Archive for Curry, Soups & Stews

Menu Juara: Soto Tangkar Betawi

Also known as Indonesian Beef Ribs Soup. A specialty from Jakarta, the city where I was born and grew up in.  But what does “soto” means?  Have a look ~ here ~ from my previous posting.  Soto Betawi has become a regular menu that keeps popping up every two weeks or so.  The reason is because I like it better than the chicken version and Michael would never say no this this.

I ran out of some ingredients & spices a few weeks ago. Little things like lemon grass, fresh galangal and frozen kaffir lime leaves. Of course you can substitute them with powdered ones if that’s the only option, but you know already, nothing beats the real thing. Even from the moment I started mixing the ingredients, I can tell whether the soto is going to have the correct taste or not from the scent of the cooked ingredients.  Powdered or packaged ingredients usually have a slightly “off’ chemically taste to it – well, only a few very good brands like Munik, tastes almost like the real thing.

This weekend, a friend brought me a new supply of these ingredients from Shanghai. Whoa my gosh! That gift equals with a pouch of gold nuggets to me. No kidding, where can you get these stuff in the middle of a grassland? So here I am, cooking away my favorite recipes once again….


Recipe for Soto Tangkar Betawi
(or Batavian Beef Ribs Soup)  you can have a look  HERE



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Tongseng Kambing


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As featured in  Tastespotting Foodgawker


Remember in my previous posting when I briefly introduced   “Soto” –  one of the many special soup dishes in Indonesia, which is interestingly enough, served as  main dish accompanied by steamed rice or noodles. Unlike in the western cuisine where soup is served as an appetizer. One of the special characteristics of Indonesian soup is the generous usage of fragrant ingredients such as lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, roasted coriander seeds and galangal – resulting in that special flavours which characterize these “soto”

Soto or Indonesian soup is something you would find sold on street corners & open market vendors. Yups, it’s a street food, quite a famous one. Different provinces in Indonesia has its own distinct flavours.  There’re so  many varieties of  ‘soto’ dish to a point that you could probably make a one month menu from different type of soto. Just kidding! But really, it’s THAT many….

Note on the special ingredients e.g.  kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, galangal, Indonesian soy sauce.  Most of these ingredients are becoming easier to find in the local asian stores or china town in your country, well I am sure it’s much more easier to find these things over there compared to where I live now in Inner Mongolia.


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TONGSENG KAMBING
or  Indonesian Lamb Cabbage Soup
Ingredients:
*  1 kg of lamb – I added a few pcss of lamb ribs for the flavours
*  1 liter coconut milk (canned or packaged is just fine)
*  1/2 cabbage – roughly chopped
*  4  pcs whole cloves
*  2 pcs red tomatoes, chopped
*  1 stalk of lemon grass – bruised
*  2 cm galangal
*  4 pcs kaffir lime leaves
*  6 pods of cardamoms
*  3 cm cinnamon stick
*  10 pcs red (or bird eye’s) chilies, sliced

Processed (paste) Ingredients:
*  8 pcs shallots
*  6 pcs garlic
*  2 cm fresh garlic
*  5 pcs candlenuts – flame roasted would taste better
*  1/2 tsp  coriander seeds – toasted would taste better
*  1/2 tsp cumin powder

** Optional:  2 tbs of Bumbu Cik Oneh – for a better kick!
untuk yang baru aja dapet stok bumbu dari Pasar Majestik… whoo hooo!

Cooking Directions:
1.)  In a pressure cook, boil lamb in 1 ltr water until tender enough
2.)  Stir fry processed ingredients until fragrant. Add lemon grass
3.)  Mix in the cooked ingredients into lamb pot, add the rest of  ingredients
4.)  Let it cook for a while,  stir in  coconut milk.
5.)  Add chopped cabbage, tomatoes & chilies. Let it cooked through
6.) Ready to serve with warm steamed rice on the side
and sprinkles of fried shallots (bawang goreng)


Note for my fellow SLFers:
Setelah berkali-kali bereksperimen dengan sup & soto shot yang kadang2 anglenya suka rada impossible karena bentuk mangkuk yang kurang ideal, akhirnya ketemu juga dengan  angle yang cukup memuaskan *imho*  Mangkuk yang dipakai kali ini cukup lebar mulutnya & tidak terlalu dalam, hingga isi si soto bisa terlihat, nggak tenggelam dalam kuahnya.  Warna mangkuk juga sengaja dicari yang cheerful untuk menunjang warna soto/sup yang memang cenderung kelihatan ‘dull’ saat  difoto…..   😀


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Soto Kudus


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Soto Kudus ~  Indonesian Chicken Soup, Javanese Style.  “Kudus”  is a city in Central Java, Indonesia.  There’re so many varieties of “soto” or soup from different parts of provinces in Indonesia. This particular one is quite easy to distinguish from its dominant garlicky flavours from generous sprinkles of deep fried garlic, delicious clear chicken soup with a hint of ginger, toasted coriander seeds and squeeze of lemon juice….. 

