" Vegetables are the food of the earth, fruit seems more the food of the heavens." (Sepal Felicivant)

December 25, 2008

Es Kacang Merah (Red Bean with Shaved Ice)

I like es kacang merah especially without any coconut milk in it. I’ve been searching for the recipe that suit on my taste. Fortunately, I’ve found a recipe from Seri Masak Femina Primarasa A la Resto Manado. I tried just the same as what the book said.


200 g dried red bean, soaked for about 8 hours
1000 ml water
150 g palm sugar, grated
100 g sugar
1 stick of cinnamon
1 tablespoon chocolate powder, dissolve in a little bit of water
2 pandanus leaves
Sweet condensed chocolate milk


Boil the bean until tender but not so tender.
Put palm sugar, sugar, pandanus leaves, and cinnamon, stir well.
Keep boil until viscous enough, then pour dissolved chocolate, stir well.
Turn off the heat. Set aside and cool it down.
Then ready to serve with shaved ice and pour the top with sweet condensed chocolate milk.

(for 4 cups)

Thank you Femina...

November 15, 2008

Steamed Rainbow Sponge Cake (Bolu Kukus Pelangi)

This cake is very famous kind of steamed sponge cake in Indonesia. People usually call it Bolu Kukus Pelangi. Pelangi or rainbow is presented by its colorful batter. I’ve seen people add various food coloring such as red, green, yellow, and blue. But, I choose to make it not so colorful and add some raisins.


3 low cholesterol organic eggs
⅓ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cake emulsifier
½ cup wheat flour (medium protein/all purposes flour)
100 ml low fat milk
A drop of cocopandan pasta for red color as much as necessary
A drop of pandan pasta for green color as much as necessary
2 tablespoons raisin


Set the cake pan. Cover with thin layer of margarine. Set aside.
Set the steamer. Assure the steamer has enough steam before put the cake in.
Beat eggs and sugar until the sugar well dissolve and the color turn pale/white. Add cake emulsifier.
Add baking powder. Mix it until well improved or become smooth.
Set the mixer in low speed.
Add flour and milk little by little alternately. Mix it only for a while just to make sure the batter is mixed homogenously.
Separate the batter into 3 parts. Give part 1 the red color, part 2 the green color, and part 3 give it no color (I try to reduce using food coloring/additive).
Pour the part 1 into cake pan. Steam it for about 5 minutes in medium heat.
Pour the part 3 into it. Spread the raisin. Steam it for about 5 minutes.
Pour the last part, that green batter. Steam it again for about 20 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Take it out. Cool it in room temperature then unmold it
Slice it and ready to serve.

(fit for 8-10 slices)

If you can’t use glass steamer cover, you need to wrap the cover with a clean napkin to prevent water flecks drop onto your cake surface. The flecks will cause your cake surface become billowy.

Related Posting:

Steamed Sponge Cake (Indonesian Bolu Kukus)
Common Indonesian Flours Used for Daily Cooking and Baking
Making Cake, Tips I’ve Learned

November 12, 2008

Urap (Boiled Vegetables with Chili Spiced Grated Coconut)

This is very simple veggie food in Indonesia. Simple, if you have the ready cooked spiced grated coconut in your storage. I do not know where it originally comes from. I find this kind of salad in West Java, Central Java, Jogjakarta and East Java. I also find urap in Bali Island, but with different chili spiced. In Bali, people use spiced coconut milk. People use the similar spiced grated coconut in Java Island, however the taste and the appearance definitely differs from each other.

This urap below is my mother recipe. Maybe this is urap from East Java, but I don’t know exactly. If someone know its story, please tell me..okay :)


150 grams spinach
75 grams long pea (kind of legume), diced
50 grams cabbage, sliced
75 grams bean sprout
(You can also use finely sliced carrot)
750 ml Water
A pinch of Salt


Boil the water. Pour some water into bean sprout. Soak for 1 or 2 minutes. Remove the bean sprouts and drain it.

Keep the heat in medium. Add long pea to the boiled water, add a pinch of salt, stir. Wait until gentle enough or about 5 minutes.

Add spinach, for about 3 minutes then add cabbage. Then take them out of the water and drain.

You can also boil the vegetables separately, one by one with different boiled water. That will take some extra time, of course.

I choose to mix them because at the end they will be mixed too, just for practical purposes.

Spiced Grated Coconut:

½ coconut, grated
4 Chilies
3 Cloves onion
5 Shallots
1 inch Kencur (greater galingale, Kaempferia galanga)
2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon palm sugar
Jeruk purut leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
Banana leaves


Boil water in steamer.
Grind all spices with stone mortar or processor. I prefer to use stone mortar.
Mix with grated coconut.
Wrap in banana leaves.
Steam it for about 30 minutes.

