Spooktacular Halloween Dish

Halloween is an American thing. The countries that love Halloween the most seem to be the North Americans.

Although Indonesians don’t celebrate Halloween, it is celebrated amongst the expatriate community and also in many hotels or restaurants in most big cities.

Want to make Jack-o’-Lantern?

If you are looking for bright orange pumpkins, they will be hard to find in my country. A local equivalent, labu parang, has a similar shape – though the color is tan. The meat and seeds are similar – so the carving experience is comparable. Or you can buy the imported orange pumpkin at much higher price in some high-end supermarkets.

Plan a Halloween Party in Indonesia?

If  you  want to plan a Halloween party and lure your guests with delicious devilish authentic dish of Indonesia, I think Rawon Setan is one spooktacular and lip-smacking recipe that is just perfect for your Halloween party in my country.

Why Rawon Setan?..

Rawon Setan (literally means Satanic or Devilish Dark Soup) is a popular Dark Beef Soup from Surabaya, East Java . It uses keluak (a kind of nut from kepayang tree) as one of its ingredients. From this special ingredient, we can get the black color and unique taste.

The reason behind this satanic name is spooky related. In the past, the restaurant that sold Rawon Setan (devilish dark beef soup) was open from midnight to dawn, the time when they say all the devils are coming out. And the devilish dark look of the soup supports the name. This soup is usually served with rice, bean sprout and sambal (Indonesian chili sauce).

We have so many types of sambal in Indonesia. And one of the perfect sambals to accompany Rawon Setan is “Sambal Setan” which literally means ‘Satanic or Devilish Sambal’ since the Indonesian saying for ‘hot as hell’ is ‘hot as Satan’

The combination of ‘Rawon Setan’ and ‘Sambal Setan’ creates a spooktacular mix of devilish look and taste that even the devil can not resist 🙂

Here’s I re-post the recipe of Rawon which I have posted in my older post titled  ‘Go tell it on the mountain’ back in December 2009 to celebrate Halloween.


  • 500 g beef
  • 1 liter water
  • 6 shallots
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 roasted tamarind
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 keluaks (fruits of kepayang)
  • 1 piece (around1 cm) of turmeric
  • 1 piece (around1 cm) of  galangal
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass


  1. Clean the beef and boil it in the water in a saucepan until almost tender
  2. Remove the beef from the saucepan and cut into small cubes.
  3. Grind all spices except lemongrass and galan­gal then sauté at medium tem­per­a­ture.
  4. Put the spice into the boil­ing beef stock in the saucepan
  5. Add lemongrass and galan­gal
  6. Put back the beef cubes into the saucepan
  7. Cook through until the beef is really tender

Serve Rawon Setan with:

  • Rice
  • Sam­bal Setan
  • Bean sprout
  • Boiled salted eggs


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