Gulai Telor II (Aceh)

327-goelai-van-eieren-afIt might sound crazy but these eggs are cooked in a sour sauce and that is really tasty! This gulai telor is now one of my vegetarian favorites. You have to use one lemon and together with the asem (tamarind) makes the bumbu (herb mix) pretty sour. The eggs are not poached, but cooked in the delicious broth.

This gulai telor is enough for 4 people and ready in 30 minutes.

Gulai Telor II (Aceh) # 327 translated from Beb Vuyk Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 274.


4 eggs
2 cups of water or broth


2 tablespoons of chopped onions
1 chopped garlic cloves
1 teaspoon of sambal oelek (Indonesian chili salsa)
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 salam leaf (Asian bay leaf)
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of asem water the size of a walnut (tamarind)

Rub the sambal with ginger, lemon juice and asem water to a paste and mix the onions and garlic through without rubbing them. Sauté the herb mix it into the oil  until the onions are yellow, add the water or broth to it and the salam leaf. Break the eggs carefully one by one in this sauce and let simmer until done. Do not stir the eggs through.


I use lime instead of lemon, because I just think it’s tastier. The asem (tamarind) I buy in a jar at an Asian food shop. This is already filtered tamarind; ready to use. For this dish, I use a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper. I choose red onions because they are sweet in flavor and that is probably nice with the acidity of this dish.


It is easy to make the bumbu.  Just mix the chili salsa, ginger powder, lemon and tamarind into a paste.


I scoop the onions and garlic through.


Now I just sauté this in the wok and add a vegetable broth.


I add the salam leaf. Salam adds a light cinnamon flavor (well I think it does).  I’ve learned from Beb Vuyk’s other recipes you can also use regular bay leaf when you cannot buy salam. I bring the broth to a gentle boil.


Beb explains the eggs should not be stired through. I add the eggs gently one by one into the pan. It looks like 4 eggs will not fit, but that is not true. It will, believe me ;-).


I let this simmer for about 10 minutes untill the eggs are done.

I think this is a delicious dish. Lovely when I have vegetarian friends over. It is indeed a sour dish, but the acidity doesn’t dominate at all. This recipe is balanced out well, I think. Yum!

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