Serve urap by mix boiled vegetables with spiced grated coconut.

(for 2-3 peoples)

Related Posting:
Common Indonesian Herbs and Spices for Daily Cooking
Urap Bali (Boiled Vegetables with Balinese Spices)

November 6, 2008

Fried Rice with Lemongrass, Fast Food Homemade

One day, the rain was falling so hard and I found my food storage box (the refrigerator) was empty. Not really empty actually. There were a tomato, frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, sweet corns, green beans), and a wrapped frozen minced beef. I was confused thinking what I have to serve for dinner. I just couldn’t go out and do some shopping in that hard rainy day. Call delivery order for food, just couldn’t feel appetizing when thinking of some fast food or traditional food I could order at that time.

I just got stuck in the kitchen and didn’t know what to do until my hands did it :D


2 cups cooked rice
2 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
3 chilies, diced
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, set in room temperature
½ cup minced beef
2 lemongrasses, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
A pinch of sugar
2 teaspoons sweet soy sauce
A tomato, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil


In high heat, sauté chopped garlic, crushed lemongrasses and diced chilies with a tablespoon olive oil until fragrant.
Add minced beef. Add a tablespoon olive oil. Stir until the red beef turn into brown color.
Add mixed vegetables. Stir it.
Add cooked rice. Stir well.
Add salt, sugar, soy sauce, and ... a little bit fish sauce to enhance the taste.
Stir well.
Turn the heat off. Finish.
Serve with sliced tomato.

(for 2 peoples)

Hmm, and about the picture, I’m not satisfied with this, lack of light and blur. I’ve tried my best to get good picture, yeah..but unfortunately this only I’ve got in that night.

Related posting:
Common Indonesian Herbs and Spices for Daily Cooking

November 4, 2008

I do apologize to the readers

I brought to you unpleasant conversation in this blog yesterday. I am sorry for doing that thing and bother you all. I feel really unwell.

That's true I left a comment in someone's (that anonymous guy) when I found my articles (Soto Kudus) in his/her blog. The way that man put my article (I saw only that Soto Kudus but later that man said there are two articles) was very irritating. I saw all the contents are someone else's articles. I guessed that he/she did it only for adsense. That man got those articles from Ezine and submitted that blog for Google adsense. That man said that he/she learned it from a book. LOL. A friend of mine said, that’s might be a book whose author just copied without regards to peoples who had the articles. I’ve found later that the book finally blocked by publisher. Yes, maybe that 'inspiring' book.

I submitted my articles in Ezine free articles not for people using like that, not for very unpleasant commercial only. I want to speak out about Indonesian Food and of course I want to get some back-links from others. That's free articles of course, but the way that man monetized that blog in such an easy way without any regards for other people's stuff (not only at me) very disappointed me.

I know (that man always note to me about this) there are many people in Indonesia do that. I do really know that. And I feel sick about it. I think they never think deeper than human can do. Just follow and follow without thinking the consequences for their surrounding, other peoples, their country, and their world they living. They just think how to get money in an easy way and fast forward. That was very makes me sad, when I knew that man is an Indonesian too.

I emailed Ezine about this. And Ezine said that the man apparently gives no credit for me and for others. They said I can contact Google for this case. But that's all up to me. My friends said so.

I choose to contact that man instead of send a report to Google (how could that man say I don't have an empathy, that's so ridiculous). Unfortunately, that man hides the profile and no such a contact address I could find. Why?? I felt that hiding profile is one of bad manner, irresponsibility. So that, I left (what that man called disrespectful comment). I am East Javanese, who always speak right to the point. I am sorry if what I'm thinking was straight words is not polite one for others. I keep wait for the responses but never coming to my email/ messenger. But yesterday, He left such a long self defenses and still keeps hiding the profile. If that man did nothing wrong why keep hiding the profile, even refuse to contact me personally? That was the bad story goes and ends (for me).

I try to be patient, that man the same as I am..Indonesian. I just want that man to be a little bit aware about the consequences. Instantly, what he done is breaking someone's spirit to write, giving an example that 'if there's an easy way why we have to choose the hard way' (what that man said, so Indonesian). Search engine will be full of junk if everybody do what that man do. I think, that man have not realized the consequences yet.

Now I think, my friend’s suggestions are right.

There is such a long journey to make people in Indonesia realized, money is not GOD. There are so many things have to be respected beside of money. I have no power to change what people’s thinking here.

I am sorry to bother you all with this kind of unpleasant things. Sorry, Guys..

November 1, 2008

Making Cakes, Tips I’ve Learned

At first, make sure the ingredients are all ready to use, all are not passing the expired date, and all are in good shape which mean in good conditions.

2. Making cake, we always use egsg. So we have to take more attention about eggs we use, and how we handle them. Never use eggs direct from refrigerator. We have to set them aside in room temperature before crack and whisk them.

