" Vegetables are the food of the earth, fruit seems more the food of the heavens." (Sepal Felicivant)

January 15, 2009


This is another Indonesian traditional food. This dish come from Surabaya, East Java, cook with special spice, which is keluwek or keluwak. Keluwek or keluwak is fruit from Kepayang tree. How to choose good Keluwak? Some people just shake the fruit and get two voices inside. But it doesn’t enough for me. I choose the heavier one, ‘antep’ in Javanese language. The larger is not always the heavier. When you do the right choice, you’ll get a perfect color of black keluwak inside the nut shell and its great smell. I can’t describe the smell but it is just like fermented fruits, you will get the smell of alcohol a little when the nut shell is cracked.

Actually, Rawon was my first experiment .Having capability to cook Rawon with good taste is a must for me, because this is one of my favorite foods. Rawon was my first experiment a couple years ago. This recipe is made after several tries.

700 g beef (brisket, sandunglamur in Bahasa Indonesia), cut in cubical shape
2 L water
2 lemongrass, crushed
2 salam leaves
4 jeruk purut leaves
2 thick slices of galangal root, crushed
3 tablespoons cooking oil
7 teaspoon salt

Spices to Grind:
4 chilies, throw the seeds away
5 cloves garlic, peeled
7 shallots, peeled
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
7 keluwak/keluwek, cracked, use only the black inner
5 candlenut
2 teaspoon ground coriander
A pinch of tamarind
50 g palm sugar
2 tablespoons sugar

150 g sprouts (the short one), soaked in hot water, then drained
2 tablespoon fried onion
Lime juice
Leek, chopped
Chili condiment
Salted eggs (duck egg), cut in two

Boil the water in a pan in high heat.
Set heat in low, add the beef, lemongrass, salam leaves, galangal root and Jeruk Purut leaves.
While tendering the meat in the pan, grind all spices in Spices to Grind above with stone mortar or processor.
Set the heat in medium. Sauté the ground spices with cooking oil until it is fragrant.
Then, pour the spices to the pan, stir it. Add salt.
Keep stewing until the meat is tender and the spices well absorbed.
Serve Rawon with warm rice and The Complements.

(for 4 peoples)

Related Posting:
Common Indonesian Herbs and Spices for Daily Cooking
Soto Betawi (Batavian Beef Soup)
Rendang (Beef in Chili and Coconut Milk)


  1. it's look delicious !
    made me wanna home earlier ㅠ.ㅠ

  2. I love this kind of dish.. I've tried it several months ago. Cooking together is one of agenda in Ngajikhun-Bangkok's "Quran reading" activity every weekend
    so.. what does "mabuk kepayang" mean? is there any relationship between "mabuk kepayang" and Kepayang tree?

  3. Hmm..never heard the story behind that words, maybe..somehow the smell or the delicacy of keluwek could make peoples "loose their mind" (mabuk)or maybe keluwek has specific natural content that responsible to 'kepayang' effects. I think you should find out the reason..:)

  4. HI i just love this dish,just dont know how to go about the keluwek.I bought some at the market the whole nut and now they told me to soak it for 3days.
    is this the way to go about that

  5. keluwek in Indonesia fresh market usually ready to use, only need to be cracked. I don't know what people did before sell them in the market
    I have no idea about keluwek in other place.
    If they told you to soak in 3 days, I think it's better to do that. Boiling and soaking keluwek, will remove the poison (cyanide acid) from their 'shell'.
    Please, correct me if I'm wrong.


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