Indonesian Kitchen Diary Homey Indonesian Cooking Thu, 04 Jul 2019 04:05:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 126501617 Spicy Spaghetti with Tuna Wed, 06 Feb 2019 15:48:08 +0000 Who doesn’t love pasta? We Indonesian love it too!

There are quite a lot of pasta types and sauces that are available at our local supermarket. But the sauces variety is limited. I only know three types: bolognese, hot tuna, and barbecue. Hot tuna and barbecue taste weird, and bolognese one needs more onion and mince meat to make it decent. But hey! We definitely can skip the ready-to-use sauce and make our own creation.

This particular pasta dish was inspired by arrabiata angel hair spaghetti that I ate long time a go when I was living briefly in Germany. I ate at this cute Italian restaurant where we can see our pasta dish being made by the cook. The cook asked me: “how much garlic and chili would you like?”

And I answered “A lot! As much as humanly possible”.

He said, “Three chili?”.

“More like five.”

The look on his face is priceless, “Just don’t die,” he said.

And it turned out to be the best pasta dish I ever eat. To be honest, I didn’t have many experience regarding authentic pasta, so my standard probably pretty low. Hehe…

I tried to remember the recipe. From what I recall, the restaurant use: garlic, chili, tomato sauce, fresh basil, parmesan, and freshly made pasta. I am having difficulty to recreate the dish in Indonesia because, no fresh basil, and parmesan is so expensive.

So I tweak the recipe and resulted in this awesome, super easy dish!

I use tuna as the protein of the day, but it can be switched to chicken with the same method. No problem. Or, just skip it to make this dish vegetarian dish. I swear, this recipe is so quick. I actually submit it for recipe competition for pasta recipe that can be made under 30 minutes (finger crossed, I hope I win!).

To make it under 30 minutes, we actually need to have two stoves. In a big pot, I brought 2 liters of water to boil. While waiting, I finely chopped garlic, bird eye chili, tomato, and flat-leaved parsley. And the, I diced the tuna.


When all preparation was done, the water had boiled. So I added a teaspoon of salt and added the spaghetti. I let it cook for 3 minutes, I gave the spaghetti a head start. And then, while the spaghetti still cooking, I heat up some cooking oil in the other stove. I added tuna, let it cook for a minute, then add garlic, chili, and tomato. Keep cooking until five minutes later, the pasta was cooked.

I drained the pasta, but not too dry. I let around half a cup of pasta water and added the pasta into my spicy tuna. I added tomato sauce, and parsley and stirred well. A minute later, it’s done. Top it with some cheese on the plate before serving.

And it took only three minutes for me to eat it.

Below is the recipe. Happy cooking!

Spicy Spaghetti with Tuna

Spicy Spaghetti with Tuna


  • 225 gr spaghetti (1 package)
  • 200 gr tuna, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 10 pcs bird eye chili
  • 1 medium tomato, remove seed
  • 1 stalk flat-leaved parsley
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp salt for cooking pasta
  • 1/2 tsp salt for taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 100 gr cheddar cheese


  1. Cook pasta as instructed in the packaging. Do not throw away all the water after cooking the pasta. Keep 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  2. Finely chopped garlic, chili, tomato, and parsley.
  3. Heat up oil, add tuna.
  4. Add garlic, chili, and tomato. Let it cook until tuna completely cooked.
  5. Season it with salt and sugar.
  6. Add cooked pasta and pasta water.
  7. Add tomato sauce and parsley, stir until mixed well.
  8. Served hot with some cheese.

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5 Most Popular Sambal (Indonesian chili condiment) Tue, 22 Jan 2019 23:06:26 +0000 Sambal is one thing that can make my meal from ordinary to superb. I love sambal as much as the next Indonesian. A bit of sambal can make boring sliced cucumber into tasty friend for my rice. A spoonful of sambal in my meatball soup can make it even more satisfying. Indonesian meal without sambal is just ‘eh..’

There are a lot variety of sambal. The same ingredients of all sambal is chili pepper. Yep! the whole point of sambal is to add spiciness to your dish.

Some of you maybe heard of sambal oelek. Well, oelek (or ulek) is the way you crush your ingredient with mortar and pestle. Altough not all sambal need to be ‘oelek’. Some of them are sliced sambal.

‘Oelek’ believed to be the tastiest way to make sambal. But if you think it’s too tiring, or if you don’t have mortar and pestle, you can use hand blender or food processor instead.

