Recipes Indonesia from the heart... side dish Tamarind Soup a la Jakarta | Sayur Asem Jakarta, original, Indonesian, cooking recipe, step-by-step

Tamarind Soup a la Jakarta

Origin: Jakarta
Source: Dwi Handayani, a best friend, ex roommate as well as ex colleague.

Rated 4.5/5 based on 2 reviews

Tamarind Soup

Notes, Tips & Tricks

There are varieties of Indonesian Tamarind Soup, a famous variant among them is "Sayur Asem Jakarta or Tamarind Soup ala Jakarta". Originated in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, now this dish is well known across the country. The specialty of this soup is using candlenuts as one of the paste ingredients. So don't worry if the soup doesn't look so clear as other varieties ( For example: Javanese or Sundanese Tamarind Soup). Infact this difference which make it special and unique!

Compare to western countries where soups are likely served during the winter, in Indonesia you can find them almost any time at any weather. So please don't be surprised that during your visit in Indonesia, you're served with a kind of hot soup in a real hot day ;-) Usually Tamarind soup will be served with rice and fried fish/chicken, raw salad plus sambal. Hmmmm...yummy ;-) Thx and credits goes to Yani who's shared this recipe few years back when I was still working in Batam. I really treasure the old days when we have shared and exchanged our knowledges of Indonesian cuisine across different region and custom. <


Ingredients for 4 persons:

  1. 1.5 lt/3 pints water
  2. 2 Salam leaves or bay leaves
  3. 3 cm or 3 tsp galangale, bruished
  4. 1 chayote, peeled-off, cut in pieces
  5. 1 sweet corn on the the cob, cut in 3 cm length
  6. 2 tsp raw peanuts
  7. 200 gr/7 oz young jack fruit (optional)
  8. 100 gr/3.5 oz long beans, cut in 3 cm length
  9. A handfull of melinjo / gnetum gnemon leaves (if any)
  10. 1 tsp tamarind pulp
  11. sugar to taste
  12. 2 tsp salt

Spice for the paste:

  1. 2 large red chillies, de-seeded, chopped
  2. 5 candlenuts, roughly chopped
  3. 5 shallots, chopped
  4. 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  5. 1/2 tsp roasted dried shrimp paste / terasi
Tamarind Soup Ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. 1 Blend all ingredients for the paste in a blender or food processor until smooth. (If necessery add a little bit water to help the blending process).

  2. 2 Pour in 1.5 liter water in a deep saucepan, add the paste, galangale and salam leaves. Bring the whole thing to boil over the medium heat.

  3. 3 Add the vegetables, start with the hardest one first : corn, jackfruit and peanut.

  4. 4 Add the chayote, long bean and tamarind and continue cooking until the vegetables becomes tender but not overcooked.

  5. 5 Adjust the seasoning, add salt and sugar until it tastes sweet and sour.

  6. 6 At last add melinjo leaves (if any). Remove from the heat to prevent overcooked.