A Fresh Start with Fresh Herbs

Have you ever gone to fancy restaurants or have had dinner in a friend’s house where you tasted certain dishes that just seem to be oozing with personality?

What I mean here is that they just taste so downright delicious that you immediately ask that friend for a recipe

One of the factors that could definitely add flavor to any simple food for that matter would be fresh herbs.

The use of fresh herbs can turn your simple dishes into fancy gourmet meals.

The use of a certain herb or combination of several herbs can make or break the outcome of your dish. It can definitely add taste and zest to your recipes for your family to definitely savor every bite.

Herbs may be in dried forms that are contained in bottles but fresh herbs are still best.

Why fresh herbs?

Herbs provide many natural health benefits and have wonderful aromas. They can also transform boring dishes into something delicious.

Indonesian cuisine uses many herbs and spices. In almost every dish we use them. So it’s very important to know what you need to make you’re cooking succeed.

And not to forget this is the most important part of all thing: “persistent and not to give up”, because practice makes everything easier.

It’s seems that Indonesian cooking very difficult is (I’ve heard so many people say that) but it’s not really true.

In fact it’s really easy, what you need to know is how you use the herbs and the spice on the right way, and it’s very important how many and how to use it.

It’s necessary to use fresh spices and roots if you can get it.

While New Year’s resolutions to eat more healthy food and to cook more at home are still fresh in the mind, I think there is no easier way to keep that resolution than cooking with fresh herbs.

Hence in this post, I would like to share with you how to make Sayur Lodeh, a classic Indonesian vegetable curry dish using fresh herbs. I found the recipe in http://www.tasty-indonesian-food.com

Ingredients

  • 200 gram long beans (Kacang Panjang)
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 red chilies, thinly sliced
  • 2 bird’s eyes chillies (optional, I like it spicier)200 ml thick coconut milk
  • 400 ml light coconut milk or you can substitute with 200 ml water
  • 2 cm fresh galangal
  • 1 fresh kaffir lime leaves (daun jeruk purut)
  • 1 salam leaf (or you can substitute with Bay leaf)
  • Sugar to taste

 Spice Paste

  • 3 shallots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 candle nuts (kemiri)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 cm of fresh Kencur (lesser galangal)
  • 2 cm fresh turmeric –
  • A pinch of dried shrimp paste (terasi/balacan), toasted – optional
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  • Grind or blend the spice paste.
  • Then sauté until it’s fragrant and add the galangal, kaffir lime and salam leaf.
  • Add the light coconut milk/water and sugar. Continue mixing for some minutes until all the spices absorbed.
  • Add in all the vegetables and chilies. Give some time to cook, and then add the thick coconut milk.
  • Continue cooking until its boiling and the vegetables well-cooked.

Serving suggestion: good to eat with warm rice and fried salty fish.

Enjoy!

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