Indonesia has a lot of gluten-free, lactose-free dessert recipes. Traditional Indonesian desserts mostly use coconut milk, rice flour, glutinous rice, and palm sugar. It is usually sticky and very sweet. I don’t really like super sweet things, so I like to tweak the recipe and make these traditional desserts less sugary.

This glutinous rice snack and custard is one of my favorite snacks, It contain two layers, slightly salty glutinous rice in the bottom and sweet green custard at the top. The combination of two resulting in very pleasant taste. Not too sweet, perfect for me!

Indonesian name: Sari Muko or Ketan Sarikaya


Traditionally, the green color comes from special leaf called daun suji. But nowadays, it is very hard to find this leaf, at least where I live. So I use food coloring instead. I didn’t use so much, that’s why mine looks a bit pale.

Another traditional thing that I skipped is daun pandan. It’s a leaf that has very nice aroma. Daun pandan is easier to find. I can get a hold of it here, but I felt lazy the day I made this to go out and get some (my neighbor has some, I could ask for a leaf or two). Instead, I use vanilla. Still smell great!

Pandan or vanilla is needed for this recipe because the custard use eggs, And without pandan or vanilla, the smell could be too eggy. Not inviting for sweet snacks. The original recipe call for 6 eggs! I tried and turned out too eggy for my taste. The texture also kinda weird. So I tried again using 4, and then 3. Three is the magic number for me. I also increased the amount of rice flour in the custard. Otherwise, with less egg, it wouldn’t set.

The thing with this recipe (as many other Indonesian traditional sweets recipe) you’ll need steamer. Oven is still used in some traditional sweets recipe. We are influenced by the Dutch, however. But not all homes here has oven. There’s bigger chance people has steamer than oven.

To make it, first I soaked the glutinous rice for several hours (min. 2 hours). It’s to make the glutinous rice cook thoroughly. Next, in a non-stick pan, I cooked the glutinous rice with 100 ml thick coconut milk and 150 ml water. Stir occasionally to make sure the glutinous rice is cooked evenly. With these amount of liquid, the G-rice won’t be really cooked. Next I steamed it. I put the G-rice in 20 x 20 cm baking pan and pushed it gently to make an even surface (pic below). Then, I put it in the steamer.

While the G-rice was steaming, I make the custard. It’s super easy. Mix everything and then poured it in the baking pan. I run the mixture through a sieve to make sure there was no lumps. Steam away, let cool, and cut.

So, do you want to try this recipe for your next tea time?


Lactose-free Glutinous Rice and Custard (Sari Muko)

Lactose-free Glutinous Rice and Custard (Sari Muko)


  • 250 g white glutinous rice, soaked for 2 hours and drained
  • 100 ml + 150 ml coconut milk
  • 150 ml + 150 ml water
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g (around 8 tbsp) rice flour
  • 150 g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 drops green food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. For the Glutinous rice: Cook the G-rice in a pan along with 100 ml thick coconut milk and 150 water until the liquid is absorbed. It'll become sticky and thick.
  2. Transfer the G-rice to 20 x 20 cm baking pan. Push down to make an even layer
  3. Steam it for 15 minutes.
  4. For the coconut milk custard: Whisk eggs and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Mix in the rice flour, 150 ml coconut milk, and 150 ml water. Mix well.
  6. Pour the mixture on top of the G-rice mixture. Run it through a sieve while pouring.
  7. Steam again until the mixture is set (15-20 minutes).
  8. Let cool before cutting,