Sindhi Chicken/ lotus stem

The recipe which I will share today is usually the base for sindhi pawa(trotters, or paya) but I cook my mutton or chicken,or Lotus stem( beeh) using this recipe of my mother, its easy enough to follow..( had shared the mutton version of this long back in a post on this blog)

SINDHI CHICKEN
1 whole chicken cut into 8 or 10 pieces.
3 big onions, cut fine
2 tomatoes chopped
2 tomatoes boiled and pureed.
2 tbsps ginger garlic paste.
1 tsp shah jeeri
3 tsps red chillie powder( or to taste)
1 tsp haldi powder.
2 tsps dhania powder.
2 tsps home made garam masala( shared recipe previously.)
Salt about 2 tsps.

Take a square piece of muslin cloth, about the size of a man’s handkerchief and put these spices onto it

1 tsp cummin seeds
1 pc of cinnamon ( about an inch long) a 2 small dried bay leaves
4 cloves
12 black peppercorns 
4 green cardamoms
4 small shallots and 4 cloves of garlic
and a small piece of ginger
2 tbsps raw rice and 1 tbsp raw chana dal
Tie this into a secure potli and make a bouquet garni, put this packet of spices into a pressure cooker, add chicken into the cooker, add sufficient water and close the lid, cook for about 2 or 3 whistles on medium flame. Once pressure is released from the cooker,  Remove the bouquet garni, open it gently, and put the spices into a mixer and blend using about one cup of water, strain this thick spice water and keep aside. ( DISCARD CINNAMON STICK AND BAY LEAVES)

Now take a pot, add about 4 to 5 tbsps of oil, and add 3 finely chopped onions. saute until onions turn pale golden in colour.

Add shah jeeri or caraways seeds to the onions
Add 2 tbsps of ginger garlic paste and continue to saute.
Now add 2 sliced tomatoes and puree of 2 boiled tomatoes

Continue to saute till every thing comes together and then add dry spices like turmeric, red chillie powder, corriander powder and lastly the king of all masalas …garam masala., season with salt.

Now is the time to add the boiled chicken  together with the stock. mix well and let it cook covered for 10 mins, then add the strained spice mixture little by little. Cover once again and simmer till your kitchen is engulfed with the fragrance…abt 15 mins on a low flame, adjust the thickness of the gravy , it should be semi thick and slightly sticky due to the starch in the rice. The chicken literally falls of the bones…

** Tip, Its better to pressure cook the chicken a day before, if possible. Keep the stock, bouquet garni, and water from boiled chicken in the fridge, next day you will see that the stock has turned into jelly. It gives awesome flavours..then you can grind the spices in the bouquet garni. BUT, if time does not permit, then go ahead and cook directly.

Finally add lots of chopped corriander leaves , stir and serve hot with phulkas or bread slices( we prefer pao or bread buns, to soak up the gravy)… and some sindhi kechumbo .

Kechumbo

Rub some salt onto 2 sliced onions, and leave for 5 mins, then wash under running water, squeeze the water out and put the onions in a bowl . now add 2 sliced green chillies , 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp vinegar. mix well and refrigerate.( I  even add grated raw beetroot and grated carrot to my kechumbo)

FOR VEGETARIANS I WOULD SUGGEST MAKING LOTUS STEM AND POTATOES,OR MUSHROOMS. USING THE SAME ABOVE METHOD.

Sup oyong bakso ayam/ Ridgegourd/ Turaiya chicken noodle soup.

Sup Oyong Bakso Ayam
( Turaiya/Ridgegourd chicken noodle soup)
This is one of the best ways to eat this lovely vegetable. Adding Ridgegourd to soup gives it a silken texture and surprisingly it enhances the taste.
One of our favourite soups at home. Especially on a Rainy night.  Indonesians are not familiar with cooking Turaiya in a sabji form. Its mostly made this way in a soup. Do try this soup, which is very very easy  to make and a delight to have. A meal in a bowl I love Turaiya in any form, be it the aisi turiyuoon ji bhaji which my mother made often when we were young or even the phota bhuga turi which my mother in law gave me during child birth.😊

For the bakso ayam
Chicken dumplings
Blend 200 gms of boneless chicken with
2 pods garlic
2 egg whites
1 tsp white pepper powder
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornflour.
2 tbsp spring onion..finely chopped
1 tbsp  celery …finely chopped.

