Food from Sabah, Malaysia: Kurma Sayur Nangka (baby jackfruit curry)

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ March 17th, 2011. Updated on May 30th, 2012. Published in: Travel blog » Food around the world » Sabahan food.
Kurma Sayur Nangka from Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

The very delicious Sayur Nangka from Borneo

Kurma Sayur Nangka from Sabah Malaysia (Borneo)

I thought the dish was a chicken curry when I selected the yellow korma looking dish. It was only at the table did I notice the fibrous looking clumps.

The lady serving the dish smiled, struggled with the words and said, “Coconut.”

Did she mean, palm hearts? I’ve eaten enough coconut to know this wasn’t anything really coconutty. Palm hearts I’ve had, and they are fiberous, but they didn’t taste this good.

I recognized the jack fruit shape as I ate the coconut korma sauce.

Then I spotted a little white testicle shaped object, and was completely lost again.

Finding the answer to what Kurma Sayur Nangka is?

So with a photo the first girl at reception confirmed it was … edible. But, she also didn’t know the right words. Next came a few emails, nope, nobody.

Next morning a new girl at reception finally gave me the words “Sayur / Nang Kaka. And, confirmed that it was a vegetable, baby jack fruit poached in coconut milk. She even knew what the little white object was.

Kurma Sayur Nangka in korma sauce from Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

Kurma Sayur Nangka in korma sauce from Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

“The testicle is actually a very small baby jack fruit seed”

Finally with the help of @TourismSelangor @j_chocoholic and @agentcikay on twitter we corrected the spelling to Sayur Nangka and with some investgation added Kurma, as this was a curry dish.

Sayur Nangka also has routes firmly set in Indonesia, and in the rest of South East Asia.

What does Kurma Sayur Nangka taste like?

Delicious! The first time I had this dish the jack fruit was melt in your mouth good. Subtle sweet coconut mild mixed with korma curry was so mild I couldn’t tell whether is was a main course or desert.

Then came that little white seed. Normally jack fruit seeds are too hard to eat. But this is baby jack fruit and the seed was simply like a firm grape. And, very tasty.

Kurma Sayur Nangka is not so easy to find. But for vegetarians or those looking for something special I highly recommend it!

This is an additional entry featuring food from Sabah, Malaysia

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22 Great responses to Food from Sabah, Malaysia: Kurma Sayur Nangka (baby jackfruit curry)

  1. For vegetarians (or semi-veggie like me), stewed jack-fruit is awesome. The texture is very similar to beef , it soaks up the flavor of the soup/stew, and it simply tastes good. If you’re planning to visit Indonesia, give ‘gudeg’ a try. It’s basically marinated jackfruit dish and it’s one of my favorite food from back home.

    • Hey Jill, thanks for the tip on “Gudeg”. I’ve only ever known Jackfruit as a fruit, rather than a cooked food. Was just amazed at how good it tastes cooked in Korma, or coconut milk!

  2. Jackie says:

    Yummy! This is such a great story! Awesome detective work. Chicken korma is my all-time favorite dish. I’d love to try Kurma Sayur Nangka.

  3. Ivy says:

    I’m not a food-fan but the first dish looks delicious.

  4. tripgirl6 says:

    Looks delicious and healthy too! Also I agree with Jackie on your great sleuthing skills to give us the right info despite the language barrier you encountered.

    • Malaysia is a foodie place, they take it seriously, and many people actually disagree on names or use different names. It ends up with one never being 100% correct to everybodys liking. But, one can still try.

  5. el buen samaratin says:

    Even in a still photo, it appeared to be moving. Was it?

  6. Megan says:

    Oooooh, looks delicious. In Thailand they make stir-fried unripe jackfruit and an unripe jackfruit salad that you would swear had meat in it…but it doesn’t. Delicious!

  7. J the Chocoholic says:

    Ooooh. I got a mention! Cool… thanks! :)

    Btw here’s an interesting(?) fact: Apparently males can’t eat too much nangka seeds as it may make ur erhem family jewels swollen :)
    (not sure how far this is true but consider yourself warned :p)

  8. Jason says:

    Dave, your testicle description has just put me off this dish for life. May have even put me off my breakfast as well. Never tried this dish in Sabah. It’s a weird combination, but I suppose you never know until you’ve tasted it.

  9. Thanks for the vegetarian suggestion! I was guessing that was a quail egg, but I stand corrected ;) I’m surprised a seed would be so soft and delicious. I have to try it!

  10. rokh says:

    this actually reminds me more of a dish from philippines (minus the korma), couldn’t really find that here in west malaysia

  11. Reading this early in the morning makes me hungry ;) Kurma is one of the understated dish but so very good especially when it’s served with white rice. Heaven. Glad you came across this dish! And, thank you so much for the mention!

  12. eli says:

    you really enjoying eating(the food). i smile a lot reading this and started to feel hungry. lol