One of our weekend eat-out with my family when I was a little, was this great little place near Mayestik Market where they served the best Soto Kudus. It’s so good that my family decided to make it a must-stop restaurant  every Sunday afternoon.  The main thing about the whole dining experience is it’s usually served with a plateful of various kind of skewered yummies as side dish – paru goreng, sate usus goreng, sate telur puyuh, perkedel kentang and my favorite one sumsum goreng telur. Important condiment is also a must for me, chili soy sauce mixed with fried garlic.  It adds an entirely different flavours to the soto.

I find this recipe tastes very close to the original Soto Kudus I used to have, and am still crazy about.



 

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SOTO KUDUS
Indonesian Chicken Soup – Kudus Style

Ingredients:
* 6  pcs chicken thighs
*  4 pcs boiled eggs
*  200 gr bean sprouts, soak in hot water 5 mnts
*  celery stalk/spring onion, chopped
*  2 stalks of lemon grass, bruised
*  2 pcs bay leaves
*  3 tbs of  garlic fried to golden yellow color
*  salt, pepper, sugar to taste

Processed ingredients till smooth:
* 6 pcs garlic
* 6 pcs shallots
* 1 tbs roast coriander seeds
* 1/2 tbs cumin
* 6 pcs roast candlenuts
* 4 cm fresh ginger, slightly roasted

 

Cooking Directions:
1.)  Boil chicken in 1 ltr of water, lemongrass & bay leaves till tender
2.) Heat 1 tbs of oil, stir fry processsed ingredients till cooked
3.) Pour into the chicken pot, add salt, pepper, sugar & fried garlic
4.) Set aside and cut chicken into bite size strips
5.) Prepare individual bowls with: steam rice, boiled eggs, bean sprouts
    chicken strips, pour in steaming soup, sprinkle with spring onions
6.) Don’t forget those tasty chili condiment….  whoa yummy!

Chili for Soto:
* 10 pcs bird’s eye chili or red chili – slice thinly
* 2 tbs sweet soy sauce
* slices of indonesian palm sugar (gula jawa)
* 2 tbs fried garlic – smoothen
* sprinkles of lemon juice
(mix them all together)

 

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Winter Comfort: Red Beans & Green Chilies Soup

 

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The weather is getting chillier now in IM. Although I stay indoors most of the time and have the grocery shopping delivered to the room, I went outside yesterday for a quick stroll to a bakery next door. They have great pastry selections that are just perfect for morning coffee and afternoon tea.  Well, I got the pastries, but came back feeling horrible. Sniffles, heavy head and chest. I think I’m getting a bad flu. Can’t believe it, over a 20 minute stroll?

Good thing that I made the soup right before the flu hit hard. It was quite easy and quick to prepare, unlike the Indonesian “soto” or soup that would usually mess up my kitchen.  A nice change in the menu. I love the flavours of green chilies blend in nicely with red beans. A few pieces of pork ribs also brings out a nice rich flavour to the soup. Oh, I oven-roasted the rest of the pork ribs with minimum barbecue seasonings.  Some slices of corn bread on the side.

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CORNBREAD RECIPE
**Recipe from Mark Bittman – NYTimes

Ingredients:
* 4 tablespoons butter, olive oil, lard or bacon drippings
* 1 1/2 cups medium-grind cornmeal
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 eggs1
* 1/4 cups milk, more if needed

Cooking Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Put fat in an 8-inch square baking pan.
     Place pan in oven.
2. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. Mix eggs into milk, stir this mixture into dry ingredients, 
     If mixture seems dry, add a tablespoon or two of milk.
4. When fat and oven are hot, remove skillet or pan
      from oven, pour batter into it and smooth out top.
5. Return pan to oven. Bake about 30 minutes,
     until top is lightly browned
6. Serve warm

 

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RED BEANS & GREEN CHILIES SOUP

Ingredients:
* 2 cups of dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight
* 1/2 cup chopped green chili peppers
* 3 cloves minced garlic
* 1 pcs large onions, chopped
* 2 pcs bay leaves
* 3 pcs of pork ribs
* 1/2 cup diced carrots
*  3 tbs tomato pasta
*  1 stalk leeks – sliced
* some diced bacons
* 2 tbs Sherry
* salt, pepper & sugar to taste

