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Jamu Loving

I first tasted the traditional Indonesian health tonic jamu when on holiday in Bali a few years ago, and on subsequent visits have sought it out, in cafes,  warungs and health food stores. Then on my most recent visit to Bali I learned to make it, at the Sokasi cooking school at Four Seasons Resort in Sayan. It’s super simple, and all of the ingredients for jamu can be found in here in Auckland–you might need to visit an Indian grocer or organic store to find fresh turmeric (which is imported from Fiji), and if you can’t get real lime juice (I suggest freezing a heck of a lot of it RIGHT NOW while they’re everywhere!) you can use tamarind water instead. Plus in New Zealand we are lucky enough to have such great honey, Manuka honey would of course be brilliant in jamu but any good quality, preferably raw honey will do.

There are various versions of jamu, depending on what ails you, but turmeric, ginger, honey and lime is perhaps the most common combination as a daily tonic, to help bolster the immune system–much needed at this time of year with cold viruses running rampant. In Bali, jamu was traditionally sold door to door each morning by specialist pedlars, and while the custom of drinking jamu daily may have waned over the past century, the tradition never died and it’s now garnering newfound interest.



This recipe makes about 400ml which you can store in the fridge for a week. Take a shot or two of it daily, water in down for a refreshing longer sip, or add it to smoothies.

20g fresh yellow turmeric, peeled

20g fresh ginger, peeled

2 cups water

1 1/2 Tbsp raw honey

Juice 1 lime

Place all ingredients except the lime juice in blender and blitz on high until everything is as blended as possible. Transfer to a saucepan, bring to boil then turn down heat and cook on fast simmer for 10 minutes.*

Add lime juice, then strain mixture through a fine filter–I use one of those large empty tea bags you can buy, but a coffee filter cone or  very fine sieve also works well.


*Thermomix instructions

Place all ingredients in Thermomix jug and blend on setting 10. Turn timer to 10 minutes, temperature to 95 and set speed to wooden spoon mixing.

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