Happy Anniversary! Happy Birthday to my blog! Today, 1st October 2010, My Cooking Without Borders (MCWB) turns
I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for a year already!. I never thought I’d ever develop an interest in cooking and even have the nerve to blog about it. Time sure flies when you’re having fun, learning new cooking tips, finding awesome recipes and meeting fellow food bloggers and making really good friends.
I’m really grateful to all of you who visit and read my blog also leave comment . It really means a lot to me and it’s very appreciated! This blog wouldn’t be the same without you and I hope you’ll continue to visit as MCWB grows.
To celebrate this occasion, and to show you my appreciation, I want to post a very special dish for you all: Indonesian Festive Yellow Rice!
Why Festive Yellow Rice?
People in Indonesia usually make Yellow Rice in a cone-shape which called Tumpeng to celebrate important event. The philosophy of Tumpeng is related to the geographical condition of Indonesia, especially Java as fertile island with numerous mountains and volcanoes. Tumpeng dated back to ancient Indonesian tradition that revered mountains as the abode of ancestors and gods. The cone-shaped rice meant to mimics the holy mountain. The feast served as some kind of thanks giving for the abundance of harvest or any other blessings.
In gratitude ceremony (syukuran or slametan), after the people pray, the top of tumpeng is cut and delivered to the most important person. He or she may be the group leader, the oldest person, or the beloved one. Then, all people in the ceremony enjoy the tumpeng together. With tumpeng, people express the gratitude to God and appreciate togetherness and harmony. An annual ceremony involving tumpeng is commonly called ‘tumpengan’.
As an expression of my gratitude, I wish I could cut the tip of this tumpeng and delivered to all my readers 🙂
The cone shaped rice surrounded by assorted of Indonesian dishes, such as ayam panggang bumbu rujak (spicy chicken grill – please see my first post ‘This is the beginning’), urap (vegetables in spicy shredded coconut), empal gepuk (sweet and spicy fried beef), abon sapi (beef floss), semur (beef in sweet soy sauce), teri kacang (anchovy with peanuts), fried prawn, telur pindang (boiled marble egg), shredded omelette, tempe orek (sweet and dry fried tempeh), perkedel kentang (mashed potato fritters or potato croquette), perkedel jagung (corn fritters), sambal goreng ati (liver in chilli sauce), and many other dishes.
Because of its festivities and celebrative value, up until now tumpeng sometimes used as Indonesian counterpart of birthday cake. And like birthday cake it is decorated in different beautiful designs as you can see in the following pictures:
I found a classic recipe of Indonesian Yellow Rice in a book named Authentic Recipes from Indonesia by Holzen and Arsana as follows:
- 2 teaspoons ground tumeric
- 60 ml water
- 300 gram uncooked rice, washed and drained
- 375 ml thin coconut milk
- 125 ml chicken stock or 1 chicken cube dissolved in 125 ml warm water
- 1 salam or pandan leaf
- 1 stalk lemongrass, thick bottom part only, outer layer discarded, inner part bruised
- 2 cm galangal, peeled and slice
How to prepare:
- Dissolve the ground tumeric in water
- Combine the rice, tumeric juice, coconut milk, chicken stock, salam or pandan leaf, lemongrass, galangal and salt in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer covered until the liquid is absorbed 10-15 minutes until the rice is dry and fluffy
- Remove from heat and mix well. Alternatively cook the rice and ingredients in rice cooker
- Discard the salam or pandan leaf, lemongrass and galangal
- Pressed the cooked yellow rice into a cone shape and decorate with the accompaniments on the sides, if desired
- Serve the rice with the accompaniments on the side
This is the look of the authentic Indonesian Festive Yellow Rice
So far, in my cooking journey I have never tried to cook yellow rice. Judging from the recipe and the look, it must be very time consuming and complicated.
But one day, when I mentioned that I wanted to learn how to cook yellow rice, my second daughter taught me a secret on how to cook yellow rice in a more practical and easy way. She learned this secret when she was studying in Singapore a few years ago.
I ‘ve tried it out and I like the result. The taste of this quick and easy yellow rice was as good as the authentic one. But the big difference lies on the surrounding dishes which accompanied the yellow rice or the design.
A Quick and Easy Version of Cooking Yellow Rice
- 300 gram uncooked rice, wash and drain
- 1 pack of Indofood Bumbu Soto Ayam (ready-made seasoning for Soto Ayam = Indonesian Chicken Soup)
- 1 pack of Kara Coconut Cream dissolve in 375 ml water
- 1 chicken cube, crumbled and dissolved in 125 ml water
- 1 salam or pandan leaf
How to prepare:
- Dissolve the coconut cream in the water to become coconut milk, set aside
- Crumble the chicken cube and dissolve in 125 ml water to make the chicken stock, set aside
- Stir fry the Indofood Seasoning Paste for a minute or until fragrant
- Add the chicken stock
- Pour in coconut milk and stir until well blended
- Combine the rice, seasoned coconut milk, and pandan leaf in an automatic rice cooker.
- Before turn on the button of the rice cooker, mix well the rice and seasoned coconut milk
- Turn on the rice cooker and cook the seasoned rice until the button is off automatically
- When the on button is off, leave the rice covered in the rice cooker for about 15-20 minutes until the rice is dry and fluffy
- Remove from the rice cooker and mix well
- Discard the pandan leaf
- Form into a cone and decorate with the surrounding dishes (note: to form a sturdy and smooth cone shape some people mix regular rice with glutinous rice with 50:50 composition).
When I made the yellow rice, it was not for celebration so I used only regular rice and did not decorate it and here is the look of my simple humble Yellow Rice:
For the accompaniments, I only prepared the very basic minimum surroundings consist of
Spicy Fried Tempeh (Kering tempeh or Tempeh Orek)
Potato croquette (perkedel)
and fried shallots to garnish
In my next posts, I am thinking of posting the recipes of different surrounding dishes of the Indonesian Festive Yellow Rice in deifferent episode.
- Authentic Recipes from Indonesia by Holzen and Arsana