Since there are a lot of types of sambal, I put a list of the most popular one, with recipe of each. If you are spicy lover like I am, try some of these tasty stuff.

Sambal Terasi (Chili Condiment with Shrimp Paste)

Sambal terasi probably the most popular sambal. There are bottled sambal terasi that you can buy. Just open the lid and put a little bit to eat with fried tofu and tempeh. My favorite is homemade sambal terasi ABC.

Sambal terasi is my personal favorite.

To make sambal terasi, these are ingredients you need:

  • 15 pcs cayenne pepper (you can reduce the amount to make it less spicy)
  • 5 pcs chili pepper
  • 5 cloves of shallot
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp terasi (shrimp paste)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • salt to taste
  • cooking oil

On a pan, bring your cooking oil to heat up. Fried the pepper, shallot, garlic, and terasi until the garlic become somewhat translucent and your kitchen smell amazing. Strain. With hand blender, blend all ingredient together plus two table spoon of cooking oil.

The leftover can be kept in jar and put in refrigerator.

Sambal terasi goes well with anything fried, raw veggies, and boiled veggies. My personal favorite is to eat sambal terasi with traditional fried chicken or with cooked eggplant.

Sambal Bawang (Garlic and Chili Condiment)

This type of sambal is super spicy. If you want to eat until sweat coming down your face, it’s the right choice. Spicy food lover should definitely tried it. Challenge yourself! Hehe..

Sambal bawang became more and more popular here Indonesia. There’s a wave of spicy food trend that put anything super spicy famous. It follows the new variety of cayenne pepper that have super high spiciness level. It is known as ‘devil pepper’ here. I suggest, for you that not use to eating spicy, do not use this type of cayenne pepper.

the ‘devil’ chili pepper. photo source:


To make sambal bawang, the ingredients are:

  • 10 pcs ‘devil’ cayenne pepper of normal cayenne pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 clove shallot
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil

Saute the cayenne pepper, garlic, and shallot until fragrant. Blend together all ingredients (the cooking oil too).

Sambal bawang goes well will fried chicken or fried duck (basically anything fried) plus rice and some cucumber and lettuce to reduce the hotness when you feel like you’d die.

Sambal bawang is basically daredevil sambal. Use with cautions. hehe..


My husband doesn’t like spicy food as much as I do. So when we eat sambal bawang with chicken, he usually dip the chicken in the oil only and already feel the heat. He gives the spiciest stuff for me.

My personal favorite to pair with sambal bawang is batter coated fried broccoli.

Sambal Lado Ijo (Green Chili Pepper Condiment)

Lado Ijo is literally mean “green chili pepper”. It’s a condiment usually used in Padang cuisine. If you come here and eat in Padang restaurant, they will give you this condiment for free. Because, what is Padang food without this sambal?

Green chili pepper is the same variety with the red ones but picked before it’s ripen. And since this sambal is made using green chili pepper and green tomato, it has a hint of bitterness and not so spicy as sambal bawang.


Green chili pepper condiment

Ingredients for green chili pepper condiment or sambel lado ijo are:

  • 8 green chili pepper
  • 5 green cayenne pepper
  • 1 green tomato
  • 2 shallot
  • 1 clove garlic
  • cooking oil
  • salt and sugar to taste

First, boil pepper, tomato, shallot, and garlic until wilted. Strain. Next, ‘oelek’ (crushed) the ingredient roughly. Then in a pan, stir fry it and add salt and sugar to taste.

My personal favorite pair for sambal lado ijo is boiled cassava leaf with some fried chicken.

Sambal Matah (Balinese Sliced Sambal)

Sambal Matah is unique. It’s one of the sliced sambal and what’s make it even more unique is the use of lemongrass in it. The taste is rather strong in this one since all the ingredients are raw (matah means raw in Balinese).

If you ever been in Bali and you eat local food, chances are you already meet this sambal. It usually served with other Balinese iconic dishes such as Bebek Betutu (balinese grilled duck) or Sate Lilit (fish satay in lemongrass stick).

Do you dare to make this as your salad dressing?


What you’ll need to make this delicious sambal are:

  • 10 pcs red bird chili pepper
  • 5 pcs shallot
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass (only use the inside white part that is more tender)
  • 1 tbsp of lime juice
  • 3 tbsp of cooking oil

Slice thinly the chili pepper, shallot, and lemongrass. Mix it in a small bowl (do not use plastic bowl). Heat up the oil and pour it into the bowl. Lastly, squeeze the lime on top of it. Give it a nice mix, and you have a bowl of sambal matah.


