Tollo Pamarasan (Toraja)

This tollo pamarasan from Sulawesi (Toraja) contains pangium edule. In Indonesian it is called keluak. I have not used it yet, also not in this dish because it is not easy to get. I am looking for the powder. It is striking that Beb Vuyk does have it in her recipe book. In the 1970s, when this book was released, it must have been difficult to get it.

A keluak nut is the fermented kernel of the rugby ball-shaped fruit of the pangi tree (pangium edule); a large tree that grows in the mangroves of Indonesia, New Guinea and Malaysia. Everything about this nut is actually deadly poisonous, but thanks to a complicated process of fermentation, it is still possible to eliminate the hydrocyanic acid in the seeds. Keluak smells a bit like bitter chocolate, but tastes sour, saltier and above all bitter. It looks like a dried-up dropping. All in all an acquired taste, although that will mainly depend on the dose.

translated from

No keluak

By the way, I’m going for peteh beans for this dish. They tastes differentely, but I want to make this recipe today and peteh beans (or petai) are a delicious substituted. If I can get Kloewak, I will redo the recipe, of course. I use two heaped tablespoons of peteh beans with this amount of meat.

This recipe is done in 45 minutes and enough for 2-3 people.

Tollo Pamarasan (Toradja) # 154 from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page


  • 1/2 kg of semi-fat pork


  • 3 tablespoons of chopped onions
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of sambal oelek
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped chives
  • 1 thick leek (white part cut into ± 3 cm sticks)
  • 6 cleaves
  • 5 to 6 black peppercorns
  • salt
  1. Cut the meat into dice.
  2. Break the peel of the nuts and crush the kernels.
  3. Add ± 2 dl warm water and let the nuts soak for half an hour.
  4. Then strain the liquid and cook it together with the meat and the onions grinded into a paste, garlic, sambal and salt.
  5. Also, add the black peppercorns.
  6. Add the leeks after half an hour and let it cook until the meat is cooked.
  7. Add the chives just before serving

Since the pangium edule is to be soaked and you then use the water for cooking, I do the same with the peteh beans. I place them in lukewarm water for half an hour and immediately they give off flavor to the water and turns it light green.

Ham chops

Basically, this recipe is very easy. I buy ham chops at offer at the supermarket for my tollo parmarasan. I don’t normally like ham chops because they can dry quickly. But for this recipe, ham chops are fine. Shoulder chops are great too. They contain are a little fat.

I start by grinding my bumbu; onions, garlic, sambal, salt and pepper in my cobek. You can use a machine for this.

To enhance the flavor of the peteh beans, I also rub a tablespoon with the bumbu. I leave the rest in my bowl of water.

The meat can be cut into pieces and the leeks into strips.

Now the bumbu can hit in the pan with 2 dl of my peteh water.

I do add a tablespoon of vinegar, because ham chops need a little more help get tender.

I let this slowly come to a boil. Ham chops get a bit tough at first, but after 20 minutes you can see that they soften a bit and after half an hour, they are actually pretty tender. Let my meat simmer for about 40 minutes in total.

After 30 minutes I add the leek. The finely chopped chives will be served just before serving; this keeps the stems crispy.

Well, doesn’t that look nice? This tollo pamarasan has basic flavors but the keluak, or in my case the peteh beans, really make for a special addition. The crispy chives and leeks also make it a different Indonesian dish. This tollo comes from toraja, an area in South Celebes on the island of Celebes (Sulawesi) in present-day Indonesia.

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