Make tiny balls with the help of 1 tsp.
Keep dipping the spoon in a small bowl of water.
Keep the chicken balls ready.

Soak about 70 gms of glass noodles in hot water. For 10 mins..drain and keep ready.

Take 2 Ridgegourds ..try to take the ones without seeds .
Peel and cut into round chunks. Not too thin, and not too thick…keep ready.
Blanch 1 bowl of moong bean sprouts in hot water , strain and keep ready( I used toge)

For the soup.
Grind 6 shallots, 3 garlic pods with a mortar and pestle. Make a paste.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil, add onion garlic paste, and 1 tsp of white pepper powder.
Saute till fragrant.
Ad 5 cups of hot water( better if you have chicken stock) I used stock. and bring to a boil.
Add the chicken balls .
Add 1 tbsp chicken sesoning or 2 cubes of knorr . I used royco.
Let the soup come to a rolling boil.
Add 1 tbsp of sesame oil.
Add  the ridgegourd / turai/ oyong.
Give a final simmer for 5 mins and take off the fire.

To assemble..
Put some glass noodles in a bowl, add blanched bean sprouts, and laddle the soup into the bowl.
Top with fried onion and chopped spring onion. And a healthy squirt of lime juice.
Serve with chilli sauce. I used fresh home made  sambal..

MACKEREL IN SPICY CHILLI SAUCE WITH STINK BEANS( Ikan kembung samal pete).

IKAN KEMBUNG SAMBAL PETE.
( MACKEREL IN SPICY CHILLI SAUCE WITH STINK BEANS)
Stink beans, bitter beans , twisted cluster beansthe names are  enough to put people off. BUT, wait, these beans are so called bcoz of their distinct taste and odour,( A bit strong, but similar to raw asparagus which I admit is an acquired taste.) The bean it self has a buttery bite to it. And the beans healing properties are many. They are very good in cleansing the kidneys., so don’t shy away…do try them Very very popular here in Indonesia. Petai( pronounced  Ptai) is mostly added to sambals or served as a side dish with rice, fish, chicken etc. Its truely delicious. Its normally just added in the last stage of cooking or eaten fried.
In India Its called YONGCHAK, ( I googled this, and saw its found in MANIPUR.) Pls do enlighten me if you know more about this in India.
Normally a single stalk will have about 10 to 12 beans, the outer covering is disposed and the beans are used.Every vegetable vendor who passes around will surely have many petai hanging on his cart.
These bright green beans surely brighten up a dish.
Ikan kembung is a distant cousin of the mackerel. Its not very fleshy, and has many tiny bones. But it fries very well and tasty to eat. Use any other fish if you want. Its the sambal which is so tasty..spicy, a little sweet and slightly tangy. Do try this recipe. Photo was a bit difficult to take..pls excuse the photography.

500 gms of ikan Kembung( chubb mackerel)..Make slits over the fish.
Wash well, rub lime juice and salt over it and let sit for half an hour.
Next rub some corriander powder and turmeric into the fish
Heat some oil in a pan and deep fry the fish till crispy…( you can cover while frying to avoid spluttering.
Keep the fish in a serving dish.

Sambal.( 1st step grinding)
7 red chillies
5 bird eye chillies
6 shallots
3 garlic pods
1 tsp salt
50 ml or 3 tbsps water.
Blend all this .keep asaide.

Step 2.
Heat 6 tbsps oil in a pan
Add the blended paste, 1 stalk of  lemongrass( slit and bashed), 3 torn kaffir lime leaves
Cook this till oil seperates.
Now add
10 whole bird eye chillies
1 big tomato sliced
1 tbsp jaggery or brown sugar
1/2 tsp sugar
50 ml or 3 tbsps water.
Also add the Petai( remove from stalk, and remove the white membrane, slit the green beans into 2)

Now cook all this for 10 mins till the beans lose thier rawness.
To assemble.
Put the fish in a platter, and pour the sambal on top of the fish, garnish with cucumber and thai basil.
Eat with hot white rice and some stirfry vegetables.
Have shared some photos in the comment section.

