03 October 2008

Coconut (kelapa) : The grated flesh of the coconut is frequently added to food. It can also be squeezed in water to make coconut milk. This is not the clear liquid found inside a whole Coconut but rather an extract from the grated flesh of a Coconut. Use one of the following methods to make your milk. Fresh : - Grate one Coconut in a bowl and add 1 to 1½ cup of hot water. Squeeze coconut until water is turned white and the flesh is dry, set aside milk and add more water to coconut, repeat above until you have about ½ liter of milk. Desiccated Coconut : - As above, but the yield will be less. Creamed Coconut : - Sold as solid blocks of Coconut cream. Dissolve in hot water to get the right consistency or use straight from pack to thicken sauces etc. Tinned Coconut milk : - use straight from can. Coconut milk, Santen.

Soy Sauce : There are two types of soy sauce that are used in Indonesian cooking, thick soy sauce (kecap manis), and the thinner, more salty thin soy sauce (kecap asin). If unavailable you can use dark Chinese soy sauce to which you add 1 or 2 spoons of dark brown sugar but the result will not be nearly as good.

Cumin (jinten) : Ground seeds of the Cumin plant used as flavoring in marinades and sauces.

Celery (seledri) : The celery used in Indonesia is somewhat different form the celery used in the Western world. It has a very slender stems and particularly pungent leaves. It is often referred to as "Chinese celery" abroad and is used as a herb rather than a vegetable.

Salam Leaf (daun salam) : A subtly flavored lead of the cassia family, this bears no resemblance whatsoever to the taste of a bay leaf, which is sometimes suggested as a substitute. If you cannot obtain dried salam leaf, omit altogether. If unavailable can be replaced with a bay leaf.

Basil, Lemon (daun kemangi) : A fragrant, lemon-scented herb added at the last minute to keep its flavor, or used as a garnish. Although the flavor will be different, you can use another type of basil.

Daun jeruk purut, Kaffir Lime leaf Glossy dark green leaves that impart a lemon flavour. Available fresh or dried. Used whole in cooking. Remove before serving.

Pandan Leaf (daun pandan) : The fragrant leaf of a type of pandanus sometimes known as fragrant screw-pine, this is tied in a knot and used to flavor dessert and cakes.

Cup Leaves (daun mangkok) : The shape of the leaf is like a cup. It's also known as tapak leman (Nothopanax scutellarium) and it usually used to cook stew dishes. A good substitute is curly kale.

Shrimp Paste (terasi, trassie, Blachen) : This ingredient has a strong fragrance. Extreme strong smell which disappears during cooking. It is always cooked before eating, generally toasted over a fire before being combined with other ingredients. The color of this ingredient range from purplish pink to brownish black. Available in blocks, which need to be sliced thinly and then toasted after which they can be ground up and used as instructed. Also available ready ground.

Lime : There are several types of lime used in Indonesia. The most fragrant one is called kaffir lime (jeruk purut). Kaffir lime has virtually no juice, but the double leaf is often used whole or very finely shredded, while the grated skin is occasionally used in cooking. The picture on the right shows Kaffir lime. The round yellow-skinned limes which size is slightly larger than a golf ball (jeruk nipis) and small, dark green limes (jeruk limau) are used for their juice. If limes are not available in your area, you can substitute it with lemon.

Nutmeg (pala) : Always grate whole nutmeg just before using as the powdered spice quickly loses its fragrance.

Peanuts (kacang tanah) : Used raw and ground to make sauce, or deep fried and used as a garnish or condiment.

Pepper (merica) : Both black and white peppercorns are crushed just before used ground white pepper is also used on occasion.

Slaked Lime (kapur sirih) : A paste obtained by grinding sea shells in a little liquid. This is the lime which is chewed with betelnuts, gambir and tobacco.


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