Sambal Kecap (Sweet Soy Sauce Sambal)

Ah.. this one is you who rather not die of hotness of your meal.

Indonesian parent train their kids into eating spicy food with Sambal Kecap. We Indonesian didn’t born with the ability to withstand chili pepper in every meal. It takes years of training. Hehehe..

Sambal Kecap is in the same group as Sambal Matah in a sense that it is sliced sambal. Super simple to make and taste really good. It is perfect with grilled fish or fried tofu!

Image source:

The key ingredient, of course, the sweet soy sauce and chili pepper. It goes from there, but a lot of home cook have their own liking in what other ingredients should they add in their Sambal Kecap. Following, is my personal favorite.

  • 10 pcs green bird chili pepper, slice
  • 5 pcs shallot, slice
  • half of tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 5 tbsp of sweet soy sauce

Mix all of those ingredients. How simple is that?

It’s a dipping sauce. So you can dip your yummy fish in it and have a burst of flavor without too much heat. Alternatively, take one or two slice of that chili pepper to get the heat. That’s why this sambal is loved by many families, kids can have some too.

Pssstt, Sambal Kecap also comes in a bottle nowadays.


So that’s Indonesian Kitchen Diary’s version of most popular sambal in Indonesia. Go ahead make some, or come here to have some.

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Fried Butternut Squash Wontons Wed, 09 Jan 2019 16:05:04 +0000 Now my baby has started eating, I found myself using ingredients I never knew before. Butternut squash is one of them. It gained more popularity nowadays here in Indonesia, especially as baby food. I like it too! I like the nutty flavor and the mildly sweet taste. So does my baby.

I bought one butternut squash the other day. It’s quite big and it’s more than enough for just baby food. My hubby doesn’t care for it too much as is. So I decided to make a snack that everybody in my home would love.


Butternut squash and cream cheese wonton.

Fried wontons has this crispy edges and soft filling that we love. Usually the filling is meat or tofu base. But, I thought, why not make a sweet wontons for once? And I did. And it was great!

To make it, first I cut the butternut squash lengthwise and steamed it. I think it is easier to cook it first then peel it than to peel or cut it first. The squash is hard and it just a lot of work. But when it already cooked, it’s so much easier to peel and cut. Next, I mashed it with fork (the same way I prepare it for my baby, by the way).

Cooked butternut squash can freeze well. So don’t worry if you buy one big squash. You can store the leftover for next time you want to make this wontons again or for other recipes.

In a bowl, I mixed the mashed butternut squash, cream cheese, egg, flour and sugar using spatula. The filling is done. Next step was just to fill the store-bought dumpling wrapper. Honestly, that was the hard part for me. My wontons folding skill is nearly zero. Hehe…

I deep fried them until golden. Sweet with a touch of sour filling and crispy skin. Yum yum..

It would not be just a one time thing, this marvelous snack. I will make it again soon..

Butternut Squash fried Wontons

Butternut Squash fried Wontons


  • 1 cup butternut squash (steamed and mashed)
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp all purposed flour
  • 30 dumpling wrapper


  1. Mix mashed butternut squash, cream cheese, egg, sugar, and flour
  2. Fill each dumpling wrapper with one teaspoon of filling mixture and fold as you prefer
  3. Deep fried until golden in batch

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Spicy Garlicky Chicken Wings Fri, 23 Nov 2018 22:33:41 +0000 Chicken wings!

I love them. My husband loves them. My brother loves them. Most people I know won’t say no to tasty wings.

These particular recipe is easy to make. It’s spicy, salty, garlicky. It’s a guilty pleasure, really. Don’t think about what salt can do to your body, or how the oil can cause high cholesterol level. Threw those worry out of the window for a minute and just enjoy your life. Hehehe..

In my opinion, these kind of menu can still be enjoyed in limited amount. Like for example, I usually cook this to be eaten with rice and vegetables (although my husband eats them as snack also. But he’s very thin so I won’t ever object him eating anything).



To make this amazing spicy garlic wings, first we have to clean them. To clean chicken, drizzle lime or lemon juice and salt all over the chicken. And then massage them a little bit to make sure every surface gets the lime and salt. Let sit for five to ten minutes, then rinse. I use this cleaning steps every time I cook chicken, not only the wings.

