Magadip – Lamb in Christmas Sauce

This recipe definitely breaths Christmas. This is called magadip (and has nothing to do with Donald Trump). Magadip is beef, goat or lamb stewed in a delicious ‘Christmas spice mix’ with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Add some homemade sambal and acar, some yellow rice and your Christmas dinner is done.

This recipe takes 45 minutes to make and is enough for 2-3 people.

Magadip (Madurese dish) # 156 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 156.


  • 1/2 kg of tender sheep, lamb or goat meat
  • 2 dl water
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter


  • 1 tablespoon of chopped onions
  • 2 teaspoons of ketumbar (coriander powder)
  • 1 teaspoon of jinten (cumin)
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon of kunjit (turmeric or curcumin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of laos (galangal)
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of clove powder
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pepper
  • salt
  1. Cut the meat into dices and place in a pan.
  2. Sprinkle the coriander powder, cumin, black pepper and clove over this.
  3. Mix this well together, add water and place the pan over the fire.
  4. Rub the onions, galangal, cinnamon, ginger powder, and turmeric powder with onions into a paste
  5. Fry this mixture and add it to the simmering meat
  6. Stew until done
  7. Mix in the butter before serving

This magadip has an exceeding line-up of spices. The combination of these spices make this lamb dish into a real Christmas feast because of the typical seasonal spices that go through, like cinnamon, cloves and ginger.

The meat is cooked first and not stir-fried like with regular Indonesian dishes.

I start by cutting the meat and the onions.

It already smells yummy in the kitchen because of all the spices on my counter. I mix the coriander, cumin, black pepper and cloves powder through the meat.

I pour 2 dl of water on top and place the pan on the fire.

In the meantime, I rub the onions, galangal, cinnamon, ginger powder and turmeric with salt into my mortar (cobek). I use a teaspoon of salt for the whole dish.

I rub just as long until everything is turned into a smooth paste. This is called a bumbu (spice mix).

I fry the bumbu with a tablespoon of oil.

The fried bumbu can now be added to the meat. I bring it to the boil and let my meat simmer on average heat (the largest part without the lid) until the meat is cooked (about 25-30 minutes).

After about half an hour, the sauce is slightly thickened and the lamb is perfectly cooked. Now the tablespoon of butter can be added. The butter really makes the sauce of this magadip deep in flavor and texture; genuiniuly Christmas.

We eat our magadip with white rice and an acar ketimun today. But this dish can also be delicious as part of an extensive Indonesian Rijsttafel.

This magadip is very rich in flavor but super tender (no spiciness). The cumin and the lamb remind me of a Moroccan tajin; really delicious.

A magadip is perfect for cold winter evenings; it warms you up immediately.

Want to try more Indonesian lamb dishes? Check out this link.

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