Egg chicken rolls

CHICKEN EGG ROLLS OR AYAM GULUNG DADAR TELOR.

This very simple , light and tasty snack comes together very very quickly.  Basically minced chicken is applied on a thin omelette and rolled , steamed and then panfried after cutting.
A no fuss recipe to make and eat😊
Please do try making this.

1st step
Beat 3 eggs lightly and season with salt and pepper.
Prepare 3 thin omelettes and keep aside.

# just cook lightly, don’t overcook the omelettes.

2nd step.
Put 200 gms of boneless chicken in a food processor.
Add 1 spring onion finely chopped
1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste
2 tsps sesame oil
1 tsp white pepper powder
1 tsp salt.
1 tsp mushroom seasoning or 1/4 tsp msg.
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
Run the mixer till chicken is minced well.
Add 1 egg, and run the mixer once more.
Remove into a bowl.

3rd step
Take one omelette, apply 1/3rd of the chicken paste evenly all over the surface.
Roll gently.
Repeat for all 3 omelettes.
Keep the rolls in a hot steamer, seam side down, and steam for 15 mins.

4th step.
Cut the rolls at a slant to get oval pieces.
Dip all the cut pieces into cornflour.
Dust off excess cornflour.
Heat a frying pan and add about 5 to 6 tbsps of oil.
Heat oil, and add the egg chicken roll  pieces.
Pan fry till golden.
Serve hot, with a sauce of your choice.

Kue Putu Ayu, ( snow cakes)

KUE PUTU AYU

The name KUE PUTU AYU, loosely translated means pretty putu cake.( I also call these snow cakes)
These pretty little cakes are very easy to make and come in the category of kue manis( sweet cakes)
The distinct topping of  slightly salted grated coconut is the trade mark, and balances the sweetness of the kue perfectly.
Serve these at anytime of the day..people love them .
But traditionaly these are teatime treats.
No oil or butter is added, and steaming these takes hardly 15 mins.
Even after 38 years of living in Indonesia, I am still facinated with the way sweetmeats are created here like works of art.  Delicate, pretty and oh so tasty.

Serve these warm, and if you have any leftovers, keep in the fridge, in an airtight container and consume within 24 hrs.
After reheating in the steamer .

Since this is the holi season, I have made these in pretty multi coloured hues.

Holi is the festival of colours and celebrated with great gusto by indians by playing with water spray guns, vibrant colour powders rubbed into each other faces, and water balloons. The streets of India on the day of Holi look colourful , with people having fun.

Kue Putu Ayu..recipe with egg


STEP  1.
Mix 400 gms peeled grated coconut with 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tbsps cornflour.
Steam the coconut in a bowl for 15 mins.
Next,
Take about 20 small moulds, grease them very lightly and press grated coconut tightly into the grooves., keep aside.( pictures given below)
Pre heat the steamer, and cover the lid with a kitchen napkin, to prevent steam droplets from dropping onto the cakes.
.
STEP 2
In a mixing bowl add:-
2 whole eggs
175gms sugar
1/2 tsp emulsifier ( optional)
Whisk the above till sugar dissolves and eggs are fluffy and stiff.( I used an electric beater, it took me about 10 mins)
Add 2 tsps of vanilla essence.
Beat once more.

STEP 3
Sift together 200 gms of flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder. ( add 1/4 tsp baking soda incase you are not adding the emulsifier)

STEP 4
Mix together 75ml of thick  coconut milk with 125 ml of water.
( I used coconut milk from a tetra pack.)

Step 5
Add flour and coconut milk alternately to the beaten eggs and sugar.
Mix at a very low speed.

Divide the mixture into as many colours of cakes you want.
I divided into 4 bowls and added 4 different colours, blue, pink, purple and green.
Now spoon the mixture into the prepared moulds.( I used plastic moulds )
And steam for 15 mins.

Done, they come out very easily.
Serve with a hot cup of coffee.
Very pleasing eye candy, and very light to eat too. Do try these.

EGGLESS KUE PUTU AYU


STEP  1.
Mix 200 gms peeled grated coconut with 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tbsps cornflour.
Steam the coconut in a bowl for 15 mins.
Next,
Take about 10 small moulds, grease them very lightly and press grated coconut tightly into the grooves., keep aside.( pictures in comments)
Pre heat the steamer, and cover the lid with a kitchen napkin
.

