Vegetable Gulai are dishes that commonly cooked in Sumatra, Javanese also have a version of vegetable Gulai but it more subtle compare to this Sumatran version. Commonly are serve as a side dishes for Rendang, it is so delicious.


Both Javanese and Sumatran are commonly used cassava leaves as the main ingredient, but I really have difficulties to find this ingredient here. And here I am, trying my luck to used Kale, I usually blanch Kale, and I like the taste, the leaves are hard enough for slow cooked, and Kale meatiness taste (not that I miss to eat meat, but their taste of savouriness is on point).

Traditional name for this dishes are “Daun singkong tumbuk” *FYI hehe, I tried to introduced this Kale version to my Indonesian friend and they quite like it, and remake it. I add some tempeh into this recipe, even though traditional recipe are not using it, commonly traditional recipe adding some fried anchovy to add some ocean taste, but I remake this recipe so it will be suitable for vegan.


SERVE 2 bowl



  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium size French shallot
  • 1 red chilli (seed out)
  • 3 candle nut (you can replace it with roasted cashew nut, same amount)
  • 1 tbs roasted coriander seed
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder


  • 1 handful kale stalk, shred it
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 lemon grass, smashed the white part to release the aroma
  • 1 thumb size ginger, smashed it
  • 1 thumb size galangal, smash it
  • 300 ml coconut milk
  • 300 ml water
  • 1 tbs sea salt
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil


  1. In medium size pot and medium heat, put inside the vegetable oil, the Gulai paste and the aromatic spices (Bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, ginger and galangal) sautéed them until fragrance
  2. After the Gulai paste are fragrance, put inside the coconut milk and the water, let it boiling.
  3. Season the broth with salt and sugar, and correcting the taste according your preference.
  4. After all are balance, put inside the Kale leaves, and cooked it just until soft. My suggestion is not to overcooked the Kale, since it will be make the Kale taste a bit bitter.
  5. Serve it while warm, you can eat it just as it is, or you can serve it with rice.



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