3. Do not whisk the egg too long or too short in time. The longer, our cake more crumby. The shorter, our cake wouldn’t expand well. It will be deflated as immediately as we take them out from the oven. Practices make perfect, we’ll find a perfect time to stop whisk it. I did it.

4. When you need to stir the batter with spatula, stir it in one direction. Don’t be too long, it will make it down. Mix others ingredients first before pour them to the batter/whisked egg.

5. Never leave the batter too long. Bake it immediately after you finish prepare the batter.

6. Set in the middle rack of your oven to avoid over heating in the bottom or in the top rack.

What is Coconut Milk?

If there are somebody get curious about what exactly coconut milk is (maybe), that's the reason I write this then. Coconut milk or santan (in Bahasa Indonesia) is made from grated coconut fruits. That fruits must be old enough to produce juice. Of course, it is juice not milk like cow’s milk or sheep’s milk. People in Indonesia use the coconut milk almost in everyday cooking (and baking). There are many recipes using this coconut milk.

How to produce this kind of juice? You know what, it is not fresh juice inside the young coconut. First the fresh coconut fruits are peeled. Then we find the hard shell of coconut, crack it. We will get an inner of coconut fruit which is white. Grate this part. Add water to the grated coconut, squeeze it, use strainer to get the juice.

Thick coconut milk made from 1 grated coconut fruit (400-500 grams) and 120 ml water. It produces 250 ml thick coconut milk.

After this add water little by little. Next squeeze will produce the thin coconut milk. Until we get about 800-1000 ml thin coconut milk.

For me, I never measure the water level. I just see what it looks like. If it is thick so it is THICK. When I need the thin one I just pour some water into the thick one.

I prefer to use fresh coconut milk that I bought from market. However, I always have several packs of coconut milk, powder and liquid, just in case I need coconut milk when I couldn’t find the fresh one. Of course the powder will last longer than the liquid one.

October 29, 2008

Soto Betawi (Batavian Beef Soup)

This is one of my favorite Soto. I really enjoy its taste. Yes, certainly it comes from Betawi, so it is named Soto Betawi. But, where Betawi actually is? Betawi or Batavia is the old name of Jakarta, The Capital City of Indonesia.

Coconut milk and cow’s milk in its gravy is unique to this Soto. Other Soto never put milk in its gravy. Besides that, Soto Betawi uses various spices to build its taste. The origin recipe uses cow’s innards such as intestines, livers, and lungs. For health reason, I choose not to use cow’s innards. And for simplicity, I also choose not to use cow’s milk. However, it is all up to you, prefer to the origin or the modification..:)


500 g beef, sliced in cube formed
½ nutmeg, grated
4 cloves
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 Jeruk Purut leaves
2 teaspoons salt
250 ml coconut milk from ½ coconut fruit
1500 ml water for boiling
1 tablespoon cooking oil

Ground Spices:

4 cm ginger
3 cloves garlic
8 shallots
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
A pinch of ground caraway
A pinch of sugar
Grind them all with stone mortar or processor


1 tomato, sliced
2 leek, chopped
3 celery leaves, chopped
4 tablespoon fried onion
Lemon juice
Sweet soy sauce
Bitter nut crackers
Cucumber and Carrot Acar


Set the high heat, boil the water in the pan
While the water already boiled, set to medium heat, put the beef into it, keep boiling
Add nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, salt, and Jeruk Purut leaves
Keep boiling until the meat is mild enough, then set into lower heat

Sauté the ground spices until fragrant, low the heat
Then pour coconut milk into it, stir, turn off the heat

Pour that spiced coconut milk above into boiling pan, stir until well cooked, then ready to serve with all the complements

(for 6 peoples)

Related Posting:

Common Indonesian Herbs and Spices For Daily Cooking
Soto Kudus (Kudus Chicken Soup)

Soto Ayam Magetan (Magetan Chicken Soup)

October 28, 2008

Ikan Acar Kuning (Fish cooked in Yellow Spicy and Sour Spices)

Caesio erythrogaster
or Yellow Tail Fusilier Fish is very easy to find in Indonesian fresh market. There are some ways to make it delicious, such as simply fry it or steam it in banana leaves. My favorite way is cooking this fish with acar (yellow and sour) spices.

