Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rawon, the Indonesian Black Stew

Sometimes it's hard to imagine, there is a good food that has black in color. This Rawon for example, if you see rawon let say without sniff the aroma & you don’t know what that is, I think you will not feel tempted. But for me an Eastern Javanese, I already know this dish since I was little, so this stew never failed to tempt me, especially my mom’s rawon, is one of her master dish.

To those of you who don’t know, the black of rawon comes from one spice called Kluwak, some people called it the black nut, but I have to disagree with the “black nut” name … kluwak is kluwak … just kluwak or kluwak nut.

About Kluwak nuts

Kluwak nuts come from the kepayang tree (Pangium edule) of Indonesia & Malaysia, a member of the flacourtia family (Flacourtiaceae). The oily, hard-shelled seeds superficially resemble Brazil nuts. Meaty seeds are edible after the poisonous hydrocyanic acid is removed by soaking and boiling them in water. Fermented kluwak nuts become chocolate-brown, greasy and very slippery. Cooked seeds are used in a number of popular Malaysian and Indonesian dishes.

When harvested from the tree, the kluwak is not ready to be used. It needs to be fermented for sometime, due to its poison. The prosess of fermentation is done after the kluwak is boiled in hotwater for sometimes and then they are buried in the ground. The humidity of the soil helps the process of fermentation. When ready, the meat of the kluwak will change from white collor into black, and the taste of the good and ready to use should not be bitter.

– About Kluwak nuts - Source taken from Recipes Wiki -

Rawon it self is originating from east java, and is very popular in Surabaya. Usually it served hot with rice, salted duck egg, bean sprouts, and shrimp cracker. & once again, an Indonesian cannot leave the chili sauce behind; for rawon traditional chili sauce is best suite.

This is the recipe:

500 gram of beef rump cut in cube
700 cc water
3 Shallots
4 garlics
1/2 tea spoon white pepper
6 kluwak nuts
4 bay leafs, torn
2 lemon gras
4 keffir lime leafs, torn
4 table spoon palm oil

Boil the beef rump, until cooked. I use a pressure cooker it take about half hour. Mean While blend shallots, garlic, kluwak, salt, & white pepper. Heat pan, saute the blend ingredient until it become fragrance, add lemon grass, galangal, keffir lime leaf & bay leaf, continue stirring. Add all to the boil beef rump, cooked till it boil once again.

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