Rawon Recipe -Traditional East-Java beef soup

August 22, 2011

Rawon is a traditional beef soup originally from Surabaya *capital city of east java province of Indonesia, its actually very rich, thick and deep-dark colour soup base because the used of keluak/keluwek nuts as natural coloring. The colour of the soup might makes you wonder or else it might triggered you off to have it, the fact to be honest it absolutely scrumptious.

frankly, I would rather never be bothered to cook  rawon on my own which using my own concoction spices from scratch, of course it might quotes from beloved mother recipe, from cookbook or browse around the world web-net.
I fancy buying a instant-homemade spice paste available on the market and cook it, as simple as that… and most importantly, I do not need to have an headache how to correctly picked of the keluak/keluwek nut which is the main ingredients to make rawon, it's absolutely pretty tricky to choose the right one :(

I said instant-homemade rawon paste:) it is homemade spice paste creations and runs by a small family in east java. They starts marketing by them self with no standard packaging and tag, all are created in a very simple way, but it contains absolutely satisfying outcome and I believe they might include the richest family in their region :))
My devoted instant-homemade rawon spice paste goes to bumbu rawon Putat ( Putat rawon spice paste *Putat is a name of  the village where they’re come from)

How to be an expert yet skilled selector of  keluak/ keluwek nut?

choose for the matured one (ripened) *buah keluwek yang tua, light in weight.
Try to shake for a certain convinced, it has to be a mildly sounds you can hear from inside the shell which mean its contents has formed shperes, naturally relieved from the shell wall.Prior to use, break the nut, have a taste of the fruit, it has intensity black in color and it isn’t bitter at all but if you have found it bitter, its mean the keluak is absolutely unripe (tidak matang/keluak muda) and it all definitely you do not need it,  I suggested to get rid of it, just go for the correct one as my guidance above and soon after that you would definitely called as an expert of kaluak/keluwek ha ha

This time i took all the trouble to make and home-cook Rawon by my own, hoping to be a winner to my Rawon since i have the book in hand. Everything were runs short of smoothly done, from shopping, processing and presented, except being an expert of keluwek selector, i need the help of the spices seller in the traditional market lol...thank you for your kindly guidance ibu, i do appreciated!

Traditional East-Java beef soup ~ Rawon
Adapted from hidangan berkuah favorite by Sisca soewitomo
Modified and translate by Me


    750 gr, beef tenderloin, diced to medium chunk
     1 ½ lt water
    2 leeks, slices about 1cm
    2 galangal, smashed
    2 lemongrass, brushed
    2 cm ginger, smashed
    6 kaffir lime leaves, midrid discarded
    1 tbsp palm sugar/gula merah, shaved
    some oil to sauteed
    beef cube to enhance the flavour/ optional

Ground spices,

5 pc keluak/keluwek nuts, as I don’t want my soup to be so black and thick
(original recipe using 15pc)
10 shallots/bawang merah
6 cloves garlic
1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted in a pan
1 tsp cumin, toasted in a pan
4 candle nuts, toasted in a pan
2 red chilies, discard seeds
salt to taste
* grind all the ground spices using a blender or mortar and pestle


Sambal terasi ( shrimp paste sambal/sambal belachan), 
prawn crackers/kerupuk, short beansprouts 
and golden crispy fried onions (bawang goreng)
* i use just boiled chili sambal~grind boiled chili using mortar and pestle


Scoop out the keluak/keluwek flesh from the shell, 
soaked in warm water about 10 minutes, drained.

Heat the oil in a pot, fry the the spice paste until aromatic, 
add the meat, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger and galangal, 
give it a good stir until the meat are cooked.

Add the water and palm sugar, adjust the taste according to your desire, 
you may add beef cubes to enhance the flavour like I did :)
cook until the meat are tender, at this point I adding another 2 ½ cups of water, 
I just loving my rawon having sufficient soup to cover our day. 
Add slices leek and cook another 5 minutes.

Serve hot with steam rice along with all the garnishes.

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