Eggs are my go-to easy dishes. I love making hard-boiled eggs, and then further cook them in delicious sauces like this gulai telur Padang.
You can fry the hard-boiled eggs in hot oil first to create a blistered golden brown crust on the eggs. I usually skip this step, but the ones sold in Padang restaurants usually have this golden brown crust, so it is up to you if you want to or not.
Gulai Padang sauce
The sauce is simple, just need to gather the ingredients and make a spice paste with food processor or blender.
You will need lemongrass, shallot, garlic, bird eye chilies, candlenuts (or macadamia), ginger, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, daun salam, tumeric powder, and coconut milk.
If bird eye chilies are too spicy for your liking, feel free to use milder varieties, such as cayenne, or even Fresno. Just make sure to use red color chilies.
Daun salam is Indonesian bay leaves. The flavor is super different compared to regular bay leaves. So if you can’t find daun salam, the best option would be to simply omit them.
How to cook gulai telur Padang?
First, sauté spice paste and all seasoning ingredients until fragrant and the color turns into a darker shade.
Then, add water and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add the peeled hard boiled eggs and simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Turn off the heat, discard the leaves, and serve gulai telur padang with steamed white rice.
A typical packet of nasi Padang
Typically if you buy a packet of Padang rice meal, you get a serving of rice, a serving of egg (gulai telur or telur balado, you get to choose usually), a serving of vegetables, and a serving of meat (rendang, gulai ayam, ayam bakar, ayam pop), and a generous amount of sambal lado.
A rice packet like this is very filling and most likely costs less than $2, a truly delicious and satisfying meal at a very reasonable price. Give it a try if you ever visit Indonesia 🙂
Padang cuisine is definitely one of my favorite Indonesian cuisines. And whenever I have the chance to visit a Padang restaurant, it is almost a certainty that I will grab some gulai daun singkong among the mountain of dishes to choose from.
I mean, have you ever walked into a Padang restaurant? The display of so many dishes, stacked like mountains, is the main draw, and the smell, of course.
It is always so difficult to decide which dishes to get, but this unassuming curry is so full of flavor, and to me, a proper nasi Padang is not complete without it.
What do I need to prepare gulai daun singkong Padang?
Like most Padang dishes, the ingredients list for this dish is quite long. You will need:
daun singkong (yam/cassava/sweet potato leaves). These are sold as yam leaves in my nearby Asian market. For this specific dish, kale is the best substitute if you cannot find daun singkong in your grocery store.
ground coriander (Indonesian: bubuk ketumbar)
ground turmeric (Indonesian: bubuk kunyit). You can use fresh turmeric too if you wish.
shallots. I use smaller Asian/Chinese shallots, but feel free to use regular French shallots too. Just go by weight measurement to make sure you don’t use too many shallots. 🙂
red chilies. I use red Fresno chilies, but you can use red cayenne, or even red bird-eye chilies if you really love spicy dishes.
candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri). You can substitute this with the same amount of macadamia nuts.
daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves). These are not the same as regular bay leaves. If you can’t find these, it is best to omit.
kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk). Added at the very last minute to impart some fresh citrus note. This is optional and can be omitted.
How do I prepare yam leaves?
From the market, yam leaves are sold attached to their stalks. Try to break the stalks, if they are fibrous looking, simply use the leaves. If the stalks are tender and not fibrous at all, feel free to include the stalks too in the dish. Regardless, please do the following to prep your yam leaves:
Pinch off each leaf and its stem from the main stalk.
If the main stalk has tender parts, usually more towards the top near where all the leaves are, pinch of those parts too. Probably 50% of the time, you will find that the main stalk will be too tough/fibrous to be used.
Wash and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove dirt.
Set aside to drain excess water before cooking.
How do I cook gulai daun singkong?
Here is how I cook gulai daun singkong at home:
Prep the daun singkong (yam leaves) as described in the previous section.
Grind the spice paste. I use a food processor for this. You can use a blender, or even traditional mortar and pestle if that’s what you have.
Heat cooking oil in a wok/pot/deep skillet (I use a wok), and fry the spice paste until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
Add daun salam (if using) and lemongrass, cook for another 2 minutes.
