Curly Kale in Rich Coconut Sauce

Origin: Middle of Java Province
Source: A friend, roomate and ex colleague Dwi Handayani


  • 500 g curly kale
  • 200 g tempeh, sliced
  • 1 stem lemon grass, outer leaves discarded, crashed
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp soak in 2 tbsp water
  • 3 pc kaffir lime leaves, discard the rib od the leaf
  • 800 ml medium-thick coconut milk
  • 2 cm fresh galangale, bruished
  • vegetable oil

Spice for the paste

  • 3 pc large red chillies, de-seeded, chopped
  • 5 pc bird chillies (optional, if you like spicy)
  • 6 pc shallots, chopped
  • 3 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 pc candlenuts, chopped
  • 3 cm fresh turmeric or 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds or 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp sugar or to taste
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste

Curly Kale in Rich Coconut Sauce

I've known this dish from my best friend as well as ex colleague when I was working in a Batam Island many years back. One of my favorite recipes from her 😉
In Javanese this dish called "Podomoro" which literally means "people are coming" to enjoy this delicious vegetable dish 😉 In Indonesia this dish is usually made from young Cassava Leaves but unfortunatelly this kind of vegetables is not available in the West. As an alternative I use curly kale as substitute. The result is magnificently delicious!! You can also replace with another sort of vegetables such a long beans.
If preferred you my also replace the Tempeh with boiled meat. Just mix match the way you'd like it. Have a nice try and good luck 🙂


  • Discard the hard part/rib of the curly kale leaves and wash.
  • Bring enoug water with 1 tsp salt to boil and blanch the curly kale for abaout 3 minutes. Make sure the vegetables not overcooked!
  • Set aside to drain and rinse with cold water to prevent the vegetables turning blackish.
  • Slice the blanched vegetables in 3 cm length. Put aside.
  • Prepare all the paste ingredients, cut in smaller size if necessary.
  • Put all ingredients for the seasoning paste in a blender or food processor & blend until smooth. (If necessery add a little bit oil to help the blending process).
  • Sautee the paste, lemongrass, galingale and kaffir-lime leaves all the time until cooked & fragrant.( approx. 5 minutes)
  • Transfer the paste into a larger saucepan if you don't have a big shallowpan or wok and add the coconut milk.
  • Ass sliced tempeh and bring all to boil. Stir often to prevent the cononut milk being separated.
  • Adjust the stove into medium heat and add curly kale.
  • Add the tamarind juice and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Adjust the seasoning, add salt & sugar to taste. Remove from heat and serve hot.
Keyword coconut sauce, curly kale, fried tempeh, Indonesian

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