RECIPE: Jamu Drink For General Health & Beauty

Shereton LombokI travel frequently, but there’s only a few resorts that makes me go back again and again. Shereton Sengigi Beach Resort is one of them. I loved the weather, the view, the pool, the adjoining beach, the friendly staff and the sumptuous breakfast spread.

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Every morning, I’ll have traditional jamu drink served in a small wooden cup. Normally, Jamu concoction can be rather bitter. However, at Shereton they’ve adjusted the taste to suit foreigners palate. The herbal taste of it is balanced with a tinge of zing from asam and sweetness from palm sugar. Sometimes, I was told, they add some orange juice too for a more pleasant flavour.

Jamu Shereton Lombok During my last visit in February, I had a cooking class with Chef Masnin and asked for the jamu recipe. He told me to have one glass every morning for general health and beauty. I’ve experimented a few times, and finally got a recipe that taste exactly like it.

Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 2 to 3 hours
Makes: 3 L

Ginger roots (halia) x 100 g
Fresh turmeric (kunyit) x  100 g
Lemongrass (serai)  x 5 stalks
Cinnamon stick x 1
Cloves x 5
Asam keping x 4 g
Palm sugar x 100 g – 150 g

Big pot (enough for 5 L of water)
Glass bottle
Pestle/ rolling pin
Knives & chopping board

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  1. Preheat oven.
  2. Gather all materials.
  3. Fill in pot with 5 L water.
  4. Peel ginger. Slice into 1 cm, line on tray and bake in oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Peel turmeric and chop into small pieces.
  6. Slice off the top of the lemongrass and leave only the stalk, peel off any dried-out layers and smash the end with a rolling pin/ pestle to soften.
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  1. Put all ingredients into pot.
  2. Bring to a boil. Let simmer with lid uncovered until it reduces to 3 L. It should take about 2 – 3 hours.
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  • I’ve tested the recipes a few times. I realise that you have to take time to boil it, otherwise the flavour not be released and the taste will not be right. Do not rush it. Simmer slowly. Having said that, some people prefer a lighter taste (such as my girlfriends who rarely have spices in their food).
  • The fresher the herbs, the better. I’ve purchased a huge amount of the ingredients and made it a few times in two weeks. The first time, when I slow boiled it with fresh herbs produced the best tasting drink.
  • Do wear gloves if you don’t want the turmeric to stain your hands. My fingers were yellow for days; many though I got injured and had put on iodine on my hands!
  • The drink will stain glasses. This explains why at Shereton Sengigi Resort, the drink was served in dark wooden cups. Avoid serving in your nice glasses and wash cups thoroughly to avoid yellow stain.
  • Do adjust the taste on your own – add less asam if you want it to be less sour and more sugar if you want it to be sweeter.  I’ve used two different palm sugar, and realise that the level of sweetness is different.

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What do you drink to keep yourself healthy and beautiful?

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