Add yam leaves and water into the wok, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Add coconut milk, salt, and sugar. Continue simmering for 5 minutes.
Add kaffir lime leaves (if using), and stir for 1 minute. Turn off heat, and serve immediately with steamed white rice.
Other Padang dishes recipes to try
If you love this gulai daun singkong and would love to try cooking other Padang restaurant dishes at home. Please give these recipes a try:
Gulai Daun Singkong is my family’s favorite Indonesian vegetable stew. The main ingredient of a Gulai Daun Singkong is cassava leaves, which is difficult to find in the US. The easiest and best substitute for cassava leaves is kale, so today I share my recipe for Gulai kale (kale in spicy coconut broth). You can also just call it Indonesian kale curry. 🙂
Ingredients for Indonesian kale curry (gulai kale)
This recipe needs kale, coconut milk, daun salam, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, red chilies, garlic, shallot, ginger, galangal, candlenuts, coriander, turmeric, cumin, coconut palm sugar, and salt.
Which kale should you use?
You can use curly kale, Lacinato kale, or baby kale. The slight bitterness in kale matches so perfectly with the slight bitterness in cassava leaves, and when using baby kale, the cooking time is so much faster compared to cassava leaves. If you are using curly kale or Lacinato kale, please adjust the cooking time and make sure to cook until the leaves are tender.
You can substitute kale with spinach. Spinach is sweet and the curry will lack that certain bitterness, so it may or may not be a good thing if the aim is to replicate the taste and texture of gulai daun singkong.
Which red chilies should you use?
Use bird eye chilies if you want to follow the traditional Indonesian recipe, but let me warn you that bird eye chilies are very spicy. Fresno or cayenne chilies are better for people who prefer a milder dish since they both have a lower Scoville score compared to bird eye chilies.
You can also use dried red chilies if you are out of fresh chilies. Soak dry chilies for a while in hot water to soften before using.
Step-by-step to cook gulai kale (Indonesian kale curry)
1. Prep kale
If you are using curly kale or Lacinato kale, start by removing the stems and cut the leaves into thin strips. Skip this step if you are using baby kale. Wash and drain the leaves and set aside.
2. Make spice paste
Use a food processor or a spice attachment for your blender and grind red chilies, shallot, garlic, candlenuts, the white part of lemongrass, ginger, galangal, coriander, turmeric, and cumin into a smooth paste.
3. Cook the curry
Heat oil in a wok over medium heat. Sauté spice paste, Indonesian bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves, and the green part of lemongrass until fragrant. About 5 minutes.
Add water to the wok and bring to a boil. Add kale and cook until wilted and tender. Add coconut milk and season with salt and coconut palm sugar, adjust the amount as necessary. Once it boils, turn off the heat.
What can I serve with kale curry?
I make this dish when I am craving for Padang dishes. When you visit a Padang restaurant, you stroll in, sit on an empty table, and the server will bring in small plates of almost all the dishes they serve in the restaurant. So it is a very similar experience to going for a Chinese dim sum.
To replicate that Padang restaurant experience at home, you can try preparing several popular Padang dishes. My favorites include:
Indonesia is a big country, and cuisines of many regions combined make up what we know as Indonesian cuisine. Among its many cuisines, Padang is easily my favorite.
Some of popular Padang dishes that you may have heard of include rendang, ayam pop, ayam panggang, balado, perkedel, sambal lado, gulai nangka, gulai daun singkong, soto Padang, and many more. If I were to eat just Padang dishes for the rest of my days, I don’t think I will complain much. 🙂
I am going to share my recipe for Gulai Ayam Padang today. I love that this dish has plenty of delicious sauce that is just perfect with some steamed rice. I never throw away the extra sauce even when all the chicken is gone. The extra curry sauce elevates a humble meal of steamed rice and fried egg into a delicious meal.
Ingredients for gulai ayam Padang
Most Padang restaurants in Indonesia use ayam kampung for their chicken dishes. Ayam kampung is the equivalent of a free-range chicken, and it is usually smaller and lighter compared to farmed chicken. You can use a whole chicken, cut up into 8-12 pieces.