Marinated Spices for Fish:

3 cloves garlic, ground
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh water


500 g (1 or 2) Yellow Tail Fusilier Fish (Bahasa Indonesia= ikan ekor kuning), cleaned, sliced in two chunks, marinated with spices about 15 minutes
Cooking oil

Ground Spices:

5 candle nut
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 cm ginger
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon white sugar

Acar Spices:

10 shallots, thick sliced
3 red chilies, sliced
10 red hot chilies (Don’t cut them if you don’t want a hot taste)
1 lemongrass
3 Jeruk Purut leaves
2 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoon cooking oil
300 ml fresh water


Use high heat. Fry the marinated fish until turns into golden brown colour. Set aside.
Then change to medium heat.
Sauté the ground spices with small amount of cooking oil, add lemongrass and Jeruk Purut leaves until fragrant. Pour some water into it. Stir.
Add lime juice. Stir and wait until it turns into thick liquid.
Add sliced shallot, sliced red chilies, whole red hot chilies, stir well. Wait until they become wilted.
Add the fried fish. Let the fish absorb the spices.
Then ready to serve with warm cooked rice.

(Served for two people)

Related Posting:

Common Indonesian Herbs And Spices For Daily Cooking

October 27, 2008

Rendang (Beef in Chili and Coconut Milk)

Rendang is an Indonesian beef stew dish with coconut milk and very complicated spices. I make it simpler and easier. Actually, this recipe below is adapted from my mother recipe. So that, my Rendang (I am sure) is different than Rendang from Padang (A city in West Sumatera- Indonesia where Minangkabau community come from, which has the origin of this recipe). Rendang (as I wrote before) usually serve with ketupat and other dishes in Hari Raya (Iedul Fitri Celebration Day). However, if you just eat it with warm cooked rice it would be very nice too.


1 kg beef, sliced into 10-15 chunk, in the same direction with its fiber
3 jeruk purut leaves
1 lemongrass, crushed
2 salam leaves
500 ml thick coconut milk from 4 coconuts
2 turmeric leaves (my mother used it, but I didn’t)
5 ml cooking oil (I replaced it with olive oil)

Ground Spices:

10 chilies, or as necessary (depend on you like hot or not)
4 cloves of garlic
7 shallots
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 pieces galangal root (2 cm per piece)
2 pieces ginger (2 cm per piece)
1 tablespoon salt, or as what you think necessary
1 teaspoon white sugar, or as what you think necessary
1 tablespoon palm sugar, or as what you think necessary


Grind all spices in Ground Spices above with stone mortar or processor
Set the heat in medium
Sauté the ground spices with cooking oil, add lemongrass, salam leaves, jeruk purut leaves, and turmeric leaves if you use it. Sauté them together until it is fragrant
Then, add the beef, sauté until the red color of beef turns into brown
Set the heat in low
Add the coconut milk, stir well
Boil about 1 hour or until the beef are mild enough or turn into dark brown color
Don’t forget to stir it well occasionally
If it runs dry meanwhile the beef are still hard to chew (use fork to make sure), you can just add the boiled water into it and do the same process again

Refrigerate it, if you want to keep this dish for any longer use for 1 week or more. When you need to serve a meal, you can simply warm it.

Related posting:

Ketupat (Cooked Rice in Woven Coconut Leaves Pouch)
Opor Ayam (Chicken in Coconut Gravy)
Sambal Goreng Hati (Beef Liver in Chilly and Coconut Milk)
Common Indonesian Herbs and Spices For Daily Cooking

October 5, 2008

Ketupat (Cooked Rice in Woven Coconut Leaves Pouch)

Ketupat is the most favorite food in festive occasions such as Idul Fitri (the day right after a month of Ramadhan fasting) In Indonesia.

Javanese people believe that ketupat is one of Sunan Kalijaga’s Islamic preaching medium. Remembering about telupat (similar sound with ketupat) telu ( third) and papat (fourth) in 5 Pillars of Islam, paying zakat and Ramadhan fasting. If you do your fasting well and also paying your zakat you will get the light, a holy light. Light in Arabic means nur (light) so Javanese choose jaNUR (young yellow coconut leaves) to make this ketupat pouch. I got this information from this site, Prof. DR. Damardjati Soepadjar said about philosophy of ketupat. He is a tremendous philosopher from Gadjah Mada University in Jogjakarta.

Hmm..okay let’s talking about making this food. Ketupat sometimes are boiled in thin coconut milk and spices to enhance the taste, but this time I’d rather make the plain one.


5 ketupat pouches
A cup of rice, washed
A teaspoon of salt


Boil the water

Fill the rice into ketupat pouch . Add the rice until a half of the entire ketupat’s volume
Add salt to the boiled water
Put the ketupat in the pan with the boiled water. Set them all under water
Keep boil them with medium heat for about 2 hours or until the rice become densely tight and the yellow turn into brown coconut leaves
Keep watching the water level. Pour hot water into the pan if the water level becomes lower
Take ketupat out of water, drain and hang them
Slice the ketupat, and serve it with various dishes
In Lebaran day or Hari Raya Iedul Fitri, Indonesian people usually combine it with Opor Ayam (Chicken in Coconut Gravy) and Sambal Goreng Hati (Beef Liver in Chili and Coconut Milk), Rendang and Sate(Satay).