In a bowl add 100 gms sugar

75ml water

75 ml coconut milk( I used a tetra pack)

Whisk everything together until sugar disolves.

Add 100 gms flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda.

And mix well till no lumps remain.

Divide the batter into 3 or 4

Add colouring and mix gently.

Pour into moulds and steam for 15 mins.

Done.

Kue Bolu Sakura

KUE BOLU SAKURA
These cute little steamed cakes are a pleasure to see and eat. A no hassle recipe , which comes together quickly. These cute cakes are named after the sakura flower, because of the moulds they are made in.The texture of kue sakura  is very light and airy.
These  sweet cakes are  Included in the vast KUE  varieties available all over Indonesia.
KUE MANIS  to an Indonesian is what MITHAI  is to an Indian. Kue are small bite sized sweetmeats usually  made of rice flour, coconut milk, sugar etc and are mostly steamed. Milk is rarely used.
In todays recipe, I have also added a spice mix called SPEKUK. This spice mix has its origins from the Dutch colonial Era, and is used in some traditional cakes and biscuits here.
Familiar to the Indian taste buds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, cloves and aniseed are blended together,  with cinnamon and cloves being the dominant flavour. 
Use this mix to flavour your biscuits and cakes instead of vanila for a change.
Do try these little treats, use any tiny moulds if you can’t find the same. Any will do.

KUE BOLU SAKURA.

1st step..
Heat 125 gms of sugar with one tbsp of water to make a rich caramel.
Slowly add 250ml of hot water, and boil till caramel dissolves.
Remove from heat and cool completely.

2nd step.
Mix together dry ingredients
200 gms of  flour
25 gms cornflour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp spekuk spice mix
Sift and  keep aside.

Melt 75 gms margarine and keep aside.

3rd step.
In a mixing bowl add
2 eggs
125gms sugar

Beat till  sugar dissolves, and soft peaks form.
Add the caramel water slowly and whisk till mixed.
Now add  the sifted flour, beat once more till mixed.
Finally fold in the melted margarine.or butter.
Pour into lightly greased moulds and steam for 15 mins. Make sure the steamer is already hot.
( to prevent steam from dripping onto the kue, we normally tie a napkin on the lid)
The fragrance of spekuk will waft thru your kitchen, as the kue are being steamed.
As you open the lid, the kue looks quite puffed up, they will shrink within mins.

Cool for a few mins and remove from moulds.
Done. Enjoy with a cup of hot coffee .

Spekuk spice mix.
2 tbsps ground cinnamon
2 tbsps ground nutmeg( I grated it)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground aniseed
Blend everything together and use.
Store the remaining in the refrigerator.

Nasi Hainan aka Chicken Rice

Nasi Hainan aka Chicken rice
(Home made  Modified version)
Mostly everyone is familiar with hainan chicken rice, more so those who travel to Singapore have surely eaten this. Singapore is famous for its Chicken Rice.

On my first visit to Singapore in the early 80’s , it was one of the dishes we had had at a foodcourt.😊
Smooth tender chicken, seasoned rice, a tasty broth to go with it, and the tasty    sauces  with it, make for a balanced flavourful dish.
Here in Jakarta also its quite popular with a slight change in recipes.
But the actual original version calls for a long procedure of making the chicken.
A whole chicken along with the skin is poached in boiling water, then taken out after a while and put into a big pot full of cold water and ice.  This is repeated quote a few times. This shock treatment is what results in a totally tender and smooth chicken.  At home long ago we used to make this, but lately since few years I prefer the modified version. As no one wants the chicken with the skin on. We normally make it out of boneless breast  fillet or boneless thigh fillet.
Easier and faster. For the vegetarian version I used plant based veg chicken fillet.  Do try it . The recipe is a little long but totally worth the trouble.

1st step.
400 gms of boneless chicken
( or you can take  half of a full chicken, with bones and skin)
Rub 2 tsps of salt and 2 tsps of sugar into the chicken and add about 1/4th cup of water.
Let the chicken soak in this brine solution for a minimum of 4 hours.
Wash and Soak 2 cups of jasmine rice.

