Resep Gulai Ikan Batak, Ikan Semah, Ikan Sapan or Mahseer Fish (Indonesian Fish Curry)

resep gulai ikan coconut curry fish

Resep Gulai Ikan, Indonesian Spicy Fish Coconut Curry

Gulai ikan derived from the word gulai as coconut curry and ikan as fish in Bahasa Indonesia. Gulai is originated in Sumatra Island, Indonesia and it’s an adaptation of Indian curry influence. Gulai is  is often described as an Indonesian type of curry. Gulai ikan is a popular dish across all Indonesian archipelago, Every province got their signature, basically from the species of fish they have got on supply. The gulai broth commonly have a thick consistency with yellowish color because of the addition of turmeric. Gulai broth ingredients consist of rich spices such as turmeric, coriander, black pepper, galangal, ginger, chilli pepper, shallot, garlic, fennel seed, lemongrass, cinnamon and caraway, ground into paste and cooked in coconut milk with the main ingredients. The other popular popular gulai in Palembang, South Sumatra is  Gulai Tempoyak or Fish Curry with Fermented Durian Paste. Other meat types gulai is Gulai Kambing (Lamb or Goat Curry) and  Beef Gulai, Kalio (Dry Beef Gulai) or Malbi Ayam ( Sweet Chicken Curry/Gulai).

resep gulai ikan batak curry fish

Resep Gulai Ikan, Resepi Ikan Empurau, Ikan Sapan, Ikan Kelah Masak Lemak Cili Api

Resep gulai ikan or fish curry recipe contains a lot of spices, that’s why i use my Homemade Garam Masala Spice Mixture that contains black & white peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, black & white cumin seeds, white & green cardamom pods, caraway, corriander, star anise, long peppercorns, nutmeg, fennel seeds, dried bird eye chilies, fenugreek seeds. Making fish gulai is a little bit tricky, remember that you should put the fish AFTER the  coconut curry broth is throughly cooked and you should keep stirring the coconut milk mixture before it’s got boiled. This tricks could prevent the coconut milk separated from the pice and the fish got overcooked. To make a pleasant tangy sensation on fish gulai, you can use lome juice, asam kandis or asam gelugur.

resep gulai ikan padang batak medan

Indonesian Fish Curry Recipe, Resep Kari Ikan Bersantan

I’m using  a ikan semah or ikan batak for making this gulai ikan. This fish had a plenty names around the world, Ikan Kelah or Ikan Empurau (Malaysia), Mahseer Fish (India). Even in Indonesia, we”ve got several name for this fish from the genera Tor, Neolissochilus, and Naziritor in the family Cyprinidae (carps). This fish known as Ikan semah (South Sumatra), Ikan Sapan (Borneo), Ikan dewa/Ikan Kancra Bodas/Ikan Kencara (West Java), Ikan Tambra/ Tombro (Central Java). In bataknese descent (North Sumatra),  we used to called this fish as ikan batak, ihan or dekke curong (Toba), or dekke jurung-jurung (Mandailing).  This fish is rather expensive  and considering as delicacy because they got a firm, succulent and sweet flesh because they are eating not only protein like other smaller fish, crustaceans, insects,and frogs, but also the ripe wild fruits that fall from trees overhead the river. Mahseers  or empurau fish dwelling both rivers and lakes, ascending to rapid streams with rocky bottoms for breeding. They are commercially important game fish, as well as highly esteemed food fish. Mahseer or empurau fetch high market price, and are potential candidate species for aquaculture. I’ve read the article about empurau fish crazy price, empurau or mahseer fish tagged 780 US$ for a kilo in Singapore. Fortunately, this empurau fish or ikan semah was sold by a local fishherman in hometown Muara Dua, South Sumatra, for about 12 US$ for a bundle of two empurau fish weighed at 1,3 kilos. This fish is still twiching their mouth and operculum to suck up the water, but when i took it to the water and apply some water pump, unfotunately it’s too weak for them to survive. I guess i’m not that lucky to have this pricey fish in my pond.

ikan batak ikan semah ikan empurau ikan kelah mahseer fish

Mahseer Fish, Ikan Empurau, Ikan Kelah, Ikan Sapan

ikan semah ikan batak deke jurung jurung ikan kancra tombro curong

Ikan Semah, Ikan Batak, Dekke Jurung-Jurung, Ihan, Ikan Kancra, Ikan Dewa, Ikan Tambra, Ikan Tombro,

There’s a several mith about this fish in Batak descent people, once you spotted the seller of ihan batak or dekke jurrung-jurung, you can’t bargain  it no matter how pricey is that fish offerred. This ikan batak is a part of batakness wedding tradition, the female bride family (parboru) bring this fish to the male bride family (paranak) as a symbol of honour, hope and prosperousity. Similiar to Gulai Terubuk or Sayur Besan (Spicy Sugar Cane Blossom or Fiji Asparagus Curry) on Betawi descent people.  This ikan batak is being Arsik Ikan khas Batak or Spiced Fish with Torch Ginger and Andaliman (Indonesian Szechuan Peppercorn). This fish even got sacred in some area, This fish called Ikan Gariang on Sungai Janiah, lubuak Larangang  (name of the river), West Sumatra,  Ikan Kancra Bodas/Ikan Dewa on Cibulan Pond, West Java. All of this fish is protected and resticted to catch and to consume by a local hukum adat or cultural law.