Related Link:

If you want to know how to weave ketupat from coconut leaves you can go here

Related posting:

Opor Ayam (Chicken in Coconut Gravy)
Sambal Goreng Hati (Beef Liver in Chili and Coconut Milk)

Common Indonesian Herbs And Spices For Daily Cooking

Soto Ayam Magetan (Magetan Chicken Soup)

My grandmother who lived in East slope side of Mount Lawu, used to cooked this kind of Soto when Lebaran Idul Fitri to serve her hundreds of guesses. She wasn't living in Magetan, but her Soto was very similar to what Seri MAsak Femina said about this kind of Soto.

So, it doesn’t matter at all what its name actually. I just want to remember my beloved deceased grandmother’s soto, which was so yummy.

This dishes is inspired by my grandmother’s recipe, combine with Seri Masak Femina


1 free range chicken/ organic chicken, cleaned and cut into frying pieces
1,5 L fresh water
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 salam leaves
2 lemon grasses
4 jeruk purut leaves
¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 cm galangal root, crushed

Spices to Grind:

3 cloves garlic
8 shallots
2 cm ginger
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
5 candle nuts
½ teaspoon white pepper powder
A pinch of caraway powder
½ teaspoon tamarind
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar


50 g rice vermicelli, boiled for 2 minutes, then poured by cold water, drained
150 g bean sprouts, soaked in hot water, then drained
3 hard boiled eggs, peeled, sliced
100 g cabbage, finely sliced
2 tablespoon celery
2 tablespoon fried onion
Potato crisp
Chili condiment
Sweet soy sauce
Lime juice


Grind all spices in Spices to Grind above with stone mortar or processor

Boil the chicken with salt in water, until the chicken is tender enough, and the broth is about 1000 ml
Take the chicken out of pan and drain it well, shred it

Sauté the ground spices with salam leaves, lemon grasses, jeruk purut leaves, galangal root, cinnamon powder
Pour the chicken broth little by little, stir, boil it again

Set the shredded chicken and all the compliments in a bowl, and then pour them with hot spiced broth

Related Posting:

Soto Betawi (Batavian Beef Soup)
Soto Kudus (Kudus Chicken Soup)
Common Indonesian Herbs and Spices For Daily Cooking

Sambal Goreng Hati (Beef Liver in Chili and Coconut Milk) ala Diana Novita


400 g beef liver, boiled, cut into cube shape, fried
250 g potatoes, peeled, cut into cube shape, fried
10 g peas
2 salam leaves
Galangal root, crushed
2 tablespoon cooking oil to sauté spices (grind)
250 ml cooking oil to fry potatoes and beef liver
400 ml light/thin coconut milk

Spices (Grind):

8 chilies, halved, seeded
3 cloves garlic, peeled
8 shallots, peeled
One or two pinch of terasi (shrimp paste)
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar


Grind chilies, garlic, shallots, salt, sugar, and shrimp paste with stone mortar or processor
Sauté that ground spices with salam leaves and galangal root
Pour the coconut milk, stir it and boil it
Add the fried beef liver, stir
Add the fried potatoes, stir
At last add peas into it, stir until it becomes a little bit drained

Adapted from my mother’s, Ibu Djoko Sutrisno’s, recipe

Related Posting:

Common Indonesian Herbs And Spices For Daily Cooking

(A healthier) Cheese Cake ala Diana Novita


5 Egg yolks (from Organic eggs/ low cholesterol eggs)
3 Egg whites (from Organic eggs/ low cholesterol eggs)
½ cups sugar
½ tablespoon cake emulsifier (I used VX)
⅓ cups wheat flour (medium protein/all purposes flour)
20 ml low fat liquid milk
50 ml canola oil
Cheddar, grated, as necessary
Butter cream instant, as necessary
Raisins, as necessary


Beat sugar, egg yolks, egg whites, VX with high speed for about 10 minutes or until it well improved
Add wheat flour, stir it with spatula
Add low fat liquid milk, stir
Add canola oil, stir
Pour the batter into non-sticky cake pan, so you don’t need butter to cover it with
Place the pan in the the middle rack. Bake in 185°C for 40 minutes or until it is baked well, risen and firm. Take it out from the oven
Mean while, prepare the butter cream, whisk or mix it for about 20 minutes or until it doubles its volume
Cool the cake in a room temperature, and then unmold it
Cut into 10-14 slices
Beautify the cake with butter cream, grated cheddar, and raisins

Related Posting:

Bad Result While Following Instruction of Recipe, How Could Be?
Common Indonesian Flours Used For Daily Cooking and Baking

Opor Ayam (Chicken in Coconut Gravy)


