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Tengkleng: Solonese Mutton Soup

Tengkleng: Solonese Mutton Soup

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Beef & Lamb, Soups & Stews
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesia
  • Diet: Halal


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


  1. Blanch the mutton ribs in boiling water for 10 minutes, and then rinse with cold water. Drain, set aside.

    Blanch the mutton ribs in boiling water

  2. Using a blender or food processor, blend into a fine paste the: shallots, garlic, chillies, coriander, caraway seeds, white peppercorns and turmeric.
  3. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium high heat, then sautee the spice paste.

    sautee the spice paste

  4. Add the galangal, ginger, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Sautee for around 4 minutes.
  5. Add the muttons ribs.
  6. Add the coconut milk, stir until all the ingredients are well mixed.

    stir until all the ingredients are well mixed

  7. Add the tamarind juice and salt. 
  8. Stir the soup, and when it boils, reduce the heat to medium low.
  9. Cook until the rib is tender, around 1.5 hours. Stir occasionally and add hot water if necessary.
  10. 5 minutes before the soup is done, add the bird’s eye chillies.
  11. 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