Sunday, August 3, 2014


To make tiyula itum, meat chunks are rubbed with pamapa, then braised with fried onion and garlic. Turmeric, ginger, and galangal (langkuwas) are added, and after a little bit more simmering, liquid is poured in. It is cooked for ten more minutes and served with rice or ketupat.

[Pamapa: pounded spice; in this case, two cups of charred coconut meat, two to four stalks lemon grass (sae; sereh in Indonesian), and half a dozen cloves garlic, all pounded very fine and mixed with a little oil. Galangal: dwarf ginger, called Lengkuas in Indonesian and Malay, also known as langkuwas and lengkang. Lemon grass and galangal are signature ingredients in a lot of Indonesian and South-East Asian cooking. Ketupat, Katupat: compressed rice; rice cooked in leaf packets, which causes the grains to loose their individuality and become dense.]

Properly made, it will be blue-black, with a faint hint of a greenish hue due to the turmeric.

On lieu of charred coconut chunk, one can use shredded coconut, which is more easily come by in San Francisco.


Two pounds of goat or beef, chunked on the bone.
Two cups of grated coconut.
One onion, chopped.
Three stalks of lemon grass.
Six cloves garlic.
Three inches of ginger.
Three Tsp. turmeric.
One Tsp. galangal powder.
Half Tsp. dried ginger powder (non-standard!).
Half Tsp. ground pepper.
Two to four TBS sambal ulek or Sriracha sauce.
Generous pinch sugar.
Small pinch salt.
Liquid: coconut milk, broth, and water.

Cut the lemon grass into two or three inch long segments.
Bruise them by whacking, which helps release the flavour.

Roast the coconut shreds in an iron skillet till they are a disturbingly dark hue, black even. Then grind this fine, and add two or three tablespoons of cooking oil. Rub this all over the meat, which you have washed very well to remove all traces of blood.

Fry the onion golden, add the garlic and ginger, fry a bit more. Add the meat and lemon grass, cook till very fragrant, four or five minutes. Add the powdered spices and sugar, plus the sambal or Sriracha sauce, stir to distribute over heat. Let it gently seethe on low for a few minutes, stir to prevent it scorching.

Add the liquid -- about two cups each of water, broth, and coconut milk -- and raise to a boil. Turn low, and simmer for about ten minutes.
Some whole red chilies can be thrown on top.
It can eaten as soup, or served alongside rice.

Coconut milk is not necessary, and often left out. The amount of liquid is variable, and depends on your own preference. If you are making it soupy, increase the quantity of charred coconut, spices, and chili.
If more stewy, decrease.

In the traditional recipe, chunks of fresh coconut meat are charred over flames till they are easy to pound. That is rather hard to manage here, so instead I utilize shredded coconut, precisely like what is commonly made into serundeng.

Note that turmeric and galangal are used fresh in South-East Asia, but are hard to find in anything other than powdered form in the West.

Originally posted here:

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