1 free range chicken or organic chicken, clean and cut into 8 parts
3 cloves garlic
8 shallots
2 teaspoons of coriander seed
2 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of sugar
2 lemongrasses, crushed
A pinch of caraway powder
2 cm galangal root, crushed
2 Salam leaves
4 Jeruk Purut leaves
300 ml thin (light) coconut milk
200 ml thick (heavy) coconut milk


Grind coriander seed. Add salt and garlic. Then add shallot
Sauté grinded spices, salam leaves, galangal root, lemongrasses, jeruk purut leaves, and also a pinch of caraway powder
Whenever it smells good, add the chicken, stir
Pour the thin coconut milk, lower the heat. Stir until it boiled. Then add the thick coconut milk. Stir it until boiled
Then…ready to serve

Ibu Djoko Sutrisno’s, my mother’s recipe
(for 4 peoples)

Related Posting:
Common Indonesian Herbs And Spices For Daily Cooking

September 20, 2008

Common Indonesian Herbs and Spices for Daily Cooking

Common Indonesian Herbs and Spices for Daily Cooking

Indonesian cuisine is popular with its variety spices and herb use in cooking process. It makes Indonesian cuisine has a very rich on taste. Here there are. I tried to collect them in the list.

If I find another spices or herb which is not included in this list, I’ll add them later.


Bahasa Indonesia




Bawang putih


Bawang merah

(red/green) Chilli

Cabe (merah/hijau), cabe keriting

Hot Chilli

Cabe pedas(rawit)

White pepper

Lada putih

Black pepper

Lada hitam

Green onion

Daun bawang

Turmeric root


Galangal root


Greater galingale (Kaempferia galanga)




Candle nut



Daun bawang

Spring onion/green onion

Daun bawang

Turmeric leaf

Daun kunyit

Salam leaf

Daun salam



Caraway (Carum carvi)


Star Anise

Bunga Lawang, Peka





Fruit of Kepayang Tree


Flowering garlic chives

Bunga bawang



Lime leaf

Daun jeruk purut

(A kind of) Indonesian very sour lime

Jeruk nipis


Jeruk limo

Coriander seed/ground

Biji/bubuk ketumbar

Coriander leaf

Daun ketumbar

Curry leaf/ground

Daun kari/ bubuk kari

Lemon Basil leaf

Daun kemangi

Celery leaf

Daun seledri

Cumin (Cuminum cyminum ) seed/ground

Biji/bubuk jintan

Garlic chives


Sesame seed

Biji Wijen


Asam Jawa

A Classic Steamed Brownies

Brownies is a dark brown sweet and sticky cake. People usually bake the batter. However, people in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, popularize the brand new brownies, Steamed Brownies. This recipe below adapted from Ny. Liem’s recipe book. To reduce its calory I have made some modifications.


3 large organic eggs
110 g granulated sugar
½ teaspoon Vanillin powder
¼ teaspoon cake emulsifier (I used VX)
65 g wheat flour (medium protein)
25 g chocolate powder
6 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon maizena flour
50 ml low fat liquid milk, thickened (add maizena flour, simmer and stir well, when it is thickening, cool it down)
50 g dark cooking chocolate, melted, mix with canola oil


Set the brownies pan (4 x 10 x 15) cm, cover it with cake paper (silicon paper is necessary and long term reusable)
Set the steamer. Assure the water is boil and has enough steam before put the brownies in
Whisk eggs with hand mixer in low speed
Add sugar. Mix until the granulated sugar is well dissolved
Add VX , continue to mix it until well improved
Add wheat flour and chocolate powder, stir with spatula gently and slowly

Pour the mix of melted dark cooking chocolate and canola oil to the batter. Stir with spatula gently and slowly
Pour ⅓ part of the batter to different bowl. Add thickened liquid milk to it. Stir well with spatula (let’s call it batter A)
Pour another ⅓ part of the batter into brownies pan. Steam this first layer for about 7 minutes on medium heat
Pour batter A onto first steamed layer for about 7 minutes.
Finally, pour the left batter you have onto those two steamed layer. Steam it for about 15 minutes or until it well risen and firm
Turn off the heat. Take it out. Cool it in room temperature then unmold it

Slice it and ready to serve


If you can’t use glass steamer cover, you need to wrap the cover with a clean napkin to prevent water flecks drop onto your brownies surface. The flecks will cause your brownies surface become billowy.

Related posting:

Common Indonesian Flour Used For Daily Cooking and Baking

Bad Result While Following Instruction of Recipe, How Could Be?

Steamed Sponge Cake: Indonesian Bolu Kukus

Common Indonesian Flours used for Daily Cooking and Baking

1. Wheat flour, there are 3 kinds level of protein in branded packages flour: high protein (contains at least 10.5% gluten), all purposes flour/medium protein (7-10%), low protein (4-7%).

