Tengkleng is a delicacy from the city of Solo, and is a light mutton soup infused with coconut milk and spices. The dish was a favourite of palace cooks and servants, who concocted it from leftovers, but is today considered a luxury.
- 1 kg mutton ribs
- 9 shallots, peeled, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
- 2 big red chillies, chopped
- 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
- 3 candlenuts, chopped
- 0.5 tsp caraway seeds
- 0.5 tsp white peppercorns
- 4 cm fresh turmeric, peeled, chopped
- 3 cm fresh galangal, peeled, bruised
- 3 cm fresh ginger, peeled, sliced
- 1 lemongrass, use only the white part, bruised, knotted
- 3 kaffir lime leaves
- 2 cloves
- 2 cardamoms
- 3 cm cinnamon
- 1 tbsp tamarind extract
- 10 whole bird’s eye chillies
- 1500 ml very thin fresh coconut milk
- Salt to taste
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- Blanch the mutton ribs in boiling water for 10 minutes, and then rinse with cold water. Drain, set aside.
- Using a blender or food processor, blend into a fine paste the: shallots, garlic, chillies, coriander, caraway seeds, white peppercorns and turmeric.
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium high heat, then sautee the spice paste.
- Add the galangal, ginger, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Sautee for around 4 minutes.
- Add the muttons ribs.
- Add the coconut milk, stir until all the ingredients are well mixed.
- Add the tamarind juice and salt.
- Stir the soup, and when it boils, reduce the heat to medium low.
- Cook until the rib is tender, around 1.5 hours. Stir occasionally and add hot water if necessary.
- 5 minutes before the soup is done, add the bird’s eye chillies.
- Turn off the flame. Serve with steamed rice.
- Very thin coconut milk is crucial for the dish. If fresh coconut milk is not available, it can be substituted with 1.5 lt water, and 50 ml canned coconut.
- If you prefer more meat, you can use 500 gr ribs and 500 gr meat. Always include bones for a hearty broth.
- Cook the soup on a low flame to extract the essence of the bones.
Keywords: One-pot meals, Coconut milk, ribs, luxury