Indonesia has various types of spices or “rempah-rempah” which known worldwide since 16th century. Apart for cooking ingredients, spices that grow in Indonesia could also be used for different purposes, such as for the ingredients of herbal drinks or “jamu”.
Jamu is a kind of herbal drink and that people of Indonesia, mainly Javanese believed can cure some illnesses. Some of the most popular jamu are rice galanga drink or “beras kencur”, turmeric tamarind drink or “kunyit asam” and curcuma zanthorriza drink or “temulawak”.
Rice Galanga Drink
Beras kencur or rice galanga drink is a type of drink made with rice and galanga as the main ingredients. White or brown sugar is often used as the sweetener. It has a light brown color and had a sweet taste. Rice galanga drink is believed to be having some medicinal use, such as increasing appetite and vitality, and also reducing fatigue.
Turmeric Tamarind Drink
Kunyit asam or turmeric tamarind drink is a herbal drink made from turmeric, tamarind, brown sugar and water. It has an orange color and taste a bit sour. It is believed that drinking kunyit asam can aid digestion problem, maintaining body weight, and relieve menstrual cramp.
Curcuma Zanthorriza Drink
Curcuma zanthorriza or temulawak is a kind of spices similar to ginger. The drink is made with mixing the curcuma zanthorriza extract with water. The medicinal use of the drink includes reducing cholesterol, preserve liver function, and prevent cancer.
These jamu usually available in traditional markets and offered house to house by a peddler carrying bottles on their backs in residential complexes. Nowadays, some restaurants also provide them in their menu. There is also one restaurant in West Jakarta that only serve jamu in their menu. However beside curcuma, turmeric, tamarind, do you want to know more about other spices in Indonesia? Join the journey of Jakarta Walking Tour to discover more about it and “spice” up your life a little bit. 😉