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Tongseng Kambing: Javanese Spiced Mutton Soup

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Beef & Lamb
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


Tongseng kambing is a spiced Indonesian mutton or goat meat soup. Here, the spices are sauteed, and the meat and water added, along with coconut milk and sweet soy sauce.



For the broth:

  • 500 gr lamb/mutton, cut into smaller pieces (bite sizes)
  • 2 cm galangal, sliced
  • 2 salam leaves
  • 1 lemongrass, bashed, sliced into 5 cm pieces
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 3 cm cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 150 gr white cabbage, cut into bite pieces
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 5 birds eye chillies (optional)
  • 1 big firm tomato, slice into bite pieces
  • 1.5 lt water
  • 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  • 50 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Fried shallots for garnish

For the spice blend:

  • 6 shallots, peeled, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
  • 3 roasted candlenuts, chopped
  • 3 cm fresh turmeric, chopped
  • 1 cm fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp white peppercorn
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds


  1. Blend all the spices using a food processor or a mortar and pestle until fine. Set aside.
  2. Put the cooking oil in a wok and heat it over a medium flame.
  3. Add the spice blend and fry until fragrant, around 2 minutes.
  4. Add the fresh galangal, salam leaves and lemongrass.
  5. Add the cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves and the ground nutmeg. Fry for 1 minute.
  6. Add the lamb.
  7. Add the water, mix well.
  8. Add the salt and the coconut milk, and bring it to a boil.
  9. Lower the heat to medium low, and continue cooking for around 40 minutes until the meat is tender. Don’t forget to stir it regularly to avoid the coconut milk breaking apart.
  10. When the meat is tender, add sweet soy sauce, cabbage, chillies and spring onions. Cook for another 4 minutes.
  11. Add the chopped tomato and turn off the heat.
  12. Transfer the dish into a serving bowl, garnish with fried shallots and acar as the side dish.


  • To remove the smell of the mutton, boil the meat for 10 minutes, then throw away the water.
  • Coconut milk can be omitted.

Keywords: non-spicy