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Rawon: East Javanese Keluak Beef Stew

Rawon: East Javanese Beef Stew with Keluak

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Beef & Lamb, Soups & Stews
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


Rawon, originally from East Java, is a beef stew cooked with keluak, giving the dish its distinctive black colour. This delicious dish keeps well and can be enjoyed for a few days after cooking.


  • 500 gr beef brisket or shank, cut into chunks
  • 7 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3 candlenuts, chopped
  • 3 pcs keluwak seeds (or 10 gr ready-to-use keluwak)
  • 2 cm ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cm fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cm lesser galangal, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 0.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 0.5 tsp tamarind
  • 0.5 tsp shrimp paste
  • ¼ tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 lemongrass, bruised and knotted
  • 3 cm galangal, peeled and sliced
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 lt water


  1. Using a blender or a food processor, blend into a fine paste: shallots, garlic, candlenuts, keluwak flesh, ginger, turmeric, lesser galangal, coriander, cumin, tamarind and shrimp paste.
  2. Put the beef and the water in a medium-sized pot and cook on high heat until it boils, then reduce the heat to medium-low.
  3. Using a small frying pan, heat the vegetable oil and saute the blended spice paste until fragrant, around 3 minutes.

    Saute the blended spice paste

  4. Transfer the sauteed spices to the soup.
  5. Add the pepper powder, lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves.
  6. Add salt.
  7. Simmer the soup for 1.5 hours or until the meat is done.

    Simmer the soup

  8. Serve with sambal terasi, salted egg, bean sprout, fried shallots and kerupuk.


Rawon gets tastier the longer you keep it, as the flavours have more time to blend. Making it in advance will save you on busy days ahead. And you will have a delicious, tasty stew, suitable for a hearty lunch or dinner!

Keywords: One-pot meal, Non-spicy