Daily Cooking Quest

easy Indonesian recipes

Gulai Nangka - Jackfruit Curry

Another Padang cuisine favorite is definitely gulai nangka (jackfruit curry). Whenever I order a nasi bungkus (Padang rice for takeout), I usually get gulai daun singkong (cassava leaves stew), gulai nangka (jackfruit curry), sambal cabe ijo (green chili relish), and a meat of my choice, this usually means ayam bakar (grilled chicken), ayam pop (fried chicken), or rendang sapi (beef rendang). So, a Padang cuisine enthusiast like me needs to know how to prepare her jackfruit curry, no? ♥

Gulai Nangka - Jackfruit Curry

Gulai Nangka - Jackfruit Curry

Gulai Nangka - Jackfruit Curry



Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Serves: 8


  • 600 gram young jackfruit (Indonesian: nangka muda), cut into bite size pieces
  • 4 tablespoon oil
  • 1 star anise (Indonesian: pekak/bunga lawang)
  • 3 cardamom pods (Indonesian: kapulaga)
  • 2 bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • 6 cups thin coconut milk (Indonesian: santan)
  • 2 asam kandis (*)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 10 red chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah keriting)
  • 8 shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 2 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 3 candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri)
  • 1 inch ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
  • 1 inch galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas)
  • 1 inch turmeric (Indonesian: kunyit)


  1. Heat oil in a pot and sauté spice paste, star anise, cardamom pods, bay leaves, and kaffir lime leaves until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the jackfruit and toss until well combined and the jackfruit looks wilted.
  3. Pour coconut milk and add the asam kandis, season with salt and sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour until the jackfruit is really soft. Adjust salt and sugar as needed. Turn off heat and serve immediately.


  • (*) Asam kandis can be substituted with asam gelugor (same amount) or tamarind (about 10 gram).


  • Kristen says:

    Anita, your blog is my dream come true! I am a Canadian living in Jakarta and am in love with the complex flavours of great Indonesian food (especially Pandang). Before your blog, I was only able to find either westernized versions of my favourite dishes with too many ingredient substitutions, or recipies that were not in English, making translating with my slooooooooow Bahasa Indonesia a chore! I love your recipes, photography, and that you include the proper Indonesian names for all ingredients. This will make my time at the market much easier. Well done, and thanks! kp

    • Anita says:

      You are welcome Kristen.♥ I know the pain, my Mom used to give me her recipes and they are all in Indonesian (or, gasp, Chinese even), and hunting those downs in the States, hah, not easy. Thought I would spare people the hurts. :)

  • simplysedap says:

    Thank you for sharing all these wonderful recipes with us. Gulai Nangka is one of my favourite food and I can have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and am never tired of it. Do we have to preboil the young nangka before cooking it with the spice paste? My nangka turned out rather tough but the outer layer turned very dark. hope to do better next time. I love many many of your recipes. Much appreciate your effort.

    • Anita says:

      If the jackfruit is not young enough, it tends to be tough. And the trick is like what you have suggested, just boil the jackfruit separately until soft first before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. :)

  • Chris Steggles says:

    Hi Anita, Your blog is very good. I tried the nangka recipe & it was good. However not sure if I prepared the nangka correctly. I found the sticky sap a real problem to clean off all the knives & cutting board & my hands. How are you meant to prepare the nangka when you start with a whole unripe nangka just cut from the tree? Your guidance would be appreciated. Thanks Chris

    • Anita says:

      Hi Chris, when preparing from a whole unripe nangka, usually the "meat" needs to be boiled for 30 minutes to 1 hour first to remove the stickiness, then washed and drained before using them in cooking. I am sorry I omitted this step in the instruction. To clean the sticky sap from hands, knife, and cutting board, coat them in cooking oil and rub until the sap dislodge. Then proceed cleaning with soap as usual. If you don't mind the oil, you can also pre coat your knife and cutting board with some oil first before cutting the fruit, and use a pair of disposable gloves while cutting the fruit, these steps will reduce the cleaning time a lot.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:

Thank you! Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Something went wrong...