Beras Kencur: Indonesian Rice & Kencur Herbal Drink (Vegan)

Beras kencur is an Indonesian herbal drink consisting of rice, kencur, ginger, and tamarind, and is commonly used to soothe throat irritations, increase stamina, and boost overall health.

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

Jamu refers to traditional Indonesian medicine, made from natural ingredients such as roots, barks, flowers, seeds, leaves and fruits. Most jamu concoctions use mostly herbs, but to add efficacy and flavor, other ingredients are sometimes added, such as honey, milk and eggs.

Jamu has long been known to Indonesians, especially Javanese people, who have consumed it since time immemorial. It is believed to have many health benefits and to protect the bodies against some ailments. There are all kinds of jamu for different purposes, for example, jamu kunyit asam and wedang asem

Jamu beras kencur is a concoction made of rice, kencur (kaempferia galangal), ginger, palm sugar and tamarind. The name itself translates only the two main ingredients, beras literally meaning ‘rice’, and kencur, the Javanese/Indonesian word for kaempferia galanga. 

The ingredients used to make jamu beras kencur are known to contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which are beneficial to health. Indonesians drink it to help increase the appetite, soothe throat irritation/cough, prevent free radicals, eliminate headaches, and increase stamina and vitality. 

Jamu beras kencur has a sweet and refreshing taste, making it palatable for many people. No wonder this drink is not only popular in jamu stalls, but also features on some restaurants’ drink menus to be enjoyed with the food. 

Though nothing beats the fresh, original beras kencur made from scratch, modern technology has made it possible to manufacture and package the traditional drink. Once offered by jamu women carrying a basket full of bottles of jamu, beras kencur can now be purchased in shops in the form of an instant powder mix, pills or a ready to drink tetra pack. 

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Beras Kencur: Indonesian Rice & Kencur Herbal Drink

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Vegan


Beras kencur is an Indonesian herbal drink consisting of rice, kencur, and ginger, and is commonly used to soothe throat irritations, increase stamina, and boost overall health.


  • 150 gr white rice, wash thoroughly and soak overnight.
  • 200 gr fresh kencur, peeled and chopped.
  • 50 gr fresh ginger, peeled and chopped.
  • 500 gr palm sugar
  • 100 gr granulated sugar
  • 50 gr fresh tamarind, dissolved in 2 tbsp of water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 lt water


  1. In a large pot, put the palm sugar, granulated sugar, tamarind and water, and boil it until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Turn off the heat and leave it until it cools off completely.
  3. Blend the fresh kencur, ginger, and rice with 2 cups of the cool sugar water using a blender, until fine.
  4. Put the blended paste in the remaining sugar water, mix well, then strain the drink.
  5. Keep the beras kencur in a storage bottle, and enjoy it with or without ice.


  • It’s really important to leave the sugar water to completely cool before mixing it with blended kencur and rice. Otherwise the rice will coagulate and become porridge.
  • Store beras kencur in a clean, dry glass bottle to prevent bacteria. It will stay fresh for around 5 days in the refrigerator.
  • Fresh kencur is a must ingredient and can not be substituted with dry or powdered one.

Keywords: jamu recipe

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