Second step is to marinade. The best is to marinade the wings overnight in refrigerator. But 1 hour should do okay too. I marinade them with salt, pepper, lime juice, and sesame oil.

Heat up some oil for frying, and fry the wings. You may want to use paper towel to absorb excess oil after frying.



Now come the exciting part. The source of the flavor explosion! Simply just finely chop garlic, chili, and scallion. Then with some butter or margarine, sautee them until fragrance, add in the fried wings, season with salt and pepper. Mix well until all the wings are covered with bits of chili and garlic.

There’s something magical in combination of chili, garlic and salt. So simple, yet so flavorful. I love it!!

Spicy Garlicky Chicken Wings

Spicy Garlicky Chicken Wings


  • 500 gr chicken wings
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 500 ml oil for frying
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 pcs red chili pepper, finely chopped (remove seed for milder taste)
  • 1 stalk of scallion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp margarine or butter


  1. Marinade the chicken wings with lime juice, salt, pepper, and sesame oil for 1 hour
  2. Fry the wings in batches until cooked through, strain the excess oil.
  3. Melt the margarine and add in garlic, chili, and scallion. Sautee for 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the fried wings, salt, and pepper, Mix well so the wings are covered with bits of garlic, chili, and scallion.

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Indonesian Styled Mutton Soup Tue, 06 Nov 2018 15:53:21 +0000 Mutton is not a daily menu here in Indonesia. It’s more of a treat. Something you get when you eat out or you cook once a year. Why once a year? Because Ied Adha, Islamic celebration where people with more blessed wallet buy sheep or cow and share it with neighbors and the less fortunate.

My husband loves mutton. Mutton satay and mutton soup. He probably eats them once a week. So, I think a mutton soup recipe is good idea to have. While mutton satay? Ergh, satay is too much work for home cooking. It’s easier for me to go for a five minute ride from home and get some.

The problem I have with mutton is sometimes the smell can be a bit yucky if the cook doesn’t handle the meat well. Mutton should not get wet prior to cooking. Otherwise, the distinctive smell will come out.

Indonesian styled mutton soup comes with vegetables and broth full of spices like other Indonesian foods. And like other recipe, the spices and vegetables can be differ. This one work quite well, I assure you.


To make this, you’ll need mutton, potato, carrot, tomato, and flat-leaf parsley. While the spices that make the broth so vibrant are: shallot, garlic, chili, pepper, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. For extra deliciousness: fried shallot, chips, and lime. A lot, right? That’s why this isn’t my everyday go to menu.

But it is some good soup!

Now, to make it…

I boiled the mutton with some ginger and salt, using high heat first and then low heat when it already reached full boil. I cooked them looooong time till the meat tender. I took a bit over two hours. I added water when needed.

When you boil meat, you can get some grey stuff floating around. Discard this by scooping it out. It so we can get clear broth.

In a pan, I heated up all the spices, that had been blended to a paste. I cooked them with a little bit of cooking oil until the aroma awakened. Then, I put them into the boiling mutton. I added in the carrot and potato and waited until they were cooked through before I added tomato and flat-leaf parsley. I like when the tomato still have a bit to it and haven’t turned to mush. So I just cooked it for another minute and added salt to taste.

A great food for rainy season.. warm and spicy broth with fluffy rice. Can’t say no to that.

Note: You can switch mutton with beef. Will still work very well.


Indonesian Styled Mutton Soup

Indonesian Styled Mutton Soup


  • 500 gr mutton
  • 2 pcs big carrot
  • 2 pcs potato
  • 1 pcs tomato
  • 2 cm ginger
  • 10 pcs shallot
  • 3 cloves ginger
  • 3 pcs red chili pepper (skip for milder taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • small bunch of flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • fried shallot


  1. Boil the mutton with ginger and salt until cooked and tender.
  2. Meanwhile, blend shallot, garlic, chili, cinnamon, and nutmeg to get a smooth paste.
  3. In a pan, heat up shallot paste with a little bit of cooking oil until the aroma comes out.
  4. Add the paste into boiling mutton.
  5. Add in potato and carrot. Continue cooking until the vegetables cooked through. Add more water when needed.
  6. Add in tomato and chopped parsley. Continue cooking for a minute.
  7. Adjust taste by adding water or more salt.
  8. Sprinkle some fried shallot.
  9. Serve along with rice.

