Mulgalgal – Lamb Stew with Garlic



I think this is a fancy Indonesian meat dish because it is so pure and simple. This mulgalgal consists of lamb (or veal) meat with lots of garlic, some lemon juice, and black pepper. The pure flavor of the meat comes out completely and makes the whole dish creamy and tasty.

Less meat

We have been eating drastically less meat in recent times because it is better for the environment and animal welfare. The Netherlands has to get rid of its huge livestock. Most of the meat we grow in this small country is exported and it is a huge burden on our CO2 emissions.

But when we eat meat, we opt for good meat. It is possible to argue about lamb because the animals are quite young when they are slaughtered. On the other hand, they have not been in too small a cage for life to be fattened. And these lambs have seen daylight.  I want to treat the meat with respect and this recipe is very suitable for this.

We never make too much so that we do not have to throw anything away. This dish is also good to freeze.

This mugalgal is enough for 2-3 people and is ready in 30 minutes.

Mugalgal # 141 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 147.


  • 1/2 kg of lamb or veal
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/4 liter of water


  • 5 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of pepper
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  1. Cut the meat into cubes and fry it in the butter.
  2. Add the garlic, the pepper, and the lemon juice.
  3. Make the sauce with +/- 1/4 liters of water and let the meat simmer into this until it is soft.

Mulgalgal ingredients

I love this amount of garlic. The little bit of lemon juice is to soften the meat a little faster, but the fresh flavor also does something with lamb.

I choose lime juice. I think the flavor is just a bit more exciting than lemon juice.

The meat must be seared in some butter. This gives it color and it also makes the flavor a bit creamy.

I sauté all the meat, scoop it in the pan and almost immediately add the garlic and lemon juice with the pepper. I stick to the amount of water exactly, otherwise, the dish turns too wet. So I add 1/4 liter.

I use a cast iron pan. A pan like this is great for simmering a stew. I leave the lid on for the first 18 minutes. Then the lid can be removed so that the sauce simmers gently.

This dish does not necessarily have a lot of color. I spice it up with some Thai basil as garnish. But the taste is not colorless at all. Really pure and unique. We eat this dish with terancam salad and red rice. Delicious!

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