Jamu is a fantastic medicinal tonic I learned to make in Bali. While we don't have all the ingredients here in Canada, I have modified the recipe I initially learned from the fantastic chef Arif Springs. 

If you get to Ubud, please visit his Shop. 

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Why it matter

For some, it's Kombucha, but for me, it's Jamu. It's a beverage love story. It's a pain to make, which I appreciate. It's a perfect balance of sweet and sour, which keeps me wanting more. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that I can feel in my joints, which amazes me. It improves my digestion, which is needed. It's made with ginger and turmeric, two of my favorite plants.

Jamu Recipe

Makes about three large mason jars (or less if you like it strong and boil longer)

Half the recipe or find a friend to share, as this recipe is too much for one.

Turmeric: 130 Grams (gently peel the nobs off and then weigh)

Ginger: 80-120 Grams depending if its strong or weak variety (gently peeled and then weighed)

Galangal: 40 Grams (can buy dry or frozen)

Lemongrass: 30 GRAMS (1 long or 2 short)

Cardamom Pods 15

Star Anise 1

Cinnamon Stick 4 GRAMS (or 3-inch stick)

Black Peppercorns: 20

Honey ¾ cup (less if you find it too sweet)

Tamarind Paste 80 GRAMS

Lemons: ¼ cup (about two lemons, but add more if you like)

Step 1

  1. Gently peel the turmeric and ginger (organic if you can) and remove big bumps..doesn’t need to be completely peeled. Weigh it AFTER you have removed some of the skin. Add to blender
  2. Next, roughly chop the lemongrass, galangan and add to the blender. Add the star anise.
  3. In mortar/pestle, smash up the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods and add to blender.
  4. Blend it all roughly together
  5. Boil 6-7 liters of water
  6. Add the mixture to the hot water. Turn down and simmer for 90 minutes to 2 hours. The more you boil it down, the stronger it is. You decide!
  7. Thirty minutes before you expect to be done, add hot water to the tamarind paste in a small bowl and mash it up with a fork.
  8. Fifteen minutes before you expect to be done, add the tamarind. ADD the peppercorns now!
  9. When you are ready to stop, add the lemons and take it off the stove.
  10. When cool, add the honey.
  11. Let sit.
  12. Strain well
  13. Pour into mason jars

Stir the jamu in a clockwise direction. Always think good healing thoughts while you make it.

You control the water level depending on whether or not you like it strong or weak.

The anti-inflammatory power of turmeric is only suitable for six days after you make it. You can drink it after that, but it doesn't work its magic.

Don’t drink more than 100 ML daily

Summer, add ice. In Winter, you can heat it.


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I'm noticing that Jamu is starting to show up in North America! I started making it and delivering it in Ottawa/Gatineau with a friend who is still making it. Check her out on instagram @Djamu Spirit. 

Also, live in New York? You are lucky. Go HERE


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