January 17, 2011

Cool, crunchy and spicy on a rainy day

We have had rain for over a month here in Bali; the humidity is high, the spirits are getting low and everyone watches the sky hoping that today will be different and wondering if it will ever stop.
A visit to Komang's cousin who has a small warung up the street from our house is what I need, just seeing all the packaged goodies cheer me up. In this tiny place one can find all kind of snacks and there, I  feel like a child in a candy store, what to choose is always difficult.

I will order extra spicy rujak with tamarind, es campur with crunchy seaweed, es jeruk, little bags of krupuk and, while waiting, we will chat about the weather...


Rujak can be made with a fruit and vegetable mix of your choice: crunchy apple, snakefruit, tomato, starfruit, pineapple, mango, cucumber or carrot, all slightly under-ripe and grated or sliced in bite size pieces. It is delicious, refreshing (and slightly addictive due to the chilies) on its own but we love it with grilled meat as well. Think barbecued ribs or grilled Porterhouse steak, medium rare and thinly sliced against the grain with this salad. Haaaa, I almost forgot the rain (can't grill)!

In a mortar, grind 3 (or 5 for the hard core chili lovers) bird's eye chilies, some sea salt and 1/4 tsp roasted shrimp paste. Add 3 Tbs tamarind paste, 2 Tbs palm sugar, and lime juice. Taste and adjust to your liking, it should have a balance between sweet, sour, hot and spicy, but definitely be on the hot side.

Es Campur and Krupuk

Es Jeruk 

2 sour oranges or 1 orange and 2 limes, sugar syrup to your liking, ice cubes and water.
In a pan, melt equal parts of sugar (or palm sugar with water) with a vanilla bean, boil for one minute, turn off the heat. Once cooled, pour the strained juice of the oranges and limes in a cup, add some sugar syrup, top with ice and water. Stir, taste. It should be sweet and sour and completely delicious!

And waiting for the sun to shine again, I will make some fresh hibiscus and jasmine tea for us after snacks.

Wishing you all a beautiful day!

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