Mangrove, Acanthus ilicifolius Crackers

Written by on June 17, 2012 in Bali Food with 0 Comments

Acanthus ilicifolius Crackers


Acanthus ilicifolius Crackers
Fried crakcers are called krupuk in Indonesia and are made in a variety of shapes, sizes,
colors and flavors. These krupuk use broth from Acanthus leaves to add both color and
– 1 kg flour (cassava or sago palm)
– 1 clove garlic
– 1½ teaspoons salt
– 1½ teaspoons sugar
– ½ teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
– 300 grams of Acanthus ilicifolius or A. ebractateus leaves.
– banana leaves for wrapping
Remove spines from Acanthus leaves. Chop leaves very fine and boil in a liter of water for
3 minutes. Strain the greenish water from the leaves. Use only the water.
Little by little add greenish water to 1 kilogram of flour while stirring the flour mixture. Add
the salt, sugar, pepper, and baking soda. Pound the garlic and add to the mixture. When
the flour mixture has cooled down a bit, form into a dough with your hands.
Roll the dough into a piece of banana leaf and tie off the ends with some string or plastic
or a flexible twig. Steam the rolled dough in a pot (put some water under a rice sieve and
boil the water) for one full hour.

Let the whole thing sit overnight (can be refrigerated).
In the morning open the banana leaves and slice the
dough into thin silver dollar size pieces.
Place on a tray and let dry in the sun for the whole morning
until hard.
After drying in the sun they are ready to fry in hot oil in a
wok by placing a few pieces in at a time and turn them
over after 5 seconds.
The Acanthus crackers can
be packaged dried before
frying, allowing the consumer
to cook the crakcers themselves.
This adds significantly
to the shelf life of the Krupuk
from several weeks to several


These plants have no relation whatsoever with the Christmas Holly, although they appear similar.
In fact, not all the leaves have the spiny edges that give them their common name. Leaves growing the deep shade can be totally spineless.
Unlike some mangrove plants, Sea Holly do not exclude salt at the root level. In fact, their sap is salty and excess salt is secreted through the leaves, to be removed by rain or wind. Sometimes, the salt can be seen as a white crystalline layer on the upper surface.
The plant produces a cluster of flowers that develop into pods. When the pods ripen, they explode to propel the seeds up to 2m away.
Sea Holly grows on mud near the hide tide mark, often on mud lobster mounds. It can grow equally well under trees and in open areas. But it grows especially well in areas with more freshwater input. The plant can sometimes cover large areas and form thickets, particularly in disturbed mangrove. They also grow along river banks.
Uses: In Indonesia, the entire plant is placed in rice sacks to keep the rice dry (i.e., acts as a desiccant).
Traditional medicinal uses: The leaves of A. ilicifolius are used to treat rheumatism, neuralgia and poison arrow wounds (Malaysia). It is widely believed among mangrove dwellers that chewing the leaves will protect against snake bite. The pounded seeds are used to treat boils, the juice of leaves to prevent hair loss and the leaves themselves to ward off evil (Malay). Both species are also used to treat kidney stones. The whole plant is boiled in fresh water, and the patient drinks the solution instead of water, half a glass at a time, until the signs and symptoms disappear (Thailand). Water extracted from the bark is used to treat colds and skin allergies. Ground fresh bark is used as an antiseptic. Tea brewed from the leaves relieves pain and purifies the blood (widespread in both the Old and New World).



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