This is a spicy Indonesian meatball best served with white rice and Sajur Lodeh, adapted from a recipe by Jeff Keasberry (more about him on the end of this article).

The original recipe calls for 1000 grams of minced beef to make three large meatballs but I’ve scaled this down to 500 grams which is still adequate to make 8 smaller meatballs, enough to serve four persons if combined with other dishes.

The following ingredients are required:

• 500 grams Minced Beef
• 1 diced Onion
• 4 cloves Garlic
• 1 large diced Red Chilli pepper
• ½ tablespoon Sambal Ulek
• 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
• 1 tablespoon ground coriander
• 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 large Egg
• 1 teaspoon Salt
• 1 tablespoon Sugar
• 1 tablespoon ground Paprika


• 750 ml Water
• 5 centimetre Galangal root
• 1 stalk Lemongrass
• 2 leaves Salam (Indonesian laurel)bebotek02
• 2 tablespoons Sambal Ulek
• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1 tablespoon ground coriander
• 1½ teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon Trassi
• 2 teaspoons Chilli Flakes
• 1 cube Beef stock
• 300 ml Coconut Milk

Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs into a smooth paste and divide into 8 balls.

In a large enough saucepan bring the water to the boil. Slice the Galangal and bruise the lemongrass and place in the saucepan. Add all the other ingredients, stirring in the Coconut milk last. Add the meatballs to the sauce and leave on a fast simmer till the meat is done in about 45 minutes.bebotek03
Take the meatballs from the sauce, discard the galangal and lemongrass and reduce the sauce by about halve. Pour the sauce over the Meatballs and serve.

As a footnote, the amount of Sambal Ulek and chilli’s might seem excessive, but the combination of the other spices and Coconut milk tones it down a little, still leaving you with a very spicy dish with a delicious flavour.

Jeff Keasberry
Jeff Keasberry is the author of “Indische keukengeheimen” (Indonesian Kitchen secrets) published in Dutch in 2012. In it he publishes a selection of his family recipes with lots of background information and family history. It fast became one of my favourite recipe books and you can speak Dutch I can truthfully recommend this book.
Available among others from:
For those of you who don’t speak Dutch, an English version should become available in 2016keuken

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