Additional Seasoning:
* 3 tbs paprika  powder
* 2 tbs cayenne pepper powder
* dried leaf oregano
* dried thyme

Cooking Directions:

1.)  Cook chopped onions & garlic until transparent
2.)  Add chopped green chilies, bayleaves, bacon/pork, stir for 2 mnts
3.)  Add beans, water & additional seasonings.  Add tomato pasta
4.)  Let it cook until beans are tender. Add carrots
5.)  Remove about 1 cup of  beans & pureed. Add leeks
6.)  Add sherry & pureed beans. Simmer for about 5 mnts
7.)  Serve hot with corn bread

 

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Soto Betawi – Indonesian Soup

 

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I’ve posted the recipe previously in this blog – and two other blogs. I just want to give a different touch to the dish being served with sprinkles of toasted coconut, accompanied by a bowl of steamed rice. The yellow stuff on top of the rice is “Serundeng”  or spicy toasted coconut. I made it from dessicated coconut, sprinkles of palm sugar, ground chilis, a touch of ground dried shrimp and shredded fresh lime leaves. It matches beautifully with the soto.

Soto is another word for Indonesian soup, which usually more fragrant than the normal soup people know, as we would use lemon grass (plus other basic “soto” ingredients) lime leaves and coconut milk. Probably the best beef ribs soup – that is if you like rich oriental spices in your soup combined with a dash of light coconut milk stewed until the ribs are juicy and tender. Roasted candlenuts, fresh galangal, ginger, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves make this soup so refreshingly different.

 

SOTO BETAWI

Ingredients:
* 400 gram beef ribs
* 1 kg brisket (some bones if you have)
* 2 pcs bay leaves
* 3 stalks of lemon grass – bruised, tied into a knot & dump into pot
* 3 cm fresh galangal – roast in naked flame until fragrant
* 2 cm fresh ginger, sliced
* 3 pcs kaffir lime leaves
* 250 ml coconut milk
* 500 gr potatoe – cubed
* 4 cm cinnamon stick

Ground spices:
* 12 pcs shallots
* 7 pcs garlic
* 5 pcs red chilis
* 8 pcs candlenuts – roast in naked flame till fragrant
* 1 tbs coriander powder
* 1 tsp cumin powder
* 1 tsp white pepper powder
(all ground smoothly, then stir fry in cooking oil until fragrant)

 
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Cooking Direction:

1.) Boil water with lemon grass, roast galangal, bayleaves in a pot &
     cook ribs + brisket until tender. This should take a while.
2.) In the mean time shallow fry cubed potatoes until golden brown
      (this time, I only steamed the potatoes, running out of cooking oil)
3.) When ribs & beef are tender enough, mix in the stir fried
       ground spices, kaffir lime leaves and cinnamon stick.
       Add salt + pepper, and pinch of sugar if needed
4.) Serve steaming hot. Place cubef potatoes first, then the ribs & soup.
       Sprinkle with chopped spring onions, chopped tomatoes

Nothing beats this steaming hot soup and a bowl of warm rice with sprinkles of toasted coconut in the freezing winter like out here in Inner Mongolia  😀
      

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RECIPE for  SERUNDENG  (toasted coconut topping)

Ingredients:
* 200 gr desiccated coconut
* 4 pcs kaffir lime leaves – shred to pieces
* 6 pcs shallots – ground smooth
* 4 pcs garlic – crushed
* 1 tsp powder red chili
* 1/2 tbs powder coriander seed
* 1 tbs palm sugar (gula jawa)
* 1 tbs dried baby shrimp (rebon) – ground smooth
* 2 slices of fresh galangal root
* salt & pepper to taste

Cooking Directions:

1.) Stir fry shallot + garlic in 1 tbs of olive oil until fragrant
2.) Add ground baby shrimp, galangal, coriander
3.) Stir in coconut & mix throroughly. Add sugar, salt, pepper
4.) Keep on low heat, keep stirring, this may take a while
      until the coconut takes the beautiful color of golden light brown.
5.) Some kaffir lime leaves may leave a bitter-ish taste if cooked
       too long, some are just fine.
6.) Serve as topping of the steamed rice, or mix in with the rice

 

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Beef Rendang

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There’re so many recipes for rendang around the internet. Some recipes call for liters and liters of coconut milk, some uses loads ginger but no galangal… *this one is a bit strange though*  This is the first time ever I cook rendang as I’m aware it’s so time-consuming and requires certain ingredients that can’t be substitute with any powdered stuff. Like this powdered lemon grass or powdered galangal…..   that’ll never work. Trust me, I’ve been there. Nothing beats the real thing, you know what I mean  😉

Finally I found the one I’m really happy with. The recipe adopted from uni Dewi Anwar –  she has this special recipe using 1 tbs of ground beef liver plus toasted coconut that would surely taste fantastic in rendang. Her secret recipe combined with a few others would be just awesome!  For this recipe I use 1 kg of  beef topside and silverside. Oh, I also found two fresh beef tongue from the same shop in the market. Just beautiful! would be perfect for ox tongue steak the next day. Or perhaps something else yummie….