Spring onion oil
In a bowl add
5 stalks of chopped spring onion
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped.
1 inch piece of ginger.. grated.
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce( I used the vegetarian version)
1 tsp sugar ,  1 tsp salt and 1 tsp white pepper.

To this bowl add 80 ml of hot oil, and mix. Keep aside.

Garlic oil
Heat 100ml of oil in a pan and add
12 cloves of finely chopped garlic
2 inches of grated ginger.

Saute till golden brown.
Keep aside.

Chillie sauce.
Blend together
8 curly red chillies
8 birds eye chillies
6 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
100ml water.

Put this blended paste in a pan and cook for 5 mins. Add 1.5 tbsp of vinegar.
Keep aside.

All 3 sauces done. Onto the rice, chicken and soup.
Pls use either version.
Put drained rice in the rice cooker
Add the following.
1 tbsp normal oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce.
2 tsps salt
1 tsp pepper
2 stalks of  spring onion cut into big pieces.
Now add water according to the rice cooker instructions( normally  2 fingers above rice)
Stir well and place the chicken on the rice.
Cover and cook.  Remove chicken, chop and keep aside.

2nd way using steamer. ( I used this method)
Put drained rice in a pan
Add the following.
1 tbsp normal oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce.
2 tsps salt
1 tsp pepper
2 stalks of  spring onion cut into big pieces.
Now add  about 1 cup of water .
Stir well and cook till no water is left.
Transfer to steamer. And cook till done.

Next I just put the chicken on a steel plate and steam for about 12..15 mins.
Chicken will let out water, reserve the water for adding to soup.
Chop the chicken and keep aside.
Finally the soup.
If you have good chicken stock pls do use it.
In a pan, add 1.5 liters of water.
Add
1 pc bashed ginger
4 cloves garlic bashed
150 gms of sliced cabbage.
Chopped cubed  spring onions.
Salt, pepper, sugar and stock cube.
Boil for about 15 mins.
Test  the seasoning and ready to serve.

I also sauted some pok choi in garlic to serve with the rice.

Martabak Manis aka Sweet Indonesian Pancake.

MARTABAK MANIS
Indonesian sweet Pancake.

This is a very very popular street food, loved by one and all. Available in 2 forms, one sweet and one savoury, .
The savoury nartabak is more like the baida roti we get in India.
Using eggs, and spices, in a square paratha.
Today, I will share the sweet Martabak recipe.
Through evenings and way past midnight, one can stop by and get martabak to round off the night.
It is made on order, as its best eaten warm. Fillings such as grated cheese, condensed milk, nutella, chocolate rice, groundnuts etc go into it, in combinations as you want or all in one.
Normally the vendor will cut the martabak into squares and put some toothpicks into the squares.
Cheese and chocolate is a very popular combination on most bakery products here in Indonesia. Try it and love it😊
This homemade version is as delicious as the street ones, and more controlable where calories are concerned. The vendors are truly generous with lashings of butter etc.😊

This is a decadant dessert. Easy to make. Just a little tricky. The texture will be spongy and with visible strands.
But satisfaction is guaranteed 😊
Be generous with the fillings.
The trade mark strandy texture, comes from cooking at right temperature.
Hope you all will like it and try making Martabak Manis.

Ps..Ignore the calories and try it.

Ingredients for 3 Pancakes ( I used a 18 cm NONSTICK PAN)

225gms flour
20 gms cornflour
30 gms sugar
250 ml water
1 egg
3/4 tsp baking powder.
2 tsps vanilla essence or paste.

Mix together flour, sugar, cornflour and water. Mix well for 5 mins using a hand held whisk . Once mixed well, add an egg and baking powder, and the vanilla essence.. Mix gently and keep aside covered for 1to 2 hours

Just before making the martabak, , add 3/4 tsp of baking soda to 50 ml water, mix and add to the martabak mix. Mix gently.

(Note.. I poured one cup of batter for each martabak.
I added green colour in one and yellow colour to another.
Its flexible. Can omit colours too.)

