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Sayur Asam – Vegetables in Sweet Tamarind Broth Recipe

Sayur Asam - Vegetables in Sweet Tamarind Broth

Sayur Asam Recipe – Vegetables in Sweet Tamarind Broth Recipe

Ingredients :

  • 4 cups (1 liter) water
  • 2 salam leaves (optional)
  • 1 in (21/2 cm) fresh galangal, bruised
  • 1 fresh or frozen corn cob, cut into sections
  • 2 cups (180 g) tapioca leaves, sweet potato leaves, spinach and melinjo leaves (see note)
  • 1 cup (100 g) green beans, cut into short lengths
  • 2 to 3 green finger-length chilies, deseeded and cut into short lengths (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) lightly boiled raw peanuts or fresh melinjo nuts
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) tamarind juice (page 26) or 4 to 6 carambola (belimbing wuluh), sliced
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) small fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional)
  • 1 ripe tomato, cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Spice Paste

  • 2 to 4 finger-length chilies, deseeded
  • 4 shallots, peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method :

  1. Make the Spice Paste by grinding all the ingredients to a smooth paste in a mortar or blender, adding a little water if necessary to keep the mixture turning. Set aside.
  2. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the Spice Paste, salam leaves (if using) and galangal, mix well and bring to a boil again, then simmer uncovered for 2 minutes. Add the corn and boil for 2 more minutes, then add the vegetables, chili (if using), peanuts and tamarind juice or carambola. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Finally add the shrimp, tomato and sugar, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until the shrimp turn pink. Season with the salt and remove from the heat. Serve hot as part of a rice-based meal.

Note : In Asia, the tender leaves of many vegetable plants are cooked as vegetables. Tapioca leaves, sweet potato leaves and melinjo leaves are readily available in Indonesia. Substitute water spinach (kangkung), or regular spinach or bok choy.

Serves 4 to 6
Preparation time : 30 mins
Cooking time : 20 mins


Source :
The Food of Indonesia
Delicious Recipes from Bali, Java and the Spice Islands
by Heinz von Holzen & Lother Arsana
photos by Heinz von Holzen


See also Indonesian Recipe “Water Spinach with Coconut and Spicy Dressing Recipe – Resep Pelecing Kangkung”