Gulai Bulung Gadung Na i Duda or known as Gulai Daun Ubi Tumbuk in bahasa Indonesia is a one of my childhood curries as my paternal family is originally from Mandailing area.  Thou I was born and raised in Java, my late dad often asked my late mom to cook this Gulai Daun Ubi Tumbuk.  For the Western world, you may know the word Mandheling coffee. Mandheling can be meant two things:
– It is an alternative spelling of the name Mandailing, an ethnic group in North Sumatra, Indonesia.
– It is the name of coffee variety from Sumatra.

I recalled, often my paternal extended family sent ikan salai (smoked catfish) from Medan to our house to complete this Crushed Cassava Leaves Curry.  If you don’t have any smoked catfish, you can use other smoked freshwater fish such as milkfish, slender walking catfish (Clarias nieuhofii, ikan limbat in bahasa Indonesia, ikan keli limbat in bahasa Malaysia).

There is one ingredient that I have to skip, Torch Ginger Bud or Ginger Flower due to unreachable access.  Torch ginger bud is really enjoyed by the people of North Sumatra, both from Malay and Tapanuli (including Mandailing) descendants.  For this flower ingredient, Indonesians know as different name such as:
– rias (Mandailing/North Sumatra)
– kencong or kincung (Medan/North Sumatra)
– kincuang and sambuang (Minangkabau/West Sumatra)
– kecombrang (Java)
– honje (Sunda/West Java)
– bongkot (Bali)

Another torch ginger bud enthusiast is the people of Penang (Malaysia). Penang is located just east of Medan (North Sumatra). Penang popular dish is called asam laksa and made ​​with bunga kantan (the Malay’s name).

I also had to use frozen ground cassava. Thou it’s not like crushed fresh cassava leaves, they are still ok.

Gulai Daun Ubi Tumbuk
Mandheling Crushed Cassava Leaves Curry-

1 package of frozen ground cassava leaves (454 grams or 1lb)
1 torch ginger (I skip this)
1 whole ikan salai (smoked catfish, I substituted for smoked milkfish), broiled
100 grams (3.5 oz.) tiny eggplants (tekokak or rimbang)
6 shallots, peeled and cut
3 long red cayenne pepper, cut
1 lemongrass, take the white part only and bruised
500 mL (1 pint, 2 cups) medium thick coconut milk

Prepare a mortar and pestle.

In a small bowl combine cut chilies and shallots, tiny eggplants, and ginger torch bud (if you have). Set aside.

Crush alternately between the mixture ingredients and cassava leaves until smooth. If you use ground cassava leaves as I did. All you need to do is crushing chilies, shallots and tiny eggplants until smooth. Set aside.

In a pot, add coconut milk and lemongrass and bring to a boil. You can also add ground dried shrimp if you like.

The next step is separating into two:

  • For those who use fresh cassava leaves, follow this step.   After boiling, add the crushed mixture  and smoked milkfish; turn down the heat and simmer for the next 20 minutes minutes. Season with salt, stir and taste. Ready to serve.
  • For those who you ground cassava leaves,  follow this one.  After boiling add the crushed mixture without ground cassava leaves and smoked milkfish; turn down the heat and simmer for the next 15 minutes.  Add ground cassava leaves and season with salt.  Stir and let simmering for the next 5 minutes. Taste and ready to serve.

Other Gulai Posts:
Gule kambing Kacang Hijau (Goat and Mung Bean Curry)
Gulai Cubadak (Minang Green Jackfruit Curry)
Gulai Kerapu Tauco (Grouper Curry with fermented Salted Soy Beans)
Gulai Cumi Isi Tahu (Curried Stuffed Squid with Tofu)
Gulai Manis Rajungan (West Sumatra Blue Crab Curry)




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