Method.
Heat a medium 18 cms size thick nonstick pan.
Once Pan is hot, test by sprinkling a few drops of water. If water sizzles, its ready.
IMPORTANT..PAN SHOULD BE HOT, on medium to high heat.
DO NOT GREASE THE PAN AT ALL.
Pour one cup of batter and swirl once to get a edge of batter on the sides. The heat will push bubbles to the surface.
Bubbles will start appearing, once the surface is full of bubbles, lower the heat.
Sprinkle about one tsp of sugar all over the surface. By now it will appear to be all most cooked, NOW cover the pan for a few mins.
Remove cover, and start loosening the pancake gently.
Remove onto a cutting board
Immediately apply butter all over.
Sprinkle chocolate rice generously AND or cheese . Drizzle condensed milk and top with roasted chopped groundnuts.
Cut into 2 and stack with both the inside parts facing one another. The shape will be like a half moon

Cut into wedges. And enjoy.

Toppings..choose any or mix and match
Nutella
Jam
Chocolate rice
Grated cheese
Crushed roasted peanuts
Biscoff…
Anything goes😊
I have used cheese and condensed milk with chocolate rice and crushed peanuts
Nutella.

EGGLESS VERSION OF MARTABAK

170 gms flour
2 tbsps milk powder
3 tbsps sugar
1/4 tsp salt
250 ml water
1 tsp vanilla or pandan essence.

Mix together flour, milk powder, sugar, salt, water and essence. Keep aside for 1 hour.

Now take 3 tbsps water and add 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp baking powder.

Add to the batter.

Immediately start making the martabak.

Heat a medium 18 cms size thick nonstick pan.
Once Pan is hot, test by sprinkling a few drops of water. If water sizzles, its ready.
IMPORTANT..PAN SHOULD BE HOT, on medium to high heat.
DO NOT GREASE THE PAN AT ALL.
Pour one cup of batter and swirl once to get a edge of batter on the sides. The heat will push bubbles to the surface.
Bubbles will start appearing, once the surface is full of bubbles, lower the heat.
Sprinkle about one tbsp of sugar all over the surface. By now it will appear to be all most cooked, NOW cover the pan for a few mins.
Remove cover, and start loosening the pancake gently.
Remove onto a cutting board

Siomai

Siomai
Siomay, is an Indonesian steamed fish dumpling made  with tofu, potatoes etc served with peanut sauce.
This dish is a meal on its own.Here in Indonesia ikan tengiri( surmai  fish) mixed with cornflour or tapioka flour is used as a filling . Served with peanut sauce, sweet soya sauce( kecap manis)  and lime juice . 
The chinese version of siomai is usally made with wonton wrappers, shaped to look like small cylendicals cones. That is normally made from pork and served with chillie sauce and comes under the catagory of dimsums.
The indonesian version is much more heartier and filling.
Pork is not used for halal reasons, fish is subsitituted.
Vegetarians may omit the fish . In that case add 2 tbsps more  of cornstarch .
Today I am sharing the  homemade version of siomai which we try to make at least once a month. Pls do try it.

Ingredients
8 small potatoes
8 squares of tofu ( each tofu square can be 6 cms ×6cms)
8 leaves of cabbage ( discard thick stem)
1 big bittergourd( if you like it)
Boiled eggs divided into 2 ( optional)

1/3rd cup finely chopped spring onion and celery
3 to 4 tbsps of cornflour.
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup grated carrot.
250 gms of boneless and skinless ikan tenggiri( surmai fish)( mackerel)

About 1/4th cup grated carrot for garnishing.

Peel the potatoes, and scoop out , leaving a shell behind. ( picture in comments section)
Scoop out the tofu also, leaving a shell.
Cut the bittergourd into 3 and discard the seeds and flesh. Soak the bittergourd in salt water.
Reserve the scooped out potato  bits and tofu .
Blanch the cabbage leaves and keep.

For filling..
Heat 1 tbsp of oil and pour on chopped spring onions and celery( this will help release flavours)
Finely blend the fish to get a paste.
Finely chop the  scooped out reserved
Potato and tofu( I used a food processor)
Mix fish paste, potato, tofu, and 1/4th cup grated cartot in a bowl.
Add finely chopped spring onions and celery, season with salt, pepper and msg( optional).
Add the cornflour and mix well.
You shoud get a very thick paste.
Put some of this filling, into each potato, tofu,and bittergourd shell. ..level it out
Put about 1 tbsp filling on a cabbage leaf and roll tightly. Put a little grated carrot on top of each potato and tofu.

