Yoga & Wellness

The Rich Taste of Loloh Cemcem

The green juice you rarely find in juice bars

By Sahiri

The herbal treasures of the archipelago are infinite, some munch it straight from nature (like the mouth-cleansing sirih leaves) but more often it’s boiled down to the famous jamu, or herbal drink. One such popular drink is the loloh cem-cem that is native to Penglipuran Village in Bangli.

Loloh itself is the local vernacular for jamu, and cem-cem is the star ingredient: the leaves of the tropical kedondong tree, mostly known amongst Indonesians as a hair nourishment either in shampoo or hair cream/ tonic form. But the residents of Panglipuran have been drinking its liquid form for a long time now, grinding the leaves and mixing it with palm sugar, chili, salt, tamarind, and, grated coconut. It’s a refreshing sweet ‘n sour ‘n salty green potion with the chili giving it a bit of a kick (though just a tad), perfect for a hot day and especially after a long drive. The Balinese in the region believes it’s a potent medicine for fever, low stamina, as well as to ease up our digestive tract. Funny enough, Indonesians who love rujak—the local fruit salad served with a spicy sauce made from palm sugar and tamarind—will find traces of the dish in loloh jamu, exacerbated by the fact that the sour kedondong (or amarella) fruit is often used in rujak.

For sure, the herbal delight is a home industry brew that is more appealing than the instant juices found in minimarkets. With only IDR5k per bottle, we’re surprised it hasn’t already.

Bali Pocket Magazine