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Gula Merah ☆ Gula Semut ☆ Palm Sugar ☆ Coconut Sugar

May 16, 2011

There are several different kinds of palm sugar you can find in Indonesia. The three kinds I feature here are the ones I have at home. In Bahasa Indonesia, they are called gula merah (red sugar) or gula semut (ant sugar). I have purchased this Indonesian palm sugar (coconut sugar) from COSMO, but I have seen these sugar packages at many different stores such as Grand Lucky, Carrefour, and Papaya, another Japanese grocery store in Blok M.

My Japanese friend who was visiting her parents living in Jakarta a couple of months ago made delicious chocolate chip cookies using the gula merah. I used regular chocolate chip cookie recipe and replaced half of the amount of sugar with gula merah (Indonesian palm sugar) and the cookies turned out very fragrant. I think you could use all gula merah for sugar, so maybe I’ll try that next time. They are locally produced sugar and I always like to support the local industry. I always have some gula merah in my pantry. I’m even taking some home as souvenir.



I found this one at Papaya in Blok M. I have not used it, but I like that it’s vacuum packed and the package is cute, too.

You can find this one at Carrefour.


Grand Lucky
Location Map

Japanese Grocery Stores in Jakarta
Jalan Bulungan No. 16
Jakarta, Indonesia
Tel: 021-7207112 or 081380006789

Papaya Fresh Gallery
Jl. Melawai Raya No. 28
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan

Gedung Kamome, Jl. Melawai Raya No. 189 B, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan 12160
(0)21 723 5643

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2011 10:05 pm

    Have you ever used the block one ? It’s very good to make simple syrup for Kolak or Cendol. Combine it with coconut milk, and voila!

    • May 16, 2011 10:13 pm

      Mmmm. Now I will try that one, too!

  2. May 16, 2011 10:38 pm

    I have never seen this before and I ma very interested. Do you use it like sugar in cooking? Is it sweeter than cane sugar? I’ll have to look for this in my health food store. Thanks!

    • May 17, 2011 5:25 am

      Yep. Just like regular sugar. It has nice rich flavor and the best of all it’s natural.

  3. May 17, 2011 1:24 am

    i love the flavor of coconut, so i bet cookies with it would turn out great!

  4. May 17, 2011 8:03 am

    I agree with you Kaho, I think it’s great that it’s locally produced. and it’s organic as well!

  5. May 19, 2011 4:43 am

    Hi Kaho, I love this sugar as well and I use it instead of brown sugar called for in recipes because it is much cheaper and less processed if I am not mistaken. I recommend getting it at Hero though because it’s much cheaper! Look for the Hero brand. =)

    • May 19, 2011 9:23 am

      Hero? No way!! Alright, I will check!!

    • June 29, 2012 11:58 am

      In India we have a simple dessert which uses the jaggery(sugarcane or palm sugar) . The main ingredients are flour mixed with water with a pinch of salt and mix the palm sugar or jaggery with coconut in equal proportion. Make pancake with the flour and use the coconut and jaggery as stuffing and fold it over. It’s yum when warm cos the jaggery ,sugar and salt in the flour will have a great taste.

    • June 29, 2012 10:59 pm

      Wow, that sounds fantastic! We LOVE Indian food, by the way!!!

  6. September 18, 2012 3:10 am

    My name is Arif. i’m the online marketing of our products: Palm Sugar. follow our web on: ‘or’

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