Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lebaran Ketupat With a Twist

Lebaran, or Idul Fitri, is the biggest Muslim celebration in Indonesia. The holiday marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, so you know food plays an important role, perhaps even more so than with other celebrations.

Among the classic Lebaran dishes, perhaps the most famous is ketupat, a compressed rice dish cooked in diamond-shaped parcels made from coconut fronds. It has a very bland taste and is normally served with other dishes such as rendang, a dried beef curry. Ketupat is easy to make at home, with the exception of the parcels, which require a bit of skill. The best place to buy ketupat parcels are at traditional markets.

For this week’s recipe, I have several spins on how to transform the tasteless ketupat into something tasty. Ketupat is normally served at room temperature, but it’s nice to serve it warm.

Turmeric and Ginger Ketupat

Cooking ketupat in a light stock gives it a wonderful flavor.

Ingredients:

To make 7 ketupat you will need: 450 grams of rice; 7 woven coconut frond parcels; 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder or 20 centimeters of fresh turmeric, peeled and finely ground; 5 centimeters of ginger, peeled and finely grated or ground; 5 shallots or 50 grams, peeled and finely ground; salt to season.

For the stock: 2.5 milliliters of water; 3 lemongrass stalks, crushed; 3 lime leaves; 10 centimeters of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped; 100 grams of shallots; peeled and kept whole; 3 tablespoons of thick coconut cream; 1 tablespoon of salt.

Directions:

1. If using fresh turmeric, add 3 tablespoons of water and mix. With the ground turmeric, mix well and press to get the extract.

2. Mix extract of turmeric or turmeric powder into the rice and add 2 tablespoons water, grated ginger, shallots and season with salt. Mix well.

3. Add the lemongrass, shallots, chopped ginger, lime leaves and coconut cream into the water. Mix well and bring the water to a boil and then to a simmer.

4. In the meantime, fill the parcels halfway with rice and tie a knot at the top of the parcels. Keep doing this until 7 parcels are made.

5. Gently place the ketupat into the stock and let submerge.

6. Cover and cook for 1 hour on medium heat.

7. Serve warm with any curry or any dish you like.

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