Saturday, 6 September 2008

Indonesia Night in the Kitchen

I have to admit, I do not know a lot about Indonesia. When I googled some recipes, they looked rather Thai to me but a good friend assured me that there were similarities and I was on the right track.

I, clearly, have never been there but my mother has. She has had a life long interest in Buddhism and has travelled to many countries with Buddhist communities. I am not much of a traveller myself now, so I have to let my kitchen do the travelling.

One interesting note is that a week or so ago hubby and I were touring some garage sales on the way to the grocers. I guess that in itself is not interesting - but I made him stop the car when I saw a set of Indonesian puppets on one of the lawns. They were on a platform with jointed arms that had sticks to move them. Two ladies were running the sale. I purchased the puppets - dated 1943 from Indonesia - and the second lady mentioned that she was from Java and gave us a tour of her home, complete with original Javanese furniture that she got from the consulate. She also gave us a tour of her beautiful back yard garden. Soon after, Indonesia was announced as the theme country for dinner this week. Serendipity.

Indonesian Dinner - Chicken and Red Pepper Satays on a bed of Creamy Saffron Rice served with Spicy Peanut Sauce and a side of Quick Pickle.
Recipes found and modified from Recipezaar.

Chicken Satays

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - sliced into strips.
4 sweet red peppers, cut into 8ths.

1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lime juice
2 cloves garlic
2-3 dried chilies
2 dried lime leaves

Whiz up marinade in blender. Marinate chicken for at least 6 hours or overnight. Thread chicken and peppers on skewers and grill.

Peanut Sauce

2/3 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup coconut milk, unsweetened
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp or to taste soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 garlic cloves
3 dried chili peppers

Whiz up in blender. Add more soy sauce if needed.
Pour in bowl and garnish with cilantro.

Cucumber Quick Pickle

5-6 large pickling cucumbers, 4-5 inches in length. Or equivalent. Cubed.
Small red onion, sliced thin or chopped small.
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp salt
generous grinding black pepper
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp white sugar

Combine and let marinate, stirring once in a while, for at least one hour. Drain before serving.

Creamy Saffron Rice

1 cup arborio rice
generous pinch saffron threads
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup plain yogurt
salt and pepper

Heat 1 cup of the coconut milk and add saffron threads. Let bloom 20 minutes.

Saute onion and garlic in oil. Add ginger and rice and coat grains well. Add the rest of the ingredients, season with salt and pepper and cover. Cook 20 minutes over low heat. Remove from heat, let sit at least 5 minutes and fluff with a fork. Serve hot.

Thank you for joining me for My Kitchen, My World Indonesia - see you again soon!