Jamu is a healing Balinese elixir made of turmeric, ginger, lime, tamarind and honey. I drank Jamu religiously during my yoga teacher training at Zuna Yoga, and will likely drink it religiously again this fall at my upcoming yoga retreat in Bali, Indonesia.
The flavor of Jamu, especially when it hasn’t been sweetened much, is an acquired taste for sure. Jamu packs an intense turmeric punch… made even punchier with fresh ginger added to the mix. On top of the basic ingredients you can add other spices for flavor or for Ayurvedic purposes. I like to add black pepper and cayenne to mine, and sometimes cloves. Jamu’s main ingredient, turmeric, is rich in curcumin, a fantastic anti-inflammatory. Combining turmeric with black pepper (which contains piperine) helps our body absorb the curcumin. Want to learn more about the amazing benefits of turmeric? Check out this article at AuthorityNutrition.com.
Just a few ounces of Jamu each day is enough and should be thought of as a natural medicine, so you don’t want to overdo it… although I’ve definitely guzzled it down on more than one occasion and survived.
Here is a simple Jamu recipe to follow:
- 7-10 inches turmeric root, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 3 inches fresh ginger, peeled
- 3 T. tamarind paste
- juice from 2 limes or 1 1/2 lemons
- 1 T. honey or 1 cup of pineapple juice
- 1 liter of water
- Cayenne, to taste
- Black Pepper, to taste
- In a large pot on medium high heat add water and turmeric. Once the water begins to boil turn the heat down to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 18-20 minutes.
- Add the ginger and tamarind paste and simmer for another 4-5 minutes.
- Allow mixture to cool. Once mixture has cooled add the turmeric mixture and honey to your blender in batches (just a warning: if your blender is plastic it will be stained yellow afterward). Blend until smooth.
- Using a fine mesh strainer you will strain the ingredients over a bowl to separate the solids from the liquids. You may need to use a spatula to press some of the moisture out of the solids. Discard the solids.
- Add citrus juice, cayenne and black pepper to your mixture. Stir, taste and adjust… maybe add more sweetener if you feel like you need it… maybe dilute it with some extra water.
- Poor mixture into glass jars, seal them up and store in the fridge. Jamu will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.