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Jangan Ndeso: Javanese Coconut Stew with Tempeh & Green Chillies (Vegan)

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Tofu & Tempeh
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Vegan


A simple and delicious village coconut stew from Central Java. Made with tempeh and chillies in a rich coconut milk soup, it’s vegan, healthy, and spicy.


  • 500 tempe, cut into small cubes
  • 150 gr curly green chillies, sliced diagonally
  • 8 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cm galangal, sliced or bruised
  • 2 salam leaves
  • 10 petai beans, halved (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 lt water
  • 1 small can coconut milk (around 5 oz)


  1. Blend the shallots and garlic into a fine paste, set aside.
  2. Prepare a large wok or a medium-sized cooking pan. Add the cooking oil and heat it over medium flame.
  3. Fry the blended shallots and garlic until fragrant, around 3 minutes.
  4. Add the green chillies, fry for about 1 minute.
  5. Add the galangal and salam leaves.
  6. Add the water, then put in the coconut milk. Mix well.
  7. Add the salt.
  8. Add the cubed tempeh, mix well, and cook over medium low for about 35 minutes until the liquid is slightly reduced, and the tempeh is soft and absorbs the flavor. Gently stir the mixture from time to time, to avoid the coconut milk breaking up.
  9. Add the petai beans, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  10. Turn off the heat and let the dish rest for a while before serving.


  • Keeping the dish overnight will intensify its flavor.
  • Adjust the amount of chillies according to your preference.

Keywords: vegetarian, soup, healthy, soy