It’s March – almost the end of the month and yet we are still experiencing rain in the Big Durian. For many, this would be considered unusual for the Wet Season (Musim Hujan) in Jakarta. I recall when we first arrived in Jakarta (at the end of December 2013), I asked my driver when the Wet Season would finish. Expecting a rough estimate, I was surprised when he proclaimed that the Wet Season would finish on 19th February. Wow! That is precise! And would you believe me if I told you that the last drop of rain for the season fell pretty much on that date? I kid you not.
But that was the last of the predictable Wet seasons as since then, each has been either unseasonably dry or unusually long (such as this one we’re experiencing). And accompanying this prolonged Wet Season comes sickness with a greater incidence of colds and sore tummies, as well as more cases of Dengue Fever (likely due to excess water lying around). To combat these ailments and to alleviate ‘masuk angin*’, regular doses of Jamu are a great idea.
Using a simple list of local ingredients, why not head to the kitchen and cook up a pot of today’s Cinnamon and Citrus Jamu. The cinnamon will add warmth to your body whilst the citrus has a detoxifying effect. Add a spoon or two of honey to sooth the throat and this Jamu remedy will get you feeling well in no time.
For more Jamu recipes (including Java’s all time favourites, Jamu Kunyit Asam, Jamu Beras Kencur and Wedang Jahe, read to the bottom of today’s post).
Wishing you health and happiness always,
Jamu Kayu Manis dan Sitrus
Ingredients (makes 6 serves)
6 cinnamon quills
2 lemons and/or limes (sliced)
8 cups water
Honey for sweetening
Into a large saucepan add cinnamon quills, lemon slices, cloves and water.
Bring to the boil.
Continue boiling for 10 minutes until flavours have infused in water.
Strain and serve warm/hot with honey if desired.
What about sweetening with palm sugar? Why not add gula merah (palm or coconut sugar). Gula merah is in fact a better option in terms of glycemic index as it releases energy more slowly (GI of 35 as compared to honey – 55 or cane sugar – 68).
This recipe produces a ‘tonic’ which is a concentrated health drink. If you would prefer a drink which can be consumed as a general thirst quencher, add more water to the pot.
Do you find limes too bitter? Why not mix it up by using one lemon (more sour) and one lime.
Drink this Jamu either hot or cold – on ice for a refreshing drink or warm as a soothing beverage.
* What is Masuk Angin?
If you live in Indonesia, you will no doubt have heard of the term, ‘Masuk Angin’. It literally translates as ‘wind entering’ and refers to the notion of trapped wind inside one’s body. It can mean many things – from catching cold, fever and body aches to indigestion, bloating and upset stomach. Essentially a feeling of unwellness is ‘masuk angin’. To alleviate ‘masuk angin’ the drinking of jamu, taking of medications, or simple acts such as burping or passing wind will relieve the trapped air. Another traditional method to relieve ‘masuk angin’ is the practice of kerokan – where a practitioner scrapes the skin repeatedly using a coin until a welt forms (generally on the neck and across the back). It is believed that this allows the air to escape.
As promised, here are some of our other favourite Jamu recipes for you to try, as well as a list of Ingredients for your Jakarta Kitchen 🙂
Words: Jo Stevens Photography: a Journey Bespoke