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 BEEF RENDANG – the real deal from West Sumatra Indonesia

● 1 kg beef topside/silverside – discard fat
● 20 pcs shallot
● 10 pcs garlic
● 3 cm fresh ginger
● 15 pcs red chilies
● 4 cm fresh galangal
● 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
● 2 tsp nutmeg
● 15 pcs red chilies
● salt, pepper, palm sugar to taste
** Process all ingredients into a smooth paste

● 3 pcs star anise
● 2 cm cinnamon stick
● 5-7 pcs kaffir lime leaves
● 3 pcs lemon grass, bruised the stalks
● 1 tbs tamarind
● 2 pcs bay leave
● 3 cups of thick coconut milk (I use dessicated coconut)

Additional seasoning:
● 1 tbs toasted coconut – smoothly ground
● 1 tbs steamed beef liver – smoothly ground
** Mix both ingredients into the gravy

Cooking Directions:
1. Cook beef in ground ingredients + a cup of water in low heat
    until tender
2. Once it’s properly cooked, add coconut milk
    Then add the leafy ingredients
3. If using fresh coconut milk, keep stirring until gravy thickens
4. Add additional seasoning upon serving
5. You can keep on cooking until it turns dark, or the one I prefer
    is just beautifully reddish-yellow almost dry but not so.

Recipe is adopted and slightly modified from Dewi Anwar. Thank you Uni Dewi.

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Screamin’ Hot Vindaloo Curry

 

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Vindaloo Chicken Curry –  as featured on Tastespotting

 

A couple of days ago I did quite a bit of reading and surfing about the curry of the world, to help David, our hotel’s F&B Manager for his “Curry Cooking Class” on Friday. He’s teaching a group of staff who’re interested in the origin of cuisine – and this week’s topic was about curry. I was invited to be the guest speaker actually, which I reclined as I wasn’t really on my top condition to stand up a long time…. being pregnant 😀

However it was an interesting subject and had attention & positive feedback from the staff. Most of them didn’t have the slightest idea of the differences between Thai curry, Indonesian curry, Malay/Sing curry, Japanese curry, Indian curry or Caribbean curry – Thai curry is the most aromatic of all and not as heavy as the Indian ones, while Malaysian/Singaporean usually use belacan/shrimp paste in their curry, while the usage of lemon grass + kaffir lime leaves + galangal + tamarind is  a must in Indonesian curry.

I’m a true curry addict. The one curry dish I can’t make perfectly but I miss so much is Rendang, originally from West Sumatra Indonesia but so often wrongly claimed as Malaysian origin. It requires the freshest ingredients to cook it to perfection. Would be impossible using only dessicated coconut or packaged “Kara” instant coconut milk.

Friends of ours from NZ gave us a can of Vindaloo curry paste from Patak’s. Okay, I may not familiar with the differences of Indian curries but am very familiar with the flavours. I love them. Vindaloo is supposed to be one of the spiciest curry. Next to Phall.

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Patak’s curry paste tastes a bit too mild for me, so I added extra vindaloo paste made from scratch:

 

TRADITIONAL VINDALOO CURRY PASTE

* 15 pcs dried red chilies
* 5 pcs large garlic cloves
* 1 medium onion, diced
* 3 cm fresh ginger, bruised
* 2 tsp pan-roasted cumin seeds
* 1 tsp pan-roasted coriander seeds
* 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
* 10 pcs whole cloves
* 1 tsp cardamom seeds
* 2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
* dried tamarind
* 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

Directions:
1.) Soak dried chilies in hot water overnight. Pureed.
2.) Stir fry onion, garlic & ginger until caramelized
3.) Ground all cumin seeds, coriander, fenugreek & cloves
4.) Add to the cooked onion, add chicken/beef/lamb chunks
5.) Add pureed chilies, cinnamon stick & cardamom seeds
6.) Add 2 cups of water, cover and cook until tender
7.) Add 1 cup of heavy coconut milk

Verdict: this dish is so yummy, moreish but prepare a huge glass of water next to you to douse the fire. Hehehehe

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