Jelly – a childhood recipe

I took a trip down memory lane last week with this jelly recipe.   It was a childhood favourite and my aunt used to make it for me on special occasions.   The jelly is made with agar-agar (instead of gelatin), rosehip syrup, pandan leaves for fragrance and some sugar for extra sweetness.   Red, translucent with a slight wobble.  Us kids used to restrain ourselves from poking the jelly while it was left to set in a large mould at room temperature.

When I was home 1.5 years ago, I bought some agar-agar strips from a local supermarket.   I just never found time to replicate my aunt’s recipe until recently.  I had the ingredients in my pantry and waited until the bear was asleep before I made it.


  • 1.5 litre water
  • 15g agar-agar strips
  • 200ml rosehip syrup
  • 3 pandan leaves, tied into a knot
  • caster sugar to taste (2 to 3 tbsp)


  1. You will need a jelly mould wide enough for the amount of liquid used here (1.5l).  I used a large pie dish
  2. Heat water in a pan 
  3. Once hot, but not boiling, add the agar-agar strips to the pan (keep stove switched on)
  4. Stir until the strips dissolve in the water (this takes time – 10 minutes or so)
  5. Add the syrup and pandan knot to the pan and stir well
  6. To let the pandan infuse the liquid, leave it to simmer for 10 minutes
  7. Add sugar to taste, stir until it dissolves and take the pan off the heat
  8. Pour the liquid into the jelly mould and leave to set in room temperature for a few hours (mine took less than 2 hours)
  9. Once the jelly is set, score diagonal strips (1 inch wide) to the left, then repeat on the right so that each jelly comes out diamond-shaped.  Or just stick a spoon in and serve!
  10. Chill before serving.  Will keep in the fridge for up to a week



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