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Lactose-free Glutinous Rice and Custard (Sari Muko) Thu, 25 Oct 2018 13:15:34 +0000 Indonesia has a lot of gluten-free, lactose-free dessert recipes. Traditional Indonesian desserts mostly use coconut milk, rice flour, glutinous rice, and palm sugar. It is usually sticky and very sweet. I don’t really like super sweet things, so I like to tweak the recipe and make these traditional desserts less sugary.

This glutinous rice snack and custard is one of my favorite snacks, It contain two layers, slightly salty glutinous rice in the bottom and sweet green custard at the top. The combination of two resulting in very pleasant taste. Not too sweet, perfect for me!

Indonesian name: Sari Muko or Ketan Sarikaya


Traditionally, the green color comes from special leaf called daun suji. But nowadays, it is very hard to find this leaf, at least where I live. So I use food coloring instead. I didn’t use so much, that’s why mine looks a bit pale.

Another traditional thing that I skipped is daun pandan. It’s a leaf that has very nice aroma. Daun pandan is easier to find. I can get a hold of it here, but I felt lazy the day I made this to go out and get some (my neighbor has some, I could ask for a leaf or two). Instead, I use vanilla. Still smell great!

Pandan or vanilla is needed for this recipe because the custard use eggs, And without pandan or vanilla, the smell could be too eggy. Not inviting for sweet snacks. The original recipe call for 6 eggs! I tried and turned out too eggy for my taste. The texture also kinda weird. So I tried again using 4, and then 3. Three is the magic number for me. I also increased the amount of rice flour in the custard. Otherwise, with less egg, it wouldn’t set.

The thing with this recipe (as many other Indonesian traditional sweets recipe) you’ll need steamer. Oven is still used in some traditional sweets recipe. We are influenced by the Dutch, however. But not all homes here has oven. There’s bigger chance people has steamer than oven.

To make it, first I soaked the glutinous rice for several hours (min. 2 hours). It’s to make the glutinous rice cook thoroughly. Next, in a non-stick pan, I cooked the glutinous rice with 100 ml thick coconut milk and 150 ml water. Stir occasionally to make sure the glutinous rice is cooked evenly. With these amount of liquid, the G-rice won’t be really cooked. Next I steamed it. I put the G-rice in 20 x 20 cm baking pan and pushed it gently to make an even surface (pic below). Then, I put it in the steamer.

While the G-rice was steaming, I make the custard. It’s super easy. Mix everything and then poured it in the baking pan. I run the mixture through a sieve to make sure there was no lumps. Steam away, let cool, and cut.

So, do you want to try this recipe for your next tea time?


Lactose-free Glutinous Rice and Custard (Sari Muko)

Lactose-free Glutinous Rice and Custard (Sari Muko)


  • 250 g white glutinous rice, soaked for 2 hours and drained
  • 100 ml + 150 ml coconut milk
  • 150 ml + 150 ml water
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g (around 8 tbsp) rice flour
  • 150 g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 drops green food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. For the Glutinous rice: Cook the G-rice in a pan along with 100 ml thick coconut milk and 150 water until the liquid is absorbed. It'll become sticky and thick.
  2. Transfer the G-rice to 20 x 20 cm baking pan. Push down to make an even layer
  3. Steam it for 15 minutes.
  4. For the coconut milk custard: Whisk eggs and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Mix in the rice flour, 150 ml coconut milk, and 150 ml water. Mix well.
  6. Pour the mixture on top of the G-rice mixture. Run it through a sieve while pouring.
  7. Steam again until the mixture is set (15-20 minutes).
  8. Let cool before cutting,

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Salted Squid Sambal Sun, 02 Sep 2018 14:31:40 +0000 I love sambal. I really do. There’s something magical to eat with sambal. It can transform ordinary rice into satisfying meal. I add sambal to my bowl of meatball soup to make adventure out of lunch.

Basically, sambal is a condiment to add spiciness to a dish. Chili pepper is a must. You can call ground chili pepper with a little bit of salt as sambal. Step it up a notch, add shallot or garlic, or both. You can cook it or eat it raw. Sambal is something very common in Indonesian cuisine.

