Kuluban (Purwokerto)

446-koeloeban-afKuluban is like Urapan; a mix of vegetables with coconut shavings and many different herbs. So tasty and fun to do something different with vegetables like stir-frying or cooking them.

Into the spice mix for this Kuluban goes Kencur or Kaempferia galanga. I love Kaempferia galanga. This root gives off a strong flavor. You only need a little bit of it.

You can make this a vegetarian dish as well. In that case use regular chili salsa and not sambal trassi (made with shrimp paste).

This recipe is ready in 30 minutes, enough for 3-5 people as a side dish.

Kuluban (Purwokerto) #446 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Cook Book.


1 small endive plant (head)
100 grams of green beans
100 grams of fresh spinach
100 grams of bean sprouts
1/2 coconut or 200 grams of coconut rasp
1 tablespoon oil


2 chopped cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of sambal terasi (chili salsa with shrimp paste)
1/2 teaspoon Kaempferia galanga (kencur)
1 teaspoon of Javanese sugar 

Clean the vegetables and wash them. Cook the beans and endive. Boil the spinach no longer than 2 to 3 minutes, or steam it, wrapped in plastic, together with the rice. Pour boiling water over the bean sprouts.

Rub garlic, sambal, Kaempferia galanga, sugar and salt together into a paste and fry them in the oil. Grate the white flesh of the coconut finely. You can also use coconut flour mixed with 2 tablespoons of shredded santen (coconut cream) dissolved in 2 to 3 tablespoons of water.

Mix the herb mix with the grated coconut and add the drained vegetables.


I use grated coconut and add a few tablespoons of shredded santen (coconut cream). Then I add a little bit of warm water (3 tablespoons) and mix it with the grated coconut.


I cook the beans until they are just tender (not too tender).

With the endive, spinach and bean sprouts I do something else than the recipes states. I fill up a large bowl with the veggies and pour over boiling water until half full. I leave it to get tender for about 10 minutes. This way everything stays pretty crisp. I love that.


Time for the bumbu now. I add in my mortar, the garlic, sambal (chili salsa), Kaempferia galanga, sugar and salt. I use about 1,5 teaspoons of salt.

Sambal terasi or trassi you can buy in Asian stores or make yourself.


I stir-fry my bumbu in two tablespoons of oil. Then I add the coconut mix in to the pan as well. I leave the pan on low heat.


The coconut should blend well with the bumbu. That seems difficult in the beginning, but keep mixing and all of a sudden it starts mixing easily.

Keep in mind that the coconut does not to be fried like serundeng. The warmth of the pan just helps to blend it all together. Kill the heat if it goes too fast.


Now the coconut mix can go through the drained vegetables. The veggies are still a bit wet so the coconut sticks well.

446-koeloeban-af2We eat the Kuluban with bebotok of minced meat and white rice with homemade sambal. Enak sekali!

Beb Vuyk, best known for her Groot Indonesisch Kookboek (Great Indonesian Cook Book), was much more than a great cook. She belongs to the most important Dutch-Indonesian (Indo) writers and journalists of her time. Check this out.

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