2. Rice flour, made from rice.

3. Sago flour, made from sago or sagu tree.

4. Maizena /corn flour.

5. Tapioka flour, it is made from cassava tuber.

6. Glutinous rice flour/ Sticky rice flour, really common usage for traditional food.

7. Bread flour, usually people use it for coating before frying.

September 13, 2008

Bad Result While Following Instruction of Recipe, How Could Be?

An amateur tries to bake usually ends it with failure result instead of succeed. I do too. There are several kinds of possibilities, such as:

1. You don’t read or pay more attention on the critical point. Read the instruction one more carefully. Maybe you’ve left something.

2. You have no idea about the expired date of your raw materials. Check them again on the package. Perhaps, you shouldn’t use them any longer. If yes, just throw in your garbage can.

3. Maybe you don’t keep the raw material in appropriate needed condition. If you store them in the wrong place with wrong condition such as high humidity, room temperature, direct sunlight or something, they will be broken faster than they used to. So, check again on their packages what condition they really need, maybe they must keep in the refrigerator after you open it, or just keep them in dry place, without any sunlight, etc.

4. You don’t use right equipment. In some cases (but not always), the right equipment takes the roll.

September 12, 2008

Bright Red Tea, Hibiscus Tea..

Hibiscus sabdariffa, I bought one small pack of dried roselle’s calyx at delicatessen nearby. Commonly, Indonesian people say it is roselle’s flower due to widespread misinterpretation. It is not flower but part of flower to protect a flower before it opens, CALYX.

Roselle have planted in Indonesia for a few hundred years ago. People used its fiber just like jute. But lately people also use it for food and drink. The dried calyx processes into rosella jams, syrups, and tea.

To make some tea, simply pour 250 ml boiling water on 3 to 5 dried rosella’s calyxes. Wait until it turns into bright red color. Press them with teaspoon may help them become red faster than just leave them. Add amount of sugar cube, stir. You can drink it cold or warm. Fresh but sour. Off course it is sour, because of the high level of vitamin C. So be careful of your stomach.

Wikipedia said that Hibiscus sabdariffa’s calyxes are rich in Anthocyanins. These pigments are responsible for the bright red to crimson red color of our Hibiscus tea here, depends on how many dried calyx we use. Not only take a role as the major pigment in this dried calyx, but Anthocyanins also take a part as antioxidant.

The dried calyxes are also rich in flavonoids content. That’s why people around the world use it for several folk medications. Some researchers found that hibiscus tea has anti hypertension effect in type II diabetic patients (with mild hypertension) so that it is reasonable when folk medication use it to cure people’s mild hypertension.

You can read Bahasa Indonesia version of this similar posting in my other blog.


September 9, 2008

Soto Kudus (Kudus Chicken Soup)

Kudus is a city in Central Java, Indonesia. It has been famous for its clove cigarettes (known as kretek ) product for long time.

Soto is also known as Indonesian dishes. There are many kind of soto vary according to the city of they came from. For example there are Soto Betawi, Soto Magetan, Soto Madiun, Soto Sulung, Soto Lamongan, Soto Bandung, etc. Different places use different ingredients, and off course make different tastes.

For me, Soto Kudus has the simplest ingredients. It tastes so fresh though.


1 free range chicken or organic chicken (Indonesia= Ayam Kampung), clean and cut into frying pieces
1.5 L fresh water
3 cloves garlic
6 shallots
3 cm slice galangal root (Indonesia= Lengkuas), crushed
2 salam leaves (Indonesian Bay leaves)
2 Jeruk Purut leaves (Indonesian small fragrant kind of lime, or you can use lemon’s skin peel)
¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon of white pepper powder
1 teaspoon of salt
A pinch of sugar to replace MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamat)
400 cc cooking oil


100 g bean sprouts, soaked in hot water, then drained
4 tablespoon slice of celery
4 tablespoon slice of leek
2 limes
3 table spoon of sliced onion, fried
Soy sauce condiment (crushed hot chili with sweet soy sauce)


Place water and chicken in saucepan or pot
Then boil the chicken in low heat
Grind garlic, shallots, salt. Sauté well with salam leaves, galangal root. Then add into boiling chicken
Add salt, white pepper powder, turmeric powder, a pinch of sugar, and jeruk purut leaves
Continue boiling until the chicken turns into gentle and smooth texture. Then turn off the fire
Take the chicken out of pot, drain it well. Fry until it turns into golden color. After that, slice the fried chicken
Present Soto Kudus with the complements

(Ps: for 6 peoples)

Related Posting:

Common Indonesian Herbs and Spices for Daily Cooking
Soto Ayam Magetan (Magetan Chicken Soup)

Soto Betawi (Batavian Beef Soup)

Tapai Ketan Pudding (Fermented Glutinous Rice Pudding)

It looks and tastes great. Sweet, salty, smooth..hmm yummy. It is suitable to accompany your dinner for delicious desert.



