After I discovered a Turmeric Tamarind beverage in Indonesia last year, I got hooked on this modern day jamu. Because I’m big on traditional herbal drinks that were concocted centuries ago, uh huh. I don’t fancy getting my fingers and fingernails stained jaundice yellow by handing turmeric and making this beverage from scratch though, so as soon as I had the chance I swept the supermarket shelves clean off this bottled ready-made herbal drink. And other stuff.
Asam Kunyit (Tamarind Turmeric) drink. In all honesty, it is an acquired taste and may not appeal to everyone’s palate. But it’s made with turmeric! Which is, like, only one of the world’s healthiest food out there and packed with a long list of benefits.
While browsing the beverage aisle, I also came across other herb-based drinks so I snagged those too. My Surabaya supermarket spree:
Another Turmeric-based herbal drink, this one supposedly alleviates fatigue and body aches.
Boxed herbal drinks: Beras Kencur (Galangal and Rice Powder), Gula Asam (Palm Sugar and Tamarind), and Kunir Asam (Turmeric Tamarind).
These are powder sachets: Sari Temulawak, Beras Kencur (Galangal and Rice Powder), Kunyit Asam (Turmeric Tamarind). From the images on the box, I assume this can be consumed both hot and cold.
Never seen or heard of Beras Kencur before so I looked up its health benefits. According to this article, the combination of galanga and rice powder is pretty potent and drinking this concoction increases appetite, counters lethargy, boosts hair growth and shine, blablabla.
I also had to look up Temulawak and this article says it’s another form of turmeric but with higher percentage of curcumin content. Incidentally, I drink that Helmigs stuff featured in the article several times a week as I find it refreshingly thirst-quenching. Happy to find out from the article that it helps to improve liver health (pay attention, hardcore alcoholics) and reduce cholesterol. Have I shared that after over a year of mysterious dizziness and fainting spells, a few months ago I was diagnosed with high cholesterol? I’m not a happy camper about that, obviously, but now along with the pill that I have to pop daily, I’ve found me an herbal antidote. *score*
Apparently this is a very popular herbal supplement in Indonesia. Called Tolak Angin which literally translates to “reject wind”, it’s a supplement that’s taken orally as soon as you display flu-ish symptoms or when your body starts feeling out of sync and on the cusp of falling ill. My aunt swears by this and would pack several sachets along whenever she travels.
My ideal scenario when such discomfort looms involves chugging several sachets of this herbal drink and an aggressive session of guasha (meridian scrapping). And the world will be golden once again. YASSS.
I love tempe, ie. fermented soy bean cake. Picked up a cylindrical-shaped cake and a couple of tempe sheets, which I think is super cool and I’ve got the idea of incorporating the sheet into a fusion maki roll or as part of a rice wrap something or the other. I’ll figure it out, but clearly the gears inside my head are starting to turn already. Tempe in sheet form, how fun.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I present to you: a wedge of young jackfruit. I am sure you know other people who also pack this into their suitcase after an overseas travel. If I remember correctly, the texture of this, when cooked, is similar to artichoke or heart of palm – kinda fibrous and crunchy. Traditionally this is used in curry so I may end up doing the same, but I dunno yet… we’ll see.
Miscellany of packaged spices and sauces to whip up Indonesian food sans pounding with mortar and pestle (which I happen to redundantly own two sets of). Admittedly, and I’ve written this before, I’m not a big fan of Indonesian food. However, I am allowing myself to warm up to it because to a certain extent, I’m intrigued by the spices involved. Without the interest, I wouldn’t have been able to come up with fun dishes like Soto Ayam Penne.
Plus, variety in my daily homemade meals is the spice of life (heh).
Two kinds of fermented glutinous rice, called Tape (pronounced as tah-pay, Wiki spells it as “tapai“). These are usually found in desserts, as in added as a topping over shaved ice and that’s exactly what I plan on doing with these. Anything fermented is always good for the gut, I say.
Last but not least, chicharones!!!!!!! Fried pork rinds. From Bali. *rubbing palms with glee and gluttony*