ikan semah, ikan empurau, mahseer fish, ikan batak

Close-up of Ikan Semah, Ikan Empurau, Ikan Sapan, Ikan Kelah

Resep Gulai Ikan or Fish Curry Recipe:


  • 1 (about 700 gr) ikan batak or ikan semah, mahseer fish (you can replace with ikan mas/grass carp fish or ikan mujair/tilapia)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves (daun jeruk purut), deveined
  • 2 lemongrass (sereh), bruised
  • 2 cups coconut milk (santan)
  • 2 piece of asam gelulur (you can replace with 2 tbsp lemon juice)
  • 3 cups water (air)
  • 1 tomato (tomat), diced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 torch ginger blosom (bunga kecombrang,rias, honje, asam cekala), halved
  • salt  and pepper to taste
  • a pinch of sugar (gula)*optional

Resep Bumbu Gulai or Fish Curry Spice Paste Recipe:

  • 12 shallots (bawang merah)
  • 6 cloves garlic (bawang putih)
  • 6 cayenne pepper (cabe merah)
  • 6 or more bird eye chilli (cabe rawit)
  • 4 cm ginger (jahe)
  • 3 cm galagal (lengkuas)
  • 4 cm turmeric (kunyit)
  • 4 candlenuts (kemiri)


  • Heat up the 2 tbsp oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan, saute the spice paste with a low heat until the spice is throughly cooked. Visual aspect is the key! the oil is slowly separated and formed in the edge when it throughly cooked.
  • Add lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, torch ginger blosom, asam gelugur, tomato . Stir another minutes.
  • Pour the coconut oil and water, bring to boil.
  • Reduce the heat and cook until the coconut milk is throughly cook, keep stirring
  • Add the fish and simmer unti the fish is cooked, keep gently pouring the curry broth over and over again to the fish to make it properly cooked anf the spice is properly penetrated to the fish flesh.

You May Also Like:

resep arsik ikan mas batak toba mandailing enak pedasbutter poached lobster recipe poach herbs fennelgabus pucung resep betawi ikan gabus pucung

resep sayur besan terubukmantis shrimp recipe black pepper mantis prawnresepi laksa ketam crab curry rice noodle soup malaysian

resep ikan bakar rica sambal dabu-dabu mentah grill fishsteamed fish with egg white ginkgo biloba nuts rice wine hongkong style steam fishresep ikan bakar mudah sambal rawit dentist chef

Resep kalio daging sapi rendang padang indonesian beef rendang brown colorbraised sea cucumber duck feet goose web with oyster sauce superior stock abalone recipeabalone porridge recipe korea rice porridge  abalone

stir fry long bean minced meat chicken beef pork saucestir fry seitan gluten recipe vegetarian meat mock duck  wheat meat recipeBraised abalone oyster sauce recipe CNY chinese new year abalone recipe

spinach pasta salad recipe duck prosciutto sumac dressing saladsweet potato gnocchi recipe homemade purple gnocchigreek salad recipe cucumber olive salad  feta cheese

sea snail spicy chilli sauce recipe kerang macan cili api pedasblackened salmon recipe how to blackened salmon filletavocado feta cheese salad recipe greek salad how to make healthy salad dentist chef

grilled lamb leg recipe with spicy sauce salsa balinese sambal matahbeer batter squid calamari deep fried crispy calamari recipeabalone porridge recipe korea rice porridge  abalone

Recipe steam soon hock taucho  preserved soybean paste misosteamed glutinous rice dimsum wrap lotus leaves lo mai gai recipe chinese dimsumscallop steamed scallop blackbean tausi sauce glass noodle vermicelli recipe

chicken kebab recipe tomato mint salsa thai dipping sauce recipejellyfish salad recipe salad ubur ubur resep koreayong tou foo recipe tofu stuffed  fish paste recipe

abalone porridge recipe korea rice porridge  abalonestew fish maw stuffed minced meat recipe chinese hipioresep abalone angsio abalone saus tiram resep imlek abalone

stir fry long bean minced meat chicken beef pork sauceroast pigeon recipe chinese style szechuan five spiceTEA SMOKED DUCK RECIPE ZHANGCHA DUCK  HOW TO SMOKE DUCK BREAST DENTIST CHEF

Szecuan Lamb Satayresep ayam pengemis kampung  sincia tahun baru cinbeggar chicken step by stepblack garlic recipe how to cook scallop seared asian korean style

steamed Marble goby ginger garlic paste resep ikan malassteam tim ikan malas tio ciu teow choow style marble gobyresep ayam tim tausi jamur chinese style

ikan bawal bintang jepang tim steam tausiResep ikan steam tim hongkongsteamed tiger grouper garoupa tausi black bean tofu

29 thoughts on “Resep Gulai Ikan Batak, Ikan Semah, Ikan Sapan or Mahseer Fish (Indonesian Fish Curry)

  1. Selalu aja bikin ngiler nih postingannya Dedy 🙂
    Eh tapi apa yang disebut di atas bener lho, di Cibulan ikan ini betul-betul dikeramatkan, dan jangankan sampai memakannya, melukainya saja katanya bisa kena kutuk.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s