I usually use chicken leg quarters, cut into thighs and drumsticks. If you choose this option, you will need about 4-5 chicken quarters for this recipe.
For the red chilies, most Indonesians usually use either bird-eye or cayenne chilies. Bird-eye will be hotter than cayenne, but if you want an even milder dish, you can use Fresno chilies too. You can also use dried red chilies when you are running out of fresh chilies.
Use a food processor or a mortar and pestle to grind garlic, shallot, red chilies, ginger, galangal, and candlenuts into a smooth paste.
2. Sauté spices and aromatics
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium heat and sauté spice paste, bruised lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, cinnamon, smashed cardamom, cloves, star anise, coriander, cumin, and turmeric. Stir until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
3. Sauté chicken
Add chicken to the wok and stir to coat with the spices. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink.
4. Add seasonings and water
Add salt, coconut palm sugar, tamarind, and water. Mix and cook until boiling. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is soft and tender.
5. Add coconut milk
Stir in coconut milk and continue simmering for another 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, and serve the chicken curry with steamed white rice.
Create a complete Padang rice set (a.k.a. nasi Padang)
It is said that no matter where you go in Indonesia, you are bound to find at least one amazing Padang restaurant. For most Indonesians, a packet of nasi Padang (Padang rice set) is considered a happy and complete meal.
A typical Padang rice set will have a serving of steamed rice, a serving of meat, a serving of vegetables, and a serving of sambal (chili sauce).
Gulai ayam Padang is one of the many great choices to get for the meat, though other choices such as rendang, ayam pop, or ayam panggang are excellent choices as well.
For the vegetables, you can choose from a balado, perkedel, gulai nangka, or gulai daun singkong.
When it comes to Padang cuisine, the best and most famous chili sauce without a doubt is sambal lado. But if you don’t have the ingredients for it, it is not a bad idea to serve nasi Padang with sambal terasi or sambal bajak too.
Kambing (mutton) dishes are commonly served during Islamic festivals in Indonesia, especially to celebrate Idul Adha (Eid al-Adha), or the feast of the sacrifice.
One of the most popular Indonesian kambing dishes is probably gulai kambing, or lamb curry. This is a coconut-based curry dish with a long list of spices. The meat will be super soft and tender, and the umami-rich sauce goes perfectly with steamed white rice.
If rice is not your cup of tea, you can always serve it with your choice of flatbread. Naan or pita would go nicely with the curry.
Ingredients for Indonesian lamb curry
1. Lamb (or mutton)
Mutton is what we commonly use in Indonesia when making gulai kambing.
I use lamb since most grocery stores in the United States carry lamb, and only some specialty markets sell mutton. If you can procure mutton, feel free to replace the lamb with mutton.
2. Coconut milk
Almost all Indonesian curry recipes will need coconut milk, and this lamb curry is no exception.
I use canned coconut milk, which is thicker compared to boxed coconut milk in the US. If you live in Asia, like Indonesia or Malaysia, your boxed coconut milk should have the same thickness as US canned coconut milk.
Like any other Indonesian curries, this dish needs a lot of spices, which make it super delicious.
For the fresh spices, we need shallot, garlic, red chilies, ginger, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves.
For the dry spices, we need daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves), cardamom, cinnamon, candlenuts, turmeric, coriander, cumin, coconut palm sugar, salt, and ground white pepper.
Cooking Indonesian gulai kambing
1. Prepare spice paste
Use a food processor or a mortar and pestle to grind shallot, garlic, red chilies, candlenuts, ginger, galangal, coriander, turmeric, and cumin into a spice paste.
2. Fry spice paste
Heat cooking oil in a pot and sauté spice paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, Indonesian bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Add the lamb/mutton meat and stir until no longer pink.
4. Add coconut milk and seasoning
Add the coconut milk, water/stock, coconut palm sugar, salt, and white pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the lamb is tender and the sauce has reduced by half, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Turn off heat and serve the lamb curry immediately with steamed white rice, naan or pita.
Other Indonesian curries to try
Indonesian cuisine has so many different curries. If you too are a curry lover, why not give some of these curry recipes a try?
