Wedang jahe (Indonesian ginger drink/tea) is made with ginger and many other spices/herbs. This will be your new favorite drink throughout fall and winter.
We only have two seasons in Indonesia, the dry season and the rainy season. When the rainy season comes, wedang jahe is especially popular since it warms the body and is also believed to ward off the cold that usually will start spreading around. I make plenty of this drink when the season turns to fall, and I love having this throughout the fall and the winter.
All the spices and herbs needed to prepare wedang jahe
Wedang means drink and jahe means ginger, so the literal translation for wedang jahe is ginger drink, and of course, ginger is the first thing you will taste when you sip this drink. But it’s not just ginger that’s flavoring this drink, there are many other herbs and spices that all work beautifully together in this traditional drink. I usually add all of these to make my wedang jahe:
- ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
- palm sugar (Indonesian: gula Jawa)
- lemongrass (Indonesian: sereh)
- pandan leaf (Indonesian: daun pandan)
- whole black peppercorns (Indonesian: biji lada hitam)
- green cardamom pods (Indonesian: kapulaga)
- cloves (Indonesian: cengkeh)
How to prepare wedang jahe
Brewing a batch of Indonesian ginger tea is not difficult, but it does involve several steps:
- Prepare the ginger. Dry fry the ginger to concentrate its flavor (optional step, though highly recommended), then cut into smaller pieces and bruised.
- Bruise and knot lemongrass. Or cut lemongrass into smaller sections and bruised.
- Knot pandan leaves.
- Shave or chop palm sugar block. If you use granulated palm sugar, you don’t need to do this step.
- Crush whole black peppercorns and cardamom pods. A mortar and pestle will do the job nicely.
Once you have finished the above prep works, simply boil all the ingredients with water in a sauce pot. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the tea steep further for another 5 minutes. To serve, simply strain into individual tea cups.
Try other wedang/Indonesian traditional tea
If you prefer simpler wedang with less ingredients, you may want to try these instead:
- 2 inches ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
- 100 gram palm sugar (Indonesian: gula Jawa), shaved or roughly chopped if using block version
- 1 lemongrass (Indonesian: sereh), bruised and knotted
- 1 pandan leaf (Indonesian: daun pandan), knotted
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns (Indonesian: biji lada hitam), crushed
- 2 green cardamom pods (Indonesian: kapulaga), crushed
- 4 cloves (Indonesian: cengkeh)
- 500 ml water
- Dry frying the ginger until fragrant, chopped, and bruised.
- Add the ginger and the rest of the ingredients in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes until fragrant and all sugar has dissolved.
- Turn off the heat and let steep while still covered for another 5 minutes.
- Strain into individual tea cups and served. Garnish with some lemongrass stalks (optional).