Special Feature

Nasu Kaluwak, hold the Kluwak!

by Ebee Photography Silobee on Fri, November 27, 2009

During Raya Haji there’s an abundance of fresh meat. Either you sponsor an animal and get a little bundle to take home or you might luck out and get some from your neighbours. Ebee has an idea for how to cook goat meat this Aidil Adha

No kluwak? My mom would have whacked me with a spoon!

Hari Raya Aidil Adha is coming up, and I have been given an assignment to find a recipe using goat meat other than the usual curry or goulash. Back home in Jakarta, my family prepares a daging kambing satay done Betawi style with a chilli soya sauce. But apart from that, we also fancy mom’s special Bugis cooking. So then I thought, why not ask mom about it? There are a few great Bugis traditional dishes made with goat meat.

So that's how I decided to try my own interpretation of Nasu Kaluwak. The word ‘kaluwak’ refers to the kluwak nut. Nasu Kaluwak a traditional dish from the Bugis tribe, cooked with goat meat in a thick kluwak gravy. It is usually served with Buras, a kind of coconut steamed rice wrapped with banana leaves. But this also goes well with ketupat or even plain white rice.

So in order to accomplish this little mission, I went to the TTDI market with my content director and my food editor. We managed to get enough fresh goat meat at a good price there. When we tried to get the rest of ingredients though none of the stalls were selling soaked kluwak nuts and since we were running out of time we wondered if we can do without. So I called my mom to get her advice on making Nasu Kaluwak without the important kluwak nut. Geez, she would have whacked me with a spoon if we were in the same room!

The infernal kluwak nut... fiendishly difficult to get into

With faith in myself however (and a little help from our fellow chef Sjaiful and avid cook Alexa as my kitchen Dexters), I managed to get it done without the kluwak nut. Woohoo! I was so happy that it turned out fine even though we missed out on such an important ingredient. It turned out to be completely different from the traditional Nasu Kaluwak. I'll probably just name it Heaty Goaty Curry or something. I’ll deal with the name later…

However, it is obvious that it didn’t taste like my mom’s dish. The one my mom makes is sweeter which I think comes from the kluwak. Missing out on the kluwak nut gave it a yellowish gravy rather than a dark one. At the end of the day this was my interpretation of the dish and it still turned out well. If you are into very spicy dishes, you can always add extra dried chillies to give it more heat.

To blend:
1 chopped lemongrass
5 Fresh chillies
3 cloves of garlic
5 cloves of shallots
1 inch Tumeric
1 inch Ginger
1 inch Galangal

For cooking:

A pinch of sugar
2 tbs fried onion
2 piece of daun salam
2 piece of daun Jeruk (if you can't find, omit)
1 cinnamon
1 kg Fresh Goat Meat
1 packet of Coconut Milk
Cooking Oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Blend the first seven ingredients.
Saute the blended puree in a pan with oil for 5mins and add the daun salam, daun jeruk, fried onions and cinnamon.
Fry till fragrant and then add the goat meat and brown.

Add coconut milk and let simmer for about 20mins.

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with ketupat or rice.

If you are able to find kluwak, you need to blend just one of them with the blended ingredients.
Some people might not like the 'goatiness' of goat meat so you can definitely make this with lamb or beef chunks. Infact, lamb would make this dish a little more tender to eat.

A worthy dish for your dinner table even without the kluwak

Selamat Idul Adha!


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