250 g tapai ketan (fermented black glutinous rice)
1 pack agar powder (white or no color)
150 g sugar
1 Liter fresh squeezed thin coconut milk
2 pieces pandan leaves
A pinch of salt
2 low cholesterol organic egg yolks, stirred


300 ml fresh squeezed thin coconut milk
75 g sugar
1 pandan leaf
½ teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of Maizena flour
1 teaspoon of vanillin powder



Combine coconut milk, white sugar, tapai ketan, pandan leaves, and agar powder in a pot
Boil in low heat. Stir well to avoid cracking of coconut milk
Turn off the fire and allow to cool
Pour egg yolks, slowly, stir the pudding, pour again bit by bit
Pour in the pudding mould, allow to cool, keep in the refrigerator
Serve with sauce.


Mix sugar, coconut milk, salt and pandanus leaves
Boil in low heat
Add maizena flour. Stir until become sticky
Remove from the heat. Then add vanillin powder in it

This recipe is adapted from Femina and Keluarga Nugraha, with modification on amount of egg yolks, sugar, and coconut milk.

Related Posting:

Klappertaart, A Dessert from Manado
Common Indonesian Herbs and Spices Used for Daily Cooking
Common Indonesian Flours Used for Daily Cooking and Baking

September 5, 2008

Steamed Sponge Cake: Indonesian Bolu Kukus

This is my first try…

I added soda water too much. Thus, the batter was so watery..and the outcome was so embarrassing..hehehe. They didn’t blossom at all.

And below, my second try. Not so good but yeah it was okay I think. I poured the batter to tin cups fully without considering they would blossom so large like that. Whatsoever is too much is not beautiful indeed.

This is my mother recipe with some modification:


200 g white sugar
2 large low cholesterol organic eggs
1 teaspoon cake emulsifier
250 g wheat flours with medium protein
½ teaspoon vanillin crystal
50 ml low fat diluted milk plus 100 ml soda water
1 teaspoon chocolate powder

(Result: 16 cups, but it depends on how much you pour the batter)


Cover tin cups with cake paper or parchment paper
Boil the water in steamer. I’d rather use steamer with glass cover, so I can watch what happen inside. When you use glass cover steamer, you do not need cover it with napkin to prevent water dropping to the cakes. The glass will prevent it for you
Stir well egg yolks. Add sugar until the color turn into white or pale color
Then add cake emulsifier (I used ovalet) and vanillin crystal, mix until the batter turns into a smooth one
Put in turns half portion of flour and half of milk with soda water, back to back. Mix well. Stop when the batter turns into appropriate texture or consistence which is the batter not only too watery but also not too sticky
Take about 10 tablespoon of the batter, put it in a bowl. Then mix it with chocolate powder
Pour the uncolored batter into covered tin cup. Not too much, until ¾ cup. Pour the top with chocolate batter about 1 or 2 teaspoon
Steam them for about 15 minutes with medium heat. Lower the heat for about 5 minutes
Turn the heat off and they ready to serve.

Related Posting:

Bad Result While Following Instruction of Recipe, How Could Be?

Common Indonesian Flours Used For Daily Cooking and Baking

September 4, 2008

Potato Donut

Making this small cake, made of fried dough, with the shape of ring, wasn’t easy for me. It wasn’t succeeding suddenly. My first experiment ended with failure. My first dough-nuts were unacceptable even for my cats. Those dough-nuts were too tough to eat!

This dough-nut or donut used wheat flour as its main ingredient instead of a full of potato.

Here there are,


250 g wheat flour (high protein)
100 g peeled potatoes, steamed, mashed, cooled down
5.5 g yeast
a pinch of salt
40 g butter
50 g sugar
40 g egg yolk
50 ml liquid milk (low fat)

(Result: 12 medium size donuts)


Mix wheat flour with sugar, stirred. Use mixer in low speed
Add yeast, stirred. Use mixer in low speed
Add cold mashed potato, egg yolk, and milk. Kneaded the dough until the gluten well developed
Add butter and salt, kneaded the dough again, and rested the dough for 15 minutes
Make small dough balls, about 50 grams each balls, rested those balls idle for 20 minutes
Make a whole in the middle of dough ball. You can use your finger or chopstick
Deep fried those dough balls


Never combine yeast with salt and butter directly, because salt or butter could damage the yeast cells and your dough won’t ferment. Make sure your dough mixed well with yeast before adding salt.

Make sure your mashed potato is cool down enough. If you put it together warm mashed potatoes with yeast, it also could damage the yeast and the dough will not able to rise too.

Related Posting:

Bad Result While Following Instruction of Recipe, How Could Be?

Common Indonesian Flours Used For Daily Cooking and Baking

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