This sambal recipe using salted small squid. I can eat it just with warm rice and I’d be happy. I like to make a big batch of it because it can be stored in room temperature up to a week. But it never lasted long in my home. Everyone love it,

Honestly, this recipe isn’t the healthiest out there, It using a lot of vegetable oil. But keep in mind that this is a condiment, you’re supposed to eat a little bit at a time,

To make this recipe, first I gather the ingredients. In the photo, I double the recipe so it look like a lot. The ingredients are shallots, bird eye chili pepper, chili pepper, tomato (to defuse the heat, for extreme heat forget the tomato and add lemon juice), terasi or shrimp paste, palm sugar, lemon grass and lime leave for additional aroma, and the salted squid. Salted squid can be kept for a long time, so I think it can be found online.

Since the salted squid is really salty, I reduced the saltiness by sink it in water for about fifteen minutes. Then I cut them to smaller size and remove the bone like thingy inside. Next, I cook everything except the salted squid, lemongrass, and lime leaf. I do it to make the taste milder and tastier.

When the shallot look rather translucent and those chili pepper sort of wilted, remove from heat and transfer it to blender. Add water so it can blend well. I didn’t even bother to wash the wok. I used them again to shallow fried the salted squid along with lemongrass and lime leaf. When the aroma spreads, add in the blended stuff.

Usually it is salty enough from the salted squid, but if it isn’t add salt. Continue cookin until the water reduced and you get this thick awesome sambal!

I let them cool before transfer the to a jar. In every meal time, I scoop one or two tablespoon. It is totally tasty!

PS: Switch salted squid with any protein you can think of for experiment. For example, use cubed and fried tempeh to get sambal tempeh! Or maybe use fresh squid instead (not sure about the shelf life tho).


Salted Squid Sambal

Salted Squid Sambal


  • 100 gr chili pepper
  • 150 gr small salted squid
  • 10 pcs shallot or about 100 gr
  • 10 pcs bird eye chili
  • 1 pcs tomato
  • 1 small block terasi of shrimp paste
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar (or 1 tbsp granulated sugar)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 3 pcs lime leaves
  • 100 ml vegetable oil


  1. Soak the salted squid in water for about 15 minutes, cut them into smaller pieces and remove the bone
  2. Halves the tomato and chili pepper.
  3. Heat up half of the vegetable oil and stir in shallot, chili pepper, tomato, bird eye chili, terasi, and palm sugar. Cook until shallot become translucent and chili pepper wilted.
  4. Remove from heat, transfer to blender, add some water and blend.
  5. In the same wok, add the remaining vegetable oil and saute the salted squid, lemongrass, and lime leaves. Wait until fragrant.
  6. Stir in the blended chili.
  7. Keep cooking and occasionally stir until the water reduced and the oil look separated from the sambal.
  8. Let it cool before storing in jar.

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Easy Aromatic Rice (Sundanese Liwet) Sat, 11 Aug 2018 03:41:53 +0000 Have you ever feel lazy to cook? I have, multiple times!

Sometimes, when laziness strikes and I still want something home-made, I make this recipe. It’s rice, with herbs and spices, vegetables, and anchovy dumped into rice cooker. One push of a button and that’s it!

The original title of this recipe is “Nasi Liwet”. It’s a dish from West Java region, a Sundanese dish to be exact.

I encountered with this recipe when I was in university. Once a month, the residents of my dorm would made a got together, and we cooked this with some other simple dishes such as stir fried kangkong, fried tofu and tempeh, and sambal (a must!).

It’s perfect for such occasion, because it’s so simple to make, yet packed with flavors and aroma.. yum! And really, you can’t do wrong using rice cooker.

This was at my husband’s office family gathering… “Nasi liwet” and side dishes scattered on banana leaf. The rule: nobody get up before all the foods gone.


The presentation of this dish is also unique. We use banana leaf and spread the food all over. Everybody would just sit and squeeze in wherever they can. No utensil involved. More hygienic person would scream and run.  Hehehe..

But hey, It’s fun!

There’s also the upscale version of this where the side dishes includes chicken, meat, fish, and various veggies. But so far I have only attend the humble version. Maybe you can host Liwet party and surprise those who never try eat like this. Honestly, at first I was surprise too! Where’s the plate? Where’s my spoon? Why should I eat this, you touched my food! Hahaha…

Image source:


But at home, on lazy day, I only make the rice with few tweaks.

To make the rice, the basic ingredients are rice, shallot, garlic, chili, galangal for the taste, and lemongrass, bay leaves, lime leaves, for the aroma, plus a little bit of cooking oil and powdered stock for extra tastiness. Dump everything plus water in rice cooker. Done!


