Thursday, November 15, 2007

Traditional Indonesian Breakfast Recipes

There are obviously regional variations accross the vast island populations that comprise Indonesia. Influences come from China, Malaya, Singapore and of course the western world. In some regions the cuisine will tend to be generally sweeter with much coconut milk used, in some more fiery with greater use of chillies and in other more emphasis on the fragrant. The common breakfast dishes found in most parts of Indonesia would include Nasi Goreng - basically a rice dish flavoured with mild curry, vegetables, soy sauce and chicken or prawns. This can be topped with a fried egg and sliced cucumber and then called Istimewa.
Toasted breads, pancakes and omelettes in various forms, eggs and of course fruits will also feature almost everywhere.

Nasi Goreng Istimewa

Fried rice is actually a breakfast dish in Indonesia. It is often made from the boiled rice, which may have been left over from the previous nights meal. To make it 'istimewa' or special, a lightly fired egg, some cucumber slices and kerupuk (prawn crackers) are served on top of the rice.

4 cups cooled cooked rice
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 medium onion
1 tsp chilli
2 tbsp oil

Slice the onion lengthwise, heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic, chilli and shrimp paste until the onion is soft. Add the rice and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly while constantly turning until every grain is coated. Then add the soya sauce and mix again until the colour is even throughout.
The rice should have taken on a nice orange-red tinge from the chilli powder. Cooked meat or prawns can be added with the soya sauce. Onion crisps (Goreng Bawang) are often used as a garnish.

Prawn and Corn Fritters

4-6 servings – 20-30 fritters
1 cup small prawns. Head and tail removed
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup bean sprouts
½ cup leeks, cut into 2cm pieces
1 onion thinly sliced
1 red chilli thinly sliced
½ cup corn kernels
1 cup water
oil for frying

Combine all ingredients and a cup of warm water.
Mix thoroughly with a spoon until all ingredients are really well combined (about 1 minute). If the mixture is too thick add more water.
The mixture should be thick enough in order to spoon it into hot oil for deep-frying. Deep fry until golden brown.
Best serve hot with chilli sauce, satay sauce or ketchup.

Sheer Korma
This is a traditional Muslim festive breakfast. A sweet breakfast made with vermicelli, sugar & milk and flavoured with cardamom, almonds, saffron, raisons and rose water. It is traditionally served on Eid day (both Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha) to the household after they come back from Eid prayers. It is then served throughout the day to all well wishers and guests who come to celebrate Eid..

1 pack vermicelli
8 pints fresh milk
1 cup sugar
20 whole cardamom pods
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
1 cup chopped almonds, cashews and pistachios
½ cup fresh cream
½ teaspoon saffron strands
3 tablespoons charoli nuts
½ cup raisins
½ teaspoon rose water
1 tablespoon butter

Fry the vermicelli in the butter until well browned but not burnt and all the butter is dried. Add in ¼ cup sugar and continue cooking. Add in the milk cup by cup, stirring constantly, and bring to the boil.
Add in the raisins, whole cardamom, and 1/2 cup slivered almonds, cashews and pistachios, and the remaining sugar. Reduce the heat and thicken the sheer korma to three-strand consistency, letting the milk boil until it is reduced by half
The vermicelli must be very soft by now. Quickly add in the rose water, charoli and fresh cream and let simmer covered for 10 minutes. Garnish with the saffron strands and powdered cardamom, and serve immediately.

Soufflé omelettes are spectacular dishes, yet they are disarmingly simple to prepare. The Indonesian spicing of this dish, and the coconut milk which is so typical of that cuisine, make this a meal to remember. Serve it with a couple of salads of your choice.
Serves 2

Ingredients:1 cm Root ginger peeled and grated
1 Clove of garlic; crushed
Sesame oil
75 g Chinese cabbage, shredded
75 g Small button mushrooms, sliced
50 g Sweetcorn
50 g Mange-tout
1 Fresh chilli, de-seeded and chopped
40 g Dry-roasted peanuts, ground
150 ml Thin coconut milk
3 Eggs; separated
Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

Soften the ginger and garlic in the oil for 2-3 minutes and then toss in the prepared vegetables. Stir until heated through and well coated with the oil, then add the ground peanuts. Stir well. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, then mix in the beaten egg yolks and stir thoroughly. Season to taste.

Fold in the stiffly beaten whites and pour the mixture into a large, well-oiled, heavy frying pan. Cook over a very gentle heat for 8-10 minutes until puffed and beginning to set. Brown under a hot grill for a minute or two to finish the cooking, and serve immediately garnished with fresh coriander leaves. Cut into wedges for each serving.

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