|| Back to Recipes Introduction ||
Click on the underline word to see the explanation of the ingredient with picture
|Basil, Lemon (daun kemangi)||Garlic (bawang putih)||Peanuts (kacang tanah)|
|Candlenut (tingkih/kemiri)||Ginger (jahe)||Pepper (merica)|
|Cardamom (kapulaga)||Galingale (kencur)||Salam Leaf (daun salam)|
|Celery (seledri)||Galangal (Laos/Lengkuas)||Shallots (bawang merah)|
|Chilies (cabai/lombok)||Lemongrass (Serai)||Shrimp Paste (terasi)|
|Cinnamon (kayu manis)||Lime (jeruk nipis)||Soy Sauce (kecap)|
|Cloves (cengkeh)||Nutmeg (Pala)||Tamarind (asem/lunak)|
|Coconut (kelapa)||Palm Sugar (gula jawa)||Turmeric (kunyit)|
|Coriander Seeds (ketumbar)||Pandan Leaf (daun pandan)|
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.
Candlenut (tingkih): A round, cream-colored nut
with an oily consistency used to add texture and a faint flavor to many dishes. Substitute
macadamia nuts or raw cashews.
Cardamom (kapulaga): About 8-12 intenselu fragrant black
seeds are enclosed in strawcolored, fibrous pod. Try to buy the whole pod instead of
cardamom seeds or powder for maximum flavor, and bruise lightly with the back cleaver to
break the pod before adding to seasonings.
(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.
Chilies (cabai, also called cabe or lombok): There are
several types of chili pepper used in Indonesia. One thing that is important about chili
pepper, the amount of heat increases as the size of the chili pepper diminishes. Green
chilies are the unripe fruit, and have a flovor different from red chilies. Fresh,
finger-length red chilies are the most commonly used. Dried chilies also used in some
dishes and they should be torn into pieces and soaked in hot water to soften before
grinding or blending. Hottest of all chilies are the tiny fiery bird's-eye chilies (cabe
rawit). To reduce the heat of the dish while retaining the flavor, remove some or all the
(kayu manis): A thick, dark brown bark of a type of cassia. Do not
substitute with ground cinnamon if you can.
Cloves (cengkeh): A small, brown, nail-shaped spice. Whole
cloves are frequently used to flavour cooking liquids for simmering fish, poultry or meat.
(kelapa): The grated flesh of the coconut is frequently added to food. It
can also be squeezed in water to make coconut milk. To make fresh coconut milk, put 2 cups
of freshly grated ripe coconut into a bowl and add 2 cups of lukewarm water. Squeexe and
knead the coconut thoroughly for 1 minute, then strain thorugh cheesecloth into a bowl to
obtain thick coconut milk. Repeat the process with another 1 cup of water to obtain thin
coconut milk. Combine both for the coconut milk. Coconut milk can be frozen; thaw and stir
thoroughly before use. The best substitute for fresh coconut mik is instant coconut
powder. Combine this with warm water as directed on the packet. For richer, creamier
flavor required for desser and cakes, use canned (unsweetened) coconut cream.
Seeds (ketumbar): Small straw-colored seeds with a faintly orange flavor.
Whole seeds are usually lightly crushed before use.
(bawang putih): The cloves of garlic in the Western countries are
considerably larger. Adjust the amount to suit your taste.
(jahe): This pale creamy yellow root is a very important ingredient for
Indonesian cooking. Always scrape the skin off fresh ginger before using, and never
substitute powdered ginger as the taste is quite different. Ginger can be stored in a cool
place for several weeks.
It is sometimes known as lesser galangal. This ginger-like root has a unique,
champor flavor and should be used sparingly. Wash it and scrape off the skin before using.
Dried sliced kencur or kencur powder can be used as a substitute. Soak dried slices in
boiling water for approximatley 30 minutes; use ½-1 tsp. of powder for 1-inch fresh root.
Galangal / Laos (lengkuas): Sometimes is called galangal,
this is a member of the ginger family and it has a very tough but elusively scented root
that must be peeled before use. Substitute slices of dried laos (soaked in boiling water
for 30 minutes) or powdered laos (1 tsp = 1 inch).
(serai): This is an intensely fragrant herb that is used for soupd,
seafood and meat dishers and spice pastes to produce lemony flavor. Cut off the roots and
peel off the hard outer leaves, use only the tender bottom portion (6-8 inches).
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 subsitute it with lemon.
(pala): Always grate whole nutmeg just before using as the powdered spice
quickly loses its fragrance.
||Palm Sugar (gula jawa):
Juice extracted from the coconut flower or aren palm is boiled and packed into
molds to make sugar with a faint caramel taste. If palm sugar is not available, substitute
with soft brown sugar. To make palm sugar syrup, combine 2 cups of chopped palm sigar with
1 cup of water and 2 pandan leaves. Bring to a boil, simmer for 10 minutes, strain and
store in refrigerator.
Leaf (daun pandan): The fragrant leaf of a type of pandanus sometimes
known as fragrant screwpine, this is tied in a knot and used to flavor dessert and cakes.
(kacang tanah): Used raw and ground to make suace, or deep fried and used
as a garnish or condiment.
(merica): Both black and white eppercorns are crushed just before usel
ground white pwpper is also used on occasion.
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.
|Shallots (bawang merah):
Widely used in Indonesian cooking, pounded to make spice pastes, sliced and added to food
before cooking, and sliced and deep fried to make a garnish.
Paste (terasi): This ingredient has a strong fragrance; 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.
Sauce: There are two types of soy suace that are used in Indonesian
cooking, thick soy sauce (kecap manis), and the thinner, more salty thin soy sauce (kecap
asin). If you cannot obtain sweet soy sauce, use the dark black Chinese soy sauce and add
brown sugar to sweeten it.
(asem/lunak): The dark brown pod of the tmarind tree contains a sour
fleshy pulp, which adds a fruity sourness to many dishes. Packets of pulp usually contains
the seeds and fibers. To make tamarind juice, measure the pulp and soak it in hot water
for 5 minutes before squeezing it to extract the juice, discarding the seeds, fiber and
|Turmeric (kunyit/kemiri): A vivid yellow root of the ginger family, this has a very emphatic flavor. Scrape the skin off before using. If fresh turmeric is not available, substitute 1 tsp of powdered turmeric for 1 inch of the fresh root. To make turmeric water, peel about 8 inches of fresh turmeric root; slice finely and combine with 1 cup of water. Process in a blender until very fibe, or pound the sliced turmeric in a mortar and then mix woth water and let stand for a couple of minutes. Strain through a sieve, pressing firmly with the back of a spoon to extract all the juice. Store in a jar in the refrigerator.|