Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Javanese Country Food

Since Indonesia is an achipelago country with more than 13,000 island that create many different customes, I have to specify this the title of this entry to Javanese country food. Even that maybe is still too broad. So if it's wrong, the mistake is all mine.

Because my grandma broke her hip in 3 places, my aunt ( my father little sister ) came all the way from LA to Surabaya. The good news is, my grandma recover very fast because she has no health problem at all. She is very skinny and she eat like a bird. Now, she start to gain weight because I cook for her. She loves the food I cook for her. I am not saying that I am an amazing cook, the truth is , I am a simple cook but she likes my food because they are different from what she is normally eat. She normally eats a very typical Indonesian country food and my cooking skill gives her more international flavour to her daily diet. Like fresh home-made bread in the morning, yogurt, omellet, baba au rhum cake, my ice creams, caramel flan, fish fillet with lemon-garlic-butter sauce, etc.

So what is typical Javanese country food look likes? Rice off course, with several side dish that has a lot of spices ( but it doesn't mean that they are always hot ). And sambal ( chilies dip ) and raw vegetables for dipping into the sambal. I think the word "Sambal" comes from the Indian words for "Sambar". Different taste, but the concept is the same.

Because my grandma recovery is very good, my aunt can take a deep breath once in a while from nursing her mom. They are both at my house. Today my aunt went back to LA, but my grandma is still here with us. So usually for either lunch or dinner, we like to take her to eat in the restaurant. This time, we took her to eat at Bumbu Desa Restaurant. When translated, the name of the restaurant means Country seasonings.

This is also my first time to be in this type of restaurant that according to my father, are sprouting everywhere.

First they great you with lots of fanfare, like when you go to a sushi restaurant and they always great you "moshi...moshi", well, they do something like that too here.

Pic: Food that has been fried will be brought to your table like this one.

Then there is a long table laden with food. Now, you are suppose to pick which one you want to eat, most of them need to be fried so they will fried them first and then deliver them to your table. You can bring the food that doesn't need to be fried to your own table. On different table, you can choose your own sambal, complete with the raw vegetables dip.

Pic: One example of the sambal

The vegetable dip usually consist of: cucumber, cabbage, small round eggplants, etc.

It takes some getting use to for R to try this raw vegetables dip in sambal.

For me, I love it! I love to eat the raw veggies dip in sambal and then I will eat them with fried salty fish or tofu or tempe on the side. That's the kind of food that I use to eat for breakfast and for the past 12 years I did not eat them. I found that here at my home, I prefer to eat this typical javanese country food for breakfast then the fresh bread that I made myself for my family, the home-made yogurt, pancakes, scones, the omelet, etc. Isn't that funny? Everybody else eat what I cook except me.

Pic: Those green round vegetable looks pretty and they taste bitter.

After eating at Bumbu Desa Restaurant, I have to say that I would like to go back there again. Not too soon though because most of the food there are fried.

If you plan to go there, order the "empal". The best Empal that I have ever eaten. Also try the beef' tongue. My favorite!

Pic: I think this one is called Karedok.

For information on how to go there, this is the address:

Jl. Kartini No. 59
Surabaya, Jawa Timur
(031) 568-6425

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