For a super lazy day when I don’t want to cook anything else, I also put some vegetables (usually green bean and broccoli) and anchovy for a bit of protein source.

You can play around with the recipe. Switch or skip the vegetables. Add more things that can be cooked along in the rice cooker (some chicken cubes maybe?).

Maybe some people would think, it still take some effort, It’s not really easy. Well, maybe… but Indonesian home cook usually prepares rice, some vegetable dish, and protein source dish. But some household even prepares more dishes per day, for example, two different side dishes for lunch and two more for dinner. So, most Indonesian home cook will agree with me, that this recipe is simple and easy.

I like to serve it with sambal and with uncooked veggies like cucumber to add freshness. It also goes well with fried egg, fried chicken, or whatever. It’s rice, it goes well with pretty much anything.

Easy Aromatic Rice (Sundanese Liwet)

Category: Main course

Cuisine: Indonesian

Yield: 4-5

Easy Aromatic Rice (Sundanese Liwet)


  • 200 gr rice (preferably medium grain)
  • 300 ml water
  • 6 pcs shallots, sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 3 pcs bay leaves
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 3 pcs lime leaves
  • 3 cm galangal
  • 6 pcs chili pepper (or to taste), slice thinly
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • powdered stock (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • salty dried anchovies (optional)
  • green bean (optional)
  • broccoli (optional)


  1. Dump everything to rice cooker, stir, and let the rice cooker do the job
  2. "Nasi Liwet" can be served with (but not limited to) sambal, prawn cracker, tofu, tempeh, etc.

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Couscous and Fried Fish Sat, 23 Jun 2018 14:10:27 +0000 Being a first time new mother is exhausting! I haven’t got the time to cook and write. Now my little bub is almost 4 months old and can occupy himself with toys for few minutes so I can cook again. But still, I cannot cook something complicated and time consuming. It has to finish under one hour or my baby will scream due to lack of attention.

Waiting for mommy to finish taking pictures of the food.


Couscous is definitely not usual in Indonesian kitchen. Personally, I knew about couscous when I visited my friend in Switzerland and she served this food for lunch. Twenty five years I lived without knowing about it. I remember I was impressed by how easy to cook couscous. Pour hot water to it, cover, and fluff it up. So I was excited to find couscous in local grocery store.

Couscous is a type of pasta which has grainy texture. I thought it can be a nice subtitute for rice once in a while. Compared to rice, couscous is more expensive here in Indonesia. But hey, we need variation from rice and Indomie.

For couscous to be accepted by my less adventurous husband, I cooked it with herbs and spices common in Indonesia and with side dish I know he likes. Guess what, he liked it! Success!

My inspiration comes from Sundanese “nasi liwet”, a dish where rice is cooked with herbs and spices easily found in java region. It is fragrance and delicious. The herbs and spices used in thr making of “nasi liwet” are shallot, garlic, chili pepper, bay leaf, lemongrass, and galangal. Some recipes also include lime leaf.

I include tomato, cucumber, and green bean for fiber source. We need our daily veggies, guys!

To cook couscous, all we need to do is pour hot water, cover it for five minutes, and fluff it using fork. So to infuse the Indonesian flavor, I just make the stock.

First, I sliced thinly shallot, garlic, and chili. Then I sauteed all of those along with lemongrass, bay leaf, and galangal to woken up the flavor. When it smell so good, it is time to add water. Bring the water to boil and I put in the green bean to cook it.

Next, I took out the green bean, and discard the lemongrass, bay leaf, and galangal. i use the stock to cook the couscous. Easy peasy.

Carbs done, veggies done, now the protein…

I apologize beforehand cause I didn’t use fresh spices for the fish. Instead, I use shortcut in form of premixed seasoning. This stuff is delicious, but not the healthiest choice (talk about MSG). Again, I don’t have much time to spare.


It is super easy to use this kind of mixed seasoning. Just rub it on cleaned fish, wait 10 to 15 minutes, and fry the fish.

And done! Our lunch that was not rice. Yasss!

It took the fragrance of the herbs pretty well. I love it. Couscous has lower calories compared to rice, so a win. Yaayy..


