Cucumber in roasted coconut milk (Timun Jeruk)

Posted: 05 March 2017 Category: Blog, News

An accomplished cookbook author and restaurateur, UFF Founder & Director Janet DeNeefe has enjoyed a love affair with Indonesian food spanning more than 30 years. In this series, we share recipes from her celebrated cookbook, Bali: The Food of My Island Home. First published in 2011, the book has been reprinted by popular demand and will be available to purchase at the UFF17. Dig in! 

“I wrote about timun jeruk in Fragrant Rice, along with the memory of my son Arjuna’s telu bulanan – a ceremony that happens three months after a baby is born and involves them touching the ground for the first time, having gotten through the tumultuous first few months of life. It was a day that was full of happiness in celebrating such an important stage in Arjuna’s mental and spiritual growth, but it also had a tinge of sadness that he was the last of my four children and I would never celebrate this day again – not in the same way at least. I found solace in dreams of one day being a grandma and attending all these ceremonies again, perhaps with many grandchildren!  We served this aromatic warm salad at Arjuna’s ceremony. I love its elegant, delicate flavours and summery colour thanks to the turmeric in the garlic and kencur paste paste. It is perfect served with steamed rice.

You can actually store the dish in the refrigerator for a day or two before serving it to no harm. You can also omit the coconut milk for a less creamy dish, or add more to turn it into a chilled, gently spiced cucumber soup” – Janet DeNeefe.


  • 2 long cucumbers
  • sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic and Kencur Paste
  • 2 teaspoons Fried Sambal
  • 250 ml Roasted Coconut Milk
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, rolled into a bundle and finely shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fried shallots, plus extra to garnish
  • steamed rice, to serve


Peel the cucumbers. Cut each into thirds and use the peeler to shave the flesh into thin ribbons, stopping once you get to the seeds. Alternatively, cut the peeled cucumbers in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and slice into thin half moons. Put the cucumber in a bowl and mix with 1 teaspoon of salt. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Strain the water from the cucumber, then add the garlic and kencur paste and fried sambal. Mix thoroughly. Stir in the coconut milk, lime leaves, white pepper and fried shallots.

Taste for seasoning.  Garnish with extra fried shallots and serve with steamed rice.

Serves 4.