Indonesia is a multi-ethnic country with a wide variety of cuisines. One of the most popular cuisines in Indonesia is Padang cuisine. Unlike many other cuisines, Padang cuisine is widespread across the country. It is almost impossible not to see a Padang restaurant in any neighborhood. Understandably, most Indonesians’ favorite food will involve a Padang dish or two.
Some of the more popular Padang cuisine dishes include: rendang, telur balado, terong balado, ayam pop, ayam bakar, gulai ayam, gulai daun singkong, gulai nangka, and sambal cabe ijo. The official list of dishes is much longer. You can eat only Padang cuisine every lunch and dinner for a week or two before the need for any repeat.
For me, Gulai Nangka is one of the must-haves whenever I visit a Padang restaurant. Among the many Indonesian jackfruit dishes, Padang jackfruit curry is my favorite.
Let me share my recipe to make a Padang restaurant Gulai Nangka (jackfruit curry). The ingredients will be long, but it is easy to cook this curry at home. For Padang food lovers, I promise you will love this recipe.
Ingredients for Gulai Nangka (Indonesian jackfruit curry)
Young jackfruit (canned vs. fresh)
I usually buy canned young jackfruit since it is not common to find fresh jackfruits in the US. It is also more convenient to use canned jackfruits since they are ready to cook once drained.
If you want to use fresh jackfruit, select a green unripe jackfruit. The ripe fruit is not for cooking, but you can enjoy the ripe yellow fruits if you choose the wrong one.
For those living in Indonesia or other countries where the markets sell fresh young jackfruits, you can usually buy a portion of the fruit and not the whole fruit. Jackfruit is quite a large fruit, so there is a tacit understanding that most people will not buy a whole fruit.
Handling fresh jackfruit is tricky since it is very sappy and sticky. Please oil your blade with each cut, or it will be difficult to clean it later. If you buy it fresh from a traditional market, you can request the seller to cut the jackfruit, saving you from doing this chore yourself.
Finally, you will need to boil fresh young jackfruit in a pot of water for one hour before they are ready to be used in this recipe.
How to cook Gulai Nangka (Indonesian jackfruit curry)
1. Prepare spice paste
Puree onion/shallot, garlic, red chilies, candlenuts, ginger, and galangal into a smooth paste.
TIPS: If the paste remains chunky, add 1-2 tablespoons of water, and puree again.
2. Make tamarind paste/juice
Mix tamarind with three tablespoons of warm water. Massage with hands until the mixture is dark brown and thick. Strain to remove all the seeds and pulps to get tamarind paste/juice.
3. Cook the curry
Heat oil in a pot over medium heat and sauté spice paste, star anise, cardamom pods, turmeric powder, Indonesian bay leaves, and kaffir lime leaves until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Add the young jackfruit and mix well.
Add coconut milk, water, tamarind, salt, and palm sugar. Once it boils, lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours or until the jackfruit is soft.
Adjust salt and sugar as needed. Turn off the heat and serve immediately.
How to eat in a Padang restaurant
There is an unwritten rule to what one should do when visiting a Padang restaurant for a sit-down meal.
First, you walk into the restaurant and scan for empty tables. If you spot one, walk to it and take a sit.
Soon, a waiter will bring you a serving of steamed white rice along with approximately a dozen dishes, each dish enough to feed one to two persons. It is similar to a dim-sum experience but with Padang cuisine flair.
Tea is usually the norm, but you can ask for other drinks like bottled water, coffee, or soft drinks.
Partake only the dishes you want to eat unless you are willing to pay for everything. It is best to set aside the plates/bowls you don’t want to eat or ask the server to take those away from the table.
If there is a particular dish you want, you can ask for it specifically from the server. You can also walk to the counter with a mountain of different dishes, each one looking more delicious than the next. Select the ones you want and request to be sent to your table.
After you finish your meal, signal a server for the bill. Make the payment and be on your merry way with a full belly.
Other Padang cuisine recipes to try
If you love this jackfruit curry and want to give other Padang cuisine dishes a try, you may want to try my other Padang recipes: