Tollo' Pamarrasan [ Stewed Meat Curry from Toraja ]

Tollo' Pamarrasan [ Stewed Meat Curry from Toraja ]

Tollo' Pamarrasan [ Stewed Meat Curry from Toraja ]

For those Indonesian-food enthusiasts, I am sure you've read (and tried) many recipes from Java and or Sumatra. Today I would introduce you to another great food from another part of Indonesia; Tanah Toraja, South Sulawesi - my beloved home town. If you are wondering how it tastes like, there is a cooking alike from Surabaya (east java), called rawon, both stew has black broth and using almost identical spices. The best way to cook it is in big quantity and let it stew for awhile so the spices blends into the broth... yummm.. This soup really takes my memory back to my faraway hometown :) 

1 kg beef or pork (if you are using beef, its better with the part with a bit a fat on it), diced
500 gr ribs (ask your butcher to cut it small so it fits into your pan) 
2-3 stalks of lemongrass (depends on how big it is)
50 gr keluwak (pangium edule) ready to use. Back in my hometown, its easy to find keluak paste in good quality, I always keep a jar in my fridge. Very practical. 
3 kaffir lime leaves, sliced
100 gr dried pangi (optional). Soak it in water for 2 hours then wash it clean prior to cooking. 
salt and pepper to taste
few Thai chilies (optional)
oil to sautée

Ingredients to paste:
300gr Shallot
400gr Garlic
100gr Ginger

1. Soak keluwak in 100 ml of water to soften then crush it with mortar pestle, set aside

2. Sautée the paste ingredients (be generous with the oil) in a big wok until it changes color and smells fragrant

3. Add in the meat, continue cooking in medium heat until the meat start to change color
4. Add water until it almost cover the meat surface and lemongrass stalks

5. Continue cooking until the broth reduced a bit, stir once in awhile
6. Add keluwak, pangi, salt, pepper and chillies (if you finally decided to give a hot kick in the broth), stir
7. Let it simmer until the meat tender enough to your taste then add kaffir lime leaves, stir
8. Continue simmer until the broth only 1/8 of the original amount of water and the meat is tender enough its almost pulled apart. 
9. Your Tollo' stew is ready to serve, and like most Indonesian food, this dish is best served with a bowl of rice.  

See, wasn't that easy to cook? The hardest part perhaps only to find Keluak and Pangi, but don't worry, if you live outside of Indonesia, you can find these ingredients at your local Asian Store. The key of this recipe is on the amount of shallot you are using and your sauté-ing process. You have to make sure that your pasted ingredients were thoroughly sautéed before you add the meat in. 

Happy cooking!

PS: You might find an article saying that keluwak is poisonous and that makes you squeamish  to cook with this ingredient. Well, fresh fruit and seed of keluwak contain hydrogen cyanide and toxic if consumed without prior preparation. The seeds must first be boiled and then buried in ash, banana leaves on the ground for forty days, during this time, they will turn from creamy white to dark brown or black. This process occurs because the hydrogen cyanide released during boiling and fermentation. After the long preparation, keluwak becomes edible and it also an excellent source of vitamin C and iron. I can assure you that all keluwak that are sold in stores are edible and safe to use. Well, otherwise the store won't sell it in first place, will it? ;)


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