This is a Nyonya dish. Buah keluak is a black nut from Indonesia about the size of a golf ball. The surface is ridged with a smooth nut 'mouth' across the flattest part. A slit is made in this mouth through which one scrapes out the contents which have been variously described as 'opium' or soft tar'. Good nuts, when cooked, should be richly black and oily. The taste is indescribable and has to be eaten to be believed.


  • Garam Assam Paste (this is the curry paste)

  • Ingredients A

  • 100 gms sliced galangal

  • 100 gms sliced lemon grass

  • 6 candlenut/buah keras

  • 100 gms shrimp paste/belacan

  • 2 tablespoons chillie powder or 10 dried chillies - deseeded, soaked and drained

  • 200 gms fresh red chillies - deseeded

  • 300 gms small red onions or eschallots

  • 1 teaspoon tumeric powder

  • ½ cup oil

  • 20 buah keluak (black nuts)

  • 1 kg chicken pieces

  • 500 gms pork ribs - cut into bite sizes

  • 2 whole lemon grass - bruised

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon pepper

  • ½ cup tamarind concentrate

  • 2 cups water


  • 1.

    Method for preparing Garam Assam paste

  • 2.

    In the food processor, grind Ingredients A into a fine paste, Blend well.

  • 3.

    Soak black nuts in cold water for at least 6 hrs or overnight.

  • 4.

    Brush black nuts to remove mud and sandy particles.

  • 5.

    Crack open at the smooth nut mouth.

  • 6.

    Marinate chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper for ½ hour.

  • 7.

    Heat wok and brown chicken pieces.

  • 8.

    Remove chicken pieces and set aside.

  • 9.

    Fry garam assam paste and saute until fragrant for about 15 minutes over low fire.

  • 10.

    Add the tamarind concentrate and 2 cups of water and bring contents to the boil.

  • 11.

    Add in the pork ribs and bruised lemon grass.

  • 12.

    When contents come to a boil ,reduce the heat to medium, cook the pork ribs for 15 minutes uncovered.

  • 13.

    Add the black nuts and the browned chicken pieces.

  • 14.

    Continue to cook for another 10 minutes.

  • 15.

    Transfer boiling contents into the inner container of the Thermal Cooker.

  • 16.

    Boil for another 10 minutes and insert the inner container into the Thermal Cooker.

  • 17.

    Close the lid of the Thermal Cooker and set it aside for 6 hours.

  • 18.

    No electricity is used.

  • 19.

    After 6 hours the Buah Keluak Curry is ready.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (20 servings)

  • Energy 332kj
  • Fat Total 26g
  • Saturated Fat 5g
  • Protein 15g
  • Carbohydrate 9g
  • Sugar 3g
  • Sodium 220mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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Thermal cooker saves energy costs and preparation time. Simply place the ingredients in the inner pot, cover lid and bring to a boil on your stove (approx. 10 minutes). When brought to a boil, remove from stove and place in outer thermal pot. Thermal technology creates a convection effect by using the steam produced inside to circulate and continue cooking for up to 30 minutes and warms for up to 8 hours. Food is cooked in its own moisture and steam, so nutrients are preserved. Compared to a pressure cooker, thermal cooker is 30% more energy efficient.

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