother. I started to worry that they would rot because the weather was extremely hot and humid. Forget Cinderella. I will turn the pumpkin into a delicious refreshing kolak instead!

Kolak waluh is a simple dessert soup, made of fresh pumpkin cubes simmered in a coconut milk and palm sugar base. Additional spices such as pandan leaves, cinnamon sticks and cloves are infused into the soup. They will gently flavour the sweet and creamy coconut milk base. Flavour-wise, this dessert is a marriage of kolak and setup, combining two different dishes to create a harmonious mix. 


Kolak waluh is a popular way of cooking pumpkin in Indonesia, especially in Central Java. Households cook this healthy treat as a way to cool down on a hot day, as a snack. This dessert is also popular during the fasting month, and it is served during the iftar to break the fast. Though other ingredients (such as banana) can be added, I’ve used just pumpkin to make it fast and simple. The pumpkin is the real star of the dish!

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Kolak Waluh: Coconut Dessert Soup with Pumpkin (Vegan)

Kolak Waluh: Coconut Milk and Pumpkin Dessert Soup (Vegan)

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Vegan


Kolak waluh is a popular pumpkin dish, especially in Central Java. Here, the pumpkin is stewed in a dessert soup of coconut milk, pandan leaves, palm sugar, and spices, and served hot or cold.


  • 1 medium size pumpkin (around 1 kg)
  • 100 gr palm sugar
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 cm cinnamon bark
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 pandan leaves, cut in pieces
  • 120 ml coconut milk
  • 1 lt water


  1. Cut open the pumpkin, slice, remove the seeds.

    Prepare the pumpkin

  2. Peel, cube and wash the pumpkin carefully. Set aside. 
  3. In a cooking pot, bring to a boil over medium high heat: palm sugar, granulated sugar, pinch of salt, cinnamon, cloves, pandan leaves and the water. 

    Put the water, spices and sugar in a pot

  4. When the water boils, add the pumpkin cubes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.

    add the pumpkin cubes

  5. Add coconut milk and continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes. Stir the soup regularly to prevent the coconut milk from breaking. 
  6. Serve the kolak hot, cold or lukewarm.  

    Serve the kolak


  • Though the recipe calls for peeled and deseeded pumpkin cubes, it is also very common to use the fleshy shell and the seeds. They are edible, flavourful and nutritious. Just make sure to wash them thoroughly before cooking. 

Keywords: Quick and easy, cinnamon, pandan leaves, palm sugar

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