Monthly Archives: February 2017

Veronica’s Sambal Tomat (tomato hot sauce or relish)

A sambal (or sambel as in Javanese) comes in many varieties and tastes; they are piquant, spicy, chili hot … and are made from a mixture of variety of chili peppers and secondary ingredients like shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, palm sugar, lime juice, and rice or other vinegars … in myriad combinations.

This one is to die for, literally, a simple hot relish made with chilies, tomatoes, shallots and garlic.

  • 4 big red chilies, cut into 4
  • 3 to 4 big tomatoes, chopped
  • 8 to 12 large-ish shallots, halved
  • 6 pods garlic
  • salt

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Fry the garlic and onion in a little oil till softened. Add the chilies and stir till cooked and soft. Cool, and mash well with a mortar and pestle. (You can also blend it coarsely, but Veron assures me the taste is not the same).

To the remaining oil in the pan, add the tomato and stir till cooked and soft. Give it the mortar-pestle treatment separately.

Mix the two pastes, add salt as required.

Bottle, refrigerate.

Pix of ingredients – as always – from the web and some info on the sambel from wiki.

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Veronica’s well-loved ‘Ayam Kuning’ aka ‘Yellow Chicken’

Veron is an ace in all dishes Indonesian and this was a particular hit with my niece, visiting from university and interested in trying out different dishes.

This one is for you, Pooj !

  • 5 chicken drumsticks
  • a 2″piece of fresh ginger
  • a 3″ piece of fresh turmeric
  • a 2″ piece of galangal
  • 1 stem of lemon grass
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 7 shallots
  • 4 candlenuts (or macadamia nuts)
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • salt and pepper
  1. Blend all ingredients except chicken to a fine paste, ideally with no water.
  2. Rub the paste into the chicken, add a bit of water if too dry. Marinate a while.
  3. Boil, cool, refrigerate till required, ideally overnight.
  4. Fry the chicken pieces the next day.

The chicken pieces, once boiled, can be stored up to a month in the fridge, after boiling and cooling.

Candlenut or aleurites moluccanus is a flowering tree in the spurge family, also known as candleberry, Indian walnut, kemiri, varnish tree, nuez de la India, buah keras, or kukui nut tree. The nut is often used cooked in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine, where it is called kemiri in Indonesian or buah keras in Malay. On the island of Java in Indonesia, it is used to make a thick sauce that is eaten with vegetables and rice. In the Philippines, the fruit and tree are traditionally known as lumbang

Wikipedia

Galangal, also known as Siamese ginger, is a member of the ginger family – Zingiberaceae. Its skin is smoother and paler than ginger root’s, the interior ranges from white to yellow to pink, and its flavor is stronger and more astringent.

http://www.foodrepublic.com/2014/01/22/what-is-galangal-and-how-do-i-use-it/

Pictures from the web, with thanks.

Kuko’s Grilled Mushrooms

I’m a sucker for food that delicious, easy to prepare and involves the least work.

So these few posts are all things Kuko, as she whips them up effortlessly, remains elegant and relaxed and entertains with gracious facility !

  • Button mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, patted dry
  • Finely chopped onion
  • cheddar cheese
  • a dash of mayonaisse – a tablespoon or more
  • breadcrumbs
  1. Mix the cheese, onions and mayo and stuff the mushroom caps.
  2. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  3. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes till browned.

Utterly delicious ! She said the addition of the mayo makes all the difference and she picked this tip up when she was in the Philippines.

Pix off the web, with thanks.

Kuko’s Mutton in Cream

So, spending a night with old friends in Gurgaon, after years and years, and there’s this splendid dinner served piping hot on a cold December night.

Old friends, terrific food, music, wine and much reminiscing …

This dish was particularly delicious.

  • Mutton with bone, cubed
  • garlic paste
  • red wine vinegar
  • olive oil
  • oregano, or mixed Italian herbs, thyme …
  • salt and pepper
  • brown sugar
  • red wine
  • dash of cream
  • caramelised onions
  1. Marinate the meat overnight in a mixture of garlic paste, red wine vinegar, olive oil, herbs, salt, pepper and a bit of brown sugar.
  2. Pressure cook and when done, add a dash of red wine and the cream. Adjust the salt and pepper.
  3. Garnish with caramelised onions before serving.

This same dish can be made with chicken instead of meat.

Pix from the Net, with thanks.

Kuko’s (Indian) twist on a salad dressing

To give regular salad dressing a bite …

… sputter in olive oil, some mustard seeds, curry leaves and a couple of dry red chilies.

Mix this into the vinaigrette and lift with the addition of a couple of tablespoons of fresh orange juice.

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Goes brilliantly with grated carrots.

Pix off the web, with thanks, as always.

Brekkie, in some style !

Veggies are good at breakfast, I read, they are especially good, as they’re nutritious, full of antioxidants, provide very few calories per portion, and are packed with fiber—which is filling because it takes up space in your digestive system. Fiber also slows digestion, which means you’ll have a steadier supply of energy over a longer period of time.

So rooted in the fridge this morning and voila :

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A simple fried egg-white, stacked on walnut bread cut to size and garnished with a light salad of cherry tomatoes, avocado, some parsley, some Japanese cucumber and pomegranate arils tossed with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Oops … forgot to mention the most important part – a layer of hummus (made sans garlic) between the egg and the bread !

Tasted every bit as good as it looked !

Thanks Veron.

The info on veggies for breakfast from http://time.com/4583581/healthy-food-meal-protein/?xid=newsletter-brief

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies : a breakfast option

So, after a very early morning Pilates class, Sudha handed me a cookie which she said was her breakfast, on her way to her next class. It was delicious.

Here is the recipe, which I got from her, which she got from Smitten Kitchen. Given that its been passed from hand to hand or rather kitchen to kitchen, and it never turns out exactly the same, I have to say her version and mine were both terrific, in slightly different ways.

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For about 50 cookies (49, to be exact !)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1  1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp teaspoon table salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1  1/2 cups raisins
  • 1  cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup drinking chocolate (Sudha’s addition)
  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Separately, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together.
  3. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture.
  4. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.
  5. Either chill the dough for an hour in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill the whole tray before baking them.
    (You could also bake them right away, if you’re impatient, but I do find that they end up slightly less thick).
  6. Either way, heat oven to 350°F (175°C) before you scoop the cookies, so that it’s fully heated when you’re ready to put them in.
  7. The cookies should be two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes (baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top.
  8. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

Pretty easy to make, they came out well and they will go down a treat !