Arrange tofu, potato, bittergourd and cabbage in a steamer and steam for about 15 mins. Reserve.

Peanut sauce..

100 gms fried peanuts with skin or without
4 kaffir lime leaves ( middle stock removed)
1/2 tsp white pepper
Salt to taste
Veg stock powder, or msg 1/4 tsp
3 bird chillies, 3 red chillies
3 pods of garlic
30 gms palm sugar( I have boiled the palm sugar with little water , and strained to get rid of impurities.)
3 tbsps tamarind pulp

. Saute the red chillies, bird eye chillies and garlic in 2 tbsps oil.
2. In a mixer jar, add fried peanuts, chillies and garlic. Add salt, pepper and veg stock powder., the kaffir lime leaves. Add some water and blend to a thick paste.
3. Heat 2 or 3 tbsps oil, and put the peanut paste. Saute for a while, and add palm sugar and tamarind water. Also add about one cup water and let it cook till oil starts seperating.
Keep aside.

To assemble
Put the siomai pcs on a plater, and roughly give them cuts on the platter itself ( for eg, give 2 cuts to potato to get 4 chunks)
Pour the peanut sauce on top of the siomai, dot with kecap manis or tomato ketchup ( I used both)

Ps.. if you dont have sweet soy sauce,
Mix 2 tbsps of normal soy with 2 tbsps of honey. And use.

Squeese lime juice and some fried onions, . Serve hot.

Ayam Rendang

Ayam Rendang..
Rendang, which means slow cooked food, mostly beef which is cooked for hours on a very slow fire., but chicken or even jackfruit cooked on a slow fire tastes as good, this recipe is from the   the west Sumetra regions of  Indonesia. The food from these regions is normally known as Padang food, made by the minangkabao people.
Padang restaurants are popular all over the country.
They do not offer you a menu to choose from, once you are seated, a waiter will bring out   dozens of small dishes filled with various dishes. Customers take only what they want from this array, and they pay only for what they take. Usually the plates can be  about 10 to 12 varieties of food. Curries, barbequed meats, greens etc.
This food is normally eaten with hands.
And steamed rice is served.

This was a dish I fell in love with when I moved to Indonesia 37 years ago, the taste was fabulous and a little familiar to my Indian taste buds😊

My husband would get this chicken from a popular padang restaurant called sari bundo, and we would really enjoy this on many sundays.

Do try this home made version .

Indonesian chicken curry

8 pcs of chicken.( I use thigh pcs with bone)
Make cuts on the chicken to soak up the gravy.
I potato cut into 8 pcs
2 pandan leaves tied in a knot
1/2 cup fresh coconut grated, and sauted till semi dry.
Coconut milk( I used tetra pack) 200 ml
1 stalk of lemongrass( bottom white part only, bashed)
2 fresh bay leaves
5 cloves
1 pc of cinnamon
2 tbsps tamarind paste.
( I normally soak about half kg tamarind in some hot water, squeeze and strain the paste, pour into ice cube moulds. Store in the freezer and use as required, here I used 2 cubes)
1 tbsp of jaggery.

To be ground into a paste
10 shallots
5 garlic pods
1 inch pc of ginger
5 fresh red chillies
5 dry red kashmiri chillies
6 pcs of candlenuts or cashews
1 tsp white peppercorns
1 tsp corriander seeds
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg.

Heat abt half cup oil in a pan, and add bay leaves, lemon grass, cinnamon , cloves, pandan leaves and saute till herbs and spices release thier fragrance.
Add grated coconut and ground paste.
Saute till oil is seen on the sides. Add tamarind, jaggery and salt.
Also add the chicken and potato pcs.
Saute for 10 mins, add few tbsps of water and saute again. Repeat process about 5 times.
Finally add coconut milk and some water.
Stir, cover and cook for about 20 mins till oil floats on top, and a very thick gravy is left.
This rendang is always slow cooked and tastes fabulous with white rice or layered parathas.

You can even cook till no gravy is left, and then grill the chicken to get Ayam bakar rendang.
Enjoy.