Couscous with Indonesian Herbs

Couscous with Indonesian Herbs


  • 200 gr couscous
  • 150 ml water
  • 3 pcs chili pepper, slice thinly
  • 5 pcs small shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 psc bay leaves
  • 2 stalk lemon grass
  • 3 cm galangal
  • powdered bouillon (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 100 gr green bean (or other vegetable)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil


  1. In a pan, heat up the oil and stir in chili pepper, shallot, garlic, bay leaves, lemongrass, and galangal until fragrance.
  2. Add water, salt, bouillon, and pepper and let it boil for about five minutes.
  3. Add in green bean and let it cook until its cooked, about three minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat, take out the green bean.
  5. Discard the bay leaves, lemongrass, and galangal.
  6. Stir in couscous and cover for five minutes.
  7. Fluff up couscous using fork.
  8. Serve it with green bean and other side dish of your choosing.

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Rice Flour Pudding (Bubur Sumsum) Sun, 28 Jan 2018 15:19:55 +0000 I always think about food. It’s gotten even worse since I’m pregnant. Usually, I am not a big fan of sweet stuff. But now, I often found myself craved for it. This rice flour pudding with palm sugar syrup is one of my craving.

I saw someone sell it in the road. I was with my husband in our motorcycle, and I saw it for like two seconds. We didn’t stop to buy it then, I didn’t want it at first. And at home, I found myself regretting not buying it. Next day I passed the same road, the seller was not there. So I decided just to make it myself.

I search for the recipe and it turned out super easy and I had all the ingredients. Yay!

This pudding, locally known as bubur sumsum become more popular every Ramadhan, the fasting month in Islam. People in Java loves to eat this for breaking fast (I mean the first thing we eat after a full day of fasting). It is light, smooth and sweet, perfect for increasing our blood sugar level after fasting without making us full. During Ramadhan, you can find so many people selling this in the street. Other time of the year, not so much.

The pudding itself made from rice flour cooked with coconut milk, a pinch of sugar and pandan leaf or vanilla extract for aromatic. The pudding doesn’t have much taste to it, just a tiny bit savory. The taste comes from the palm sugar syrup, sweet, dark and thick. Combine the two, just perfect!

Usually, this rice flour pudding is served warm. But, I like them chilled too.

Since the pudding only made from rice flour, coconut milk, palm sugar, and little bit of salt, it is safe for people with gluten-free diet and/or dairy-free diet. Truly simple and hearty dessert you must try.

To make this pudding, first what I did was to dilute my coconut milk. Now, the original recipe wants me to make this with 650 ml of freshly squeezed coconut milk, but I didn’t have it at the time. I had pasteurized packaged coconut milk, that’s super thick. So I used 250 ml packaged coconut milk + 400 ml water instead. No problem at all.

For the pudding to be soft and smooth, I divided my coconut milk into two, didn’t have to be precise. One part I brought to boil, and one part I mixed with 100 gr of rice flour. I made sure there were no lumps of rice flour. When the coconut milk in the pot was boiling, I add a pinch of salt and vanilla extract. And then, I poured the mixture of coconut milk and the rice flour into the boiling coconut milk (see pictures below).

I brought the heat down to prevent burning in the bottom of the pot and I stirred it continuously. I didn’t take long, my mixture started to thicken. I let it cooked through until the mixture could be scooped with spoon and held it shape. My rice flour pudding was done.

For the palm sugar syrup, just boil together palm sugar, a bit of castor sugar, and water (plus pandan leaf for the aroma if you have it) until all the sugar dissolved.

To serve this simple yet satisfying rice flour pudding, simply put the pudding and drizzle it with generous amount of palm sugar syrup.

Rice Flour Pudding (Bubur Sumsum)

Yield: 4-5

Rice Flour Pudding (Bubur Sumsum)


  • 100 gr rice flour
  • 650 ml coconut milk (200 ml packaged coconut milk +450 ml water)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100 gr palm sugar
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pandan leaf (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • a pinch of powdered cinnamon


  1. Divide the coconut milk into two. One part in a bowl and one part in a pot.
  2. Mix the coconut milk in the bowl with rice flour.
  3. Bring to boil the coconut milk in the pot along, seasoned it with pinch of salt and vanilla extract.
  4. When it boiling, add the coconut milk and rice flour mixture into the pot.
  5. Bring the heat down and stir continuously until the pudding thickened.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. For the palm sugar syrup, mix together palm sugar, water, sugar, pandan leaf, and cinnamon and bring them to boil. It is ready when all the sugar is dissolved.
  8. To serve, add the rice flour pudding to a serving bowl and pour the palm sugar syrup generously.

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