How to Make Kuah Rawon

Kuah Rawon is a traditional Indonesian dish that originated from the East Java region. It is a flavorful black beef soup that is typically served with rice. The main ingredient of Kuah Rawon is beef, which is slow-cooked with a combination of spices and herbs to create a rich and aromatic broth.

To make Kuah Rawon, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Beef (preferably shank or ribs)
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Candlenuts
  • Kemiri nuts
  • Galangal
  • Lemongrass
  • Kaffir lime leaves
  • Tamarind pulp
  • Palm sugar
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cooking oil

To prepare Kuah Rawon, start by grinding the shallots, garlic, ginger, turmeric, candlenuts, and kemiri nuts into a paste. Then, heat some cooking oil in a large pot and fry the paste until fragrant. Add the beef and cook until browned.

Next, add water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the beef for several hours until it becomes tender. During this time, add the galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, tamarind pulp, palm sugar, salt, and black pepper to the pot to enhance the flavor of the broth.

Once the beef is tender, remove it from the pot and shred it into bite-sized pieces. Return the shredded beef to the pot and continue simmering for another 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

Finally, serve the Kuah Rawon hot with a side of steamed rice. You can garnish it with fried shallots, chopped scallions, and some lime wedges if desired. Enjoy this delicious and comforting Indonesian dish!


1. Beef

The main protein in Kuah Rawon is beef. You will need a tender cut of beef, such as beef chuck or beef brisket, cut into cubes or slices. The beef adds a hearty and meaty flavor to the soup.

2. Keluwak

Keluak, also known as keluwak or kepayang, is a black nut that is commonly used in Indonesian cooking. It has a unique earthy flavor and is responsible for giving Kuah Rawon its dark color. The keluwak nuts need to be soaked and pounded to release the black paste before being added to the soup.

3. Aromatics

To enhance the flavor of the soup, you will need a combination of aromatics such as shallots, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass. These ingredients provide a fragrant and savory base for the broth.

4. Spices

4. Spices

A variety of spices are used to season Kuah Rawon, including coriander seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, and chili peppers. These spices add depth and complexity to the soup.

5. Tamarind Paste

Tamarind paste is added to Kuah Rawon to provide a tangy and sour taste. It also helps to balance the richness of the beef and the bitterness of the keluwak.

6. Other Ingredients

6. Other Ingredients

In addition to the main ingredients listed above, you will also need vegetable oil for frying, salt and pepper for seasoning, and water or beef broth to create the soup base.

By combining these ingredients and following a traditional recipe, you can create a delicious and authentic Kuah Rawon soup that showcases the flavors of Indonesian cuisine.

Step-by-step instructions:

Step-by-step instructions:


  • 500 grams of beef (preferably beef shank or brisket)
  • 2 liters of water
  • 5 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 6 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons of shrimp paste
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, bruised
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin


  1. First, prepare the beef by cutting it into cubes or chunks. Rinse it thoroughly with water to remove any impurities.
  2. In a large pot, heat the cooking oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and sauté until fragrant.
  3. Add the shrimp paste, kaffir lime leaves, and lemongrass to the pot. Stir for a few minutes.
  4. Add the beef to the pot and cook until it changes color.
  5. Pour in the water and bring it to a boil. Skim off any impurities that rise to the surface.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 2-3 hours, or until the beef is tender.
  7. In the meantime, prepare the spice paste by grinding the salt, sugar, tamarind paste, ground coriander, ground turmeric, and ground cumin into a smooth paste using a mortar and pestle or a food processor.
  8. Add the spice paste to the pot and stir well. Let it simmer for another 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  9. Once the soup is done, remove the beef from the pot and set it aside.
  10. Strain the soup to remove any solid particles. Return the strained soup to the pot.
  11. Now, slice the beef into thin pieces and return them to the pot.
  12. Heat the soup again just before serving. Serve the Kuah Rawon hot with steamed rice, fried shallots, chopped green onions, and sambal on the side.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to make a delicious bowl of Kuah Rawon right in your own kitchen. Enjoy!

Tips and variations

  1. Use fresh ingredients: To achieve the best flavor, it is recommended to use fresh ingredients, such as shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and galangal. Using fresh spices will give the soup a more vibrant taste.
  2. Experiment with meat: While traditional Kuah Rawon uses beef, you can also try using other types of meat such as chicken or lamb. Each type of meat will bring a unique flavor to the dish, so feel free to experiment.
  3. Add vegetables: To make the soup more nutritious and flavorful, consider adding vegetables such as carrots, green beans, or spinach. These vegetables will add a pop of color and freshness to the dish.
  4. Adjust the spice level: Kuah Rawon is known for its bold and spicy flavor. If you prefer a milder taste, you can reduce the amount of chili peppers or remove the seeds. On the other hand, if you enjoy extra heat, you can add more chili peppers or use spicier varieties.
  5. Serve with condiments: Kuah Rawon is traditionally served with various condiments, such as lime wedges, fried shallots, sambal, and emping crackers. These condiments add different textures and flavors to the dish, allowing each diner to customize their bowl according to their preferences.

Overall, don’t be afraid to experiment and make the recipe your own. Kuah Rawon is a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit different tastes and dietary preferences.

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