Kolak Candil.. Indonesian sweet dish.

The holy month of Ramadhan all over the world, has different traditions for breaking the fast,  one thing common will be sweetmeats, whether its dates or a glass of sharbat.
Here in Indonesia, people will mostly drink hot sweet black tea to be followed by various KOLAKS.
Kolaks are mostly soupy,  palm sugar  and coconut milk based. Various things are added, like jack fruit or banana, or sweet potato etc. Mostly served warm as the people here believe that breaking a fast with something cold will surely harm the stomach.😊
Kolaks are made with many twists. Here at home during Ramadhan helpers make different types of sweets. Will share some more recipes soon.
Today I will share kolak made with sweet potato dumplings. CANDIL ( pronounced Chandil) is balls of sweet potato. Hence the name.  Easy to make and light on the stomach. No oil goes in the preparation.

Step 1
Peel and chop 500 gms of sweet potato
( I have used orange sweet potato)
Heat a steamer and steam cook the sweet potatoes.
Avoid boiling them .
Once cooked, ( it took about 15 mins in my steamer) remove into a plate and mash using a fork.
Put in a  big bowl along with 150 gms TAPIOKA  flour. Add a pinch of salt and mix the warm mashed pototes with the flour. Knead into a smooth ball.
Divide and roll into small balls. Work quickly, I had help doing these, so it took about 10 mins for 2 of us .😊
I got about 75 small balls( good enough for a nice big bowl of kolak) keep aside.

2nd step.
In a sauce pan,  add 200 ml of coconut milk( I used a tetra Pack) and 100 ml of water.
Put in a knotted pandan leaf.
( or use 1/2 tsp of vanilla powder)
1/2 tsp of salt
Simmer, stirring continuously for 10 mins…keep aside.

3rd step.
Heat 600ml water in a saucepan
Add 200 gms of chopped palm sugar
( jaggery)
1 tbsps of  sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
1 knotted pandan leaf
Or you can add a little vanila essence at the end.
Boil till palm sugar dissolves, strain the water into another pan to get rid of impurities.
Boil once again and add a slurry of 2 tbsps tapioka flour mixed with 50 ml of water.
Bring to a boil and keep aside.

Final step.
Take a big pot, put about 1.5 liters of water, bring to a rolling boil and add the sweet potato balls. They will sink and rise within 5 mins. Keep on boil for another few mins, strain off the water, and add the balls to the palm sugar syrup. Give one boil and done.

AASSEMBLING.
Put few balls and palmsugar syrup in a bowl, drizzle few spoons of coconut milk on top…and enjoy warm.

Tip… to get things done faster, I put the sweet potato to steam on one stove, made the palmsugar syrup on another, and the coconut milk on another. 😊so I was done within 45 mins.

**The bland coconut milk balances the sweet palmsugar syrup.

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.

Srikaya Jam( Coconut and Egg jam)

Srikaya selai
( Coconut Egg Jam)

This awesome spread is very addicting in its mellow and smooth taste. My favourite jam to have when in the mood .

I got introduced to this kaya, on one of my trips to singapore, way back in the 1980’s. Had it at Yakun kaya toast outlet, and since then I am a big fan…of both, the jam as well as the coffee shop😊

Slather it on a slice of toast and relish it , or even add  thin slices of cold butter on top of the jam , fold over and munch into it. Of course accompanied by a hot cup of coffee or tea. This kaya  stays fresh upto  a week in the fridge. Srikaya   jam is popular in traditional coffee shops across south east Asia, served with toasted bread and cups of strong filter coffee made with condensed milk, and accompanied by half boiled eggs served with a drizzle of soy sauce.

Adding a mix of  palm sugar and white sugar, gives the kaya a subtle caramalised taste.

The traditional method takes hours of slow cooking,  whereas this recipe barely takes 10 to 12 mins.

Remember to cook on a low flame.

Ingredients

200 ml thick coconut milk( I used tetrapack)

2 pandan leaves tied in a knot.( or 1/2  tsp vanilla essence)

50 gms grated palm sugar

50 gms white sugar

4  egg yolks( beat lightly with a fork)
A pinch of salt.

Method.
Take a  saucepan.
Add the coconut milk ,palm sugar, white sugar and pandan leaves.
Add a pinch of salt.
Stir gently on low heat for 5 mins.
Once the mixture is thicker remove half cup of the hot coconut milk mixture  and add to the yolks( to temper)  and mix quickly .
Now add the eggyolk mixture back to the pan and continuously stir till thick.
Another 5 to 8 mins.
Cool completely and put into a jar.
Refrigerate.