Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Sayur sorry you missed my Sayur Lodeh

There is something deeply gratifying about coming home to a warm stew on a rainy winter night, and all the more so when the ingredients needn't be cooked to a pallid sodden shadow of what they were before they left the grocer's custody. When the calorie count is inversely proportional to its come-hither index, you know this one's a keeper!

That's what I thought when I had my bowl of Sayur Lodeh:


Frankly, I'm no authority on whether it should be considered a curry or a stew, if these are even mutually exclusive food groups. The flavour is evocative of a curry, but the cooking method is what I'd term stewing. At the verge of a boil, carrots, string beans and cabbage (in that order, since carrots take a notoriously long time to cook) are plonked into the fragrant curry thickened with just enough coconut milk to make the broth translucent. The whole vat should then simmer until the vegetables just start to lose their crunch.

Fried tofu squares and softened glass noodles are added towards the end as well as more coconut milk if desired. I'd like to say "Serve immediately", but as with all curried things, I'm often inclined to let Sayur Lodeh sit around and age so that the vegetables imbibe the character of the curry and shed some of their inherent individual flavours. If you live in a tropical climate, do let it sit in the fridge. 2 days is my minimum prescription.

How to: I'm not sure everyone has patience for this. Write me! :) I'm still trying to work out the shortcuts!

Variations: Adding cakes of compacted rice (called ketupat in Malay) turn this into a one-dish meal, and transforms its name to Lontong. Hard-boiled eggs and shrimp go quite well with it, too.

Body count: probably 20 or more tiny prawns perished to provide a tablespoonful of belachan for flavouring the curry.

17 comments:

Keropok Man said...

your sayur lodeh sure looks good in that pot. :-)

usually, we makan also don't use such fanciful pots. hehe..

Shilpa said...

hey keropok man, thanks! you're the very first person to post a comment on my blog!

aiyah, want to put pictures on blog, must make nice-nice what! *winks*

tigerfish said...

I galloped over from Keropok's site. Other than coconut milk, what is the other ingredient to make the curry base?is it curry powder? feel like making this after seeing ur pix. They look well simmered. Hahah...curries are always tastier,and thicker overnight.:D

Shilpa said...

tigerfish, thanks for coming by!

No, there's no curry powder. You need to make a curry paste by blending shallots (100g), dried chillies (about 8, must soak beforehand), garlic, turmeric, belacan and candle nuts (buah keras, which I can't find here so didn't use). Tell you what, I'll send you the recipe by e-mail ok? :) Glad my picture is contagious, haha!!

Shilpa said...

alamak, tigerfish, couldn't find an e-mail address on your blog, so I might as well add the rest of the recipe here:

after frying the curry paste, add 5cm of ginger, 1.5l of stock and about 100ml of coconut milk and boil before adding the vegetables. I think the rest of it is quite straightforward. Tell me how it goes!

tigerfish said...

hey shilpa, thanks for the thoughtfulness. In my next shopping trip, I have to get dried chillies, and coconut milk. Or maybe I can use some curry powder that contains some turmeric and spice, then add shallots, garlic, belachan, blend and fry it as a paste. If i succeed,you will see a posting! Thks again for the crash course.

Shilpa said...

my pleasure! your method sounds fine, too. hope it goes well! I wanted to send you the recipe by e-mail because i scanned the page from a book, heh heh, was too lazy to type it all out.

tigerfish said...

shilpa, it's ok, very kind of you.:D Tell u what, I've got ur email, maybe I can send u an email, then you can reply to it. But only if it's easy for you to send the recipe, since it's already quite clear from your instructions on how/what to do.

Melting Wok said...

terliur liur dekat sini lurking at that sayur lodeh, the recipe sounds easy & yummys ! :)

Shilpa said...

melting wok, sorry not very proficient in malay... :)

Rasa Malaysia said...

Sorry for my ignorance, is this a Malay dish? Or Indonesian?

Shilpa said...

rasa malaysia, sorry, just as ignorant myself, that's why I didn't want to commit by stating its origins! ;-)

Melting Wok said...

shilpa, so sorry bout the bahasa..haha, I thought when u spelled sayur lodeh, I immediately assumed u understand it.
liur = drool
terliur = beyond drool
tt's how good your sayur lodeh is :)

Btw, if you're Indonesian, I just had a fantastic Soto Ayam over Xmas eve at a friend's place, her aunt's secret recipe..my goddd, it is so good !! Care to share ?

Shilpa said...

Melting wok, no worries, thanks for the short lesson on Malay! :) My Malay vocabulary is quite limited, so "terliur" will be useful in the future! haha!

I'm not Indonesian, but I do happen to know how to make Soto Ayam.. ;-) Was intending to do a post on it, so would you like to wait for it or shall I send it by e-mail?

Lisa said...

It's a happy surprise to find Sayur Lodeh here in your blog....
I love Sayur Lodeh...

http://aprilisa-kitchen.blogspot.com

Shilpa said...

Hi Lisa, I'm sure you make better Sayur Lodeh than mine! :)

Anonymous said...

As per Wikipedia, the origin of Sayur Lodeh is Javanese, (Indonesia). This dish has a high symbolization that is to ward off malicious threat during a traditional ceremony. It has spread to all parts of Indonesia and the neighboring countries Malaysia and Singapore.