Cenil, Typical Food from East Java, Has a Soft and Chewy Texture

What does cenil mean?

Cenil is a typical food that comes from Pacitan, East Java. Cenil itself has existed since ancient times when referring to Serat Centini (1814). This means that two centuries ago, this food was familiar to the tongue of the Javanese people. It is also believed that in the Ancient Mataram era in the VIII century this special food already existed. The original shape is round the size of a marble. Some areas call it Cethil. The name cenil itself is an extension of Aci dienil-enil and is a typical food from the city of Kediri which is almost similar to klepon.

In this modern era, Cenil has various shapes such as round, square or rectangular. Besides that, this cenil or cetil also has many colorful colors that are produced from food coloring. Made from tapioca flour mixed with starch or glutinous rice flour. Cenil has a chewy texture and a savory sweet taste of sugar and grated head dressing, perfect as a companion to drink tea or coffee.

This cenil is usually sold with lupis or serabi and is identically served in the afternoon until at night.

What are the benefits of eating cenil?

Aside from being a market snack, it turns out that cenil can also help maintain blood pressure stability so that it can be categorized as a healthy snack. Tapioca flour as the main ingredient for making cenil contains iron which is needed by the human body.

Curious about how to make cenil with a chewy and soft texture? Let's take a peek at some of the recipes!

1. Cenil Cassava


1 kg of cassava

150 gr of grated coconut

100 gr of sugar

1 sachet of plain agar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Coloring to taste

Topping Ingredients:

Grated coconut, steamed

1/2 teaspoon salt


Peel and grate cassava. Squeeze a little.

Combine all ingredients, stir well.

Divide into 3 parts, add food coloring.

Pour into mold according to color.

Heat the steamer then add cassava balls for 20 minutes until cooked.

After it's cooked, cut into squares or according to taste then roll it over the grated coconut.

Serve with a little sugar.

2. Rainbow Cecil


100 gr tapioca flour

100 gr low pro wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder

130-150 ml of hot water

Pandan leaves, for boiling

Food coloring

Grated coconut and a little salt (steam briefly)


Mix the dry ingredients then add the warm water little by little, continue to knead until smooth and the dough can be scavenged.

Divide the dough into 2 parts and add green and pink coloring.

Oval shape or according to taste.

Cook the mixture into boiling water until it floats and is cooked.

Remove then roll roll in grated coconut and pour liquid brown sugar slowly.

3. Cheerful Cenil


350 gr of grated cassava

150 ml of coconut milk

75 gr refined sugar

1 tablespoon of tapioca flour

teaspoon of salt

Pandan paste, taro and frambozen to taste

Yellow coloring to taste

Supplementary material:

200 gr of grated coconut

a pinch of salt

Liquid brown sugar


Mix well coconut milk, sugar, tapioca, and salt. Add grated cassava, stir well.

Divide into 4 equal parts. Give each dye to taste.

Pour each mixture into a heat-resistant container that has been lined with banana leaves and greased with vegetable oil. Steam for 15 minutes.

Remove and let cool at room temperature. After that cut into pieces and coat with grated coconut.

Serve cenil with liquid brown sugar according to taste.

4. Cenil Cassava Red and White


700 gr of grated cassava

150 gr of sugar

300 ml of medium coconut milk

2 tablespoons of sago flour or tapioca

Red and white coloring

Dressing Material:

Grated coconut, steamed

1 teaspoon of salt


Mix sugar, coconut milk, and tapioca flour until smooth. Stir the sugar mixture until dissolved, then add the grated cassava, and stir again until smooth.

Divide the dough into 2 and add red and white coloring.

Pour each cenil mixture into a baking dish that has been greased with cooking oil and lined with heat-resistant plastic.

Steam until cooked. Remove and chill.

Remove the cenil from the tin and cut to taste, then roll it into the bowl containing the grated coconut.

5. Cenil Sago


250 gr tapioca flour

125 ml of water

pinch of salt

Grated coconut

Granulated sugar for sprinkling

Food coloring


Steam grated coconut with a little salt and pandan leaves for 10 minutes and set aside.

Boil water until it boils. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of tapioca flour with 2 tablespoons of plain water.

Enter the tapioca flour solution into the boiling water, stir gently until thickened.

Turn off the heat, add the remaining flour, and mix until the dough can be scavenged. Add food coloring to taste.

Boil in boiling water until it floats. Remove and drain, after cold cenil mix with grated coconut.

Serve with a sprinkling of granulated sugar or liquid brown sugar.

Those are some recipes and how to make cenil creations that you can try yourself, very practical right? Good luck.