Indonesian cuisine, a combination of various regional cuisines is significantly flavourful, fragrant as well as visually stimulating. Try these few popular dishes infused with ‘sugar and spice and everything nice’.
Rendang (Beef stew)
1 kg beef – cubed
3 cups coconut milk
3 stalks lemongrass
4 kaffir lime leaves
For curry paste
200g galangal – chopped
4 large cloves of garlic – minced
100g shallots – minced
100g red chillies – minced
2tbsp coriander seeds
¼tsp turmeric powder
2.5 cm piece ginger
1tbsp coconut sugar
2tbsp coconut oil
Blend all the curry paste ingredients together until smooth. In a wok, saute the curry paste with coconut oil until fragrant and then add the coconut milk. Bash the lemongrass stalks and add to the wok. Stir well and then add the beef. Cook over medium heat and bring the coconut milk to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer.
Cook on slow flame until the meat is tender and the color turns dark brown (around 3 hours). Add a little water, after about 15-20 minutes, if the gravy dries up. When the meat is tender, Rendang is ready.
Nasi Goreng (Fried rice)
4tbsp vegetable oil
2 shallots – sliced
1tsp shrimp paste
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 red chilli – minced
1tsp fish sauce
1tbsp brown sugar
1tsp tamarind paste
1tbsp tomato puree/paste
2tbsp dark soy sauce
800g cooked long grain rice – cooled
5 spring onions – chopped
Heat 1tbsp of the oil in a large wok or frying pan until hot. Dust the shallot or onion slices in cornflour and add to the wok. Cook, for 5-6 minutes until browned and crispy, then remove from the pan and place in a bowl.
Turn the heat down to medium and add another 1tbsp of oil to the wok and add in the shrimp paste, garlic and chilli. Heat for one minute until fragrant, then add in the fish sauce, brown sugar, tamarind, tomato puree, and soy sauce and heat for a minute.
Now add the rice to the wok and cook on a high heat. Use a spatula to ensure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, and move the rice around so that it’s all getting reheated.
Once the rice is hot (about 5 minutes), push the rice over to the side of the pan and crack one of the eggs into the space. Making sure this bit of the pan is over the heat, fry the egg, giving a mix with the spatula until the egg starts to cook and look scrambled.
Now mix the egg into the rice. Add the spring onions, a pinch of salt and the crispy onions and mix it all together. Reduce the heat to low.
Add the remaining oil to a large frying pan and heat until hot, then fry the remaining four eggs until the white is crisp at the edges, but the yolk is still runny. Divide the rice between four bowls and top each with a fried egg, then serve.
Satay Maranggi (Beef skewers)
100g palm sugar powder
3tbs sweet soy sauce
20 fruit skewers – soaked in water
1-2 red onions
8 garlic cloves
1½tsp coriander powder
2tbsp concentrated tamarind water
5 green chillies – crushed
1 red tomato – chopped small
2 red onions – thinly sliced
2tbsp sweet soy sauce
Cut the beef into cubes – 2cm. Then mix with powdered palm sugar, sweet soy sauce and spices, stir well. Leave for 30 minutes for the spices to infuse
Skewer 4-5 pieces of meat in each skewer. Finish until all ingredients are used up. Preheat the grill, and grill the satay, basting with the marinade frequently.
For the sambal, mix ground cayenne pepper, tomatoes and onions in a bowl, add vinegar and sweet soy sauce, stir well.
Put the satay on a serving plate, serve while hot with soy sauce.
(The same recipe can be used for chicken satay)