Rawon or Nasi Rawon/Rawon Rice (when served with rice) is a strong rich tasting traditional Indonesian beef black soup. Originally from Surabaya in Indonesian province of East Java. It uses black nuts/keluak (Pangeum edule, fruits of kepayang tree) as the main spice which gives the strong nutty flavor and dark color to the soup.
The soup is made of ground mixture of garlic, shallot, keluak, ginger, candlenut, turmeric, red chili and salt sauteed with oil until it gets aromatic. The sauteed mixture is then poured into boiled beef stock with diced beef. Lemongrass, galangal, bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves and sugar are then added as seasonings. The special dark/black color of rawon comes from the keluak as the main spice. The soup is usually garnished with green onion and fried shallot, and served with rice, hence the name Rawon Rice or Nasi Rawon in Indonesian language, together with baby bean sprouts, salted preserved egg, shrimp crackers and sambal chili sauce on the side.
Pictured here is Rawon Setan (Devil's Rawon), a popular rawon dish from Surabaya. The reason behind this nickname is because the warung (stall) that sells this rawon dish is open from midnight to dawn just like the time when they say devils come out. The Rawon Setan stall, is quite popular in Surabaya.