Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Indonesian banquet (or at least my family's version)

Siew-on (phonetic) - vermicilli noodles, prawns, chinese mushroom and eggs.

I decided that on Australia day because I am so Australian I needed to revisit my Asian heritage and cook some of my traditional family food for P's family.

So that is what I have been busy doing today. Usually in my family, we sit at one the table and all the dishes are put in the middle. Seafood, beef, lamb, chicken, vegetables, rice there is no focus on one main dish as such.

I rarely cook my families' food and when I think about it I guess the reasons why I don't cook it more regularly are because:

- it involves eating rice quite a lot and I only like to have rice once a week;
- some of the food can be quite high in calories and I do try to limit high calorie food;

I think that they are two fairly significant reasons. I guess if we are only having rice once a week, there much to choose from and we do love our Indian and Thai curries so that means "my families' food" doesn't get much of a look in.

I also decided that because I cook "my families food" so rarely that I had better do it once and for all to prove to myself as much as anyone else that I could actually do it. I often wonder whether the food has any resemblance to the food served in Malaysia or has what we have come to know as our traditional dishes are specific to my family only. Hence why I am reluctant to call it "Indonesian food" in case someone from Indonesia actually sees this blog and says that I can't possibly pass these dishes off as Indonesian/Malay food.

It is quite strange hearing Indonesian words from my mother and her family but having no idea how to spell them in the first place. Which is why I have had to phonetically spell the first dish and I was unable to find anything that resembled the actual dish during my research on Malaysian cuisine on the net.

I also had to create the dessert I prepared just for today because my mother has never prepared us a dessert that I could say was uniquely related to our Indonesian heritage. Because I had eaten crepes filled with fresh mango and whipped cream at the end of Yum Cha, and P and I had ordered mango crepe suzettes. I thought mangos seemed quite a Asian/Malaysian type of fruit. Though I decided to serve ours with vanilla ice-cream and a sauce. (Sorry, no pictures but it was pretty simple looking really I tucked the filling into the crepe and folded it into a rectangle pillow and put the sauce on the dish and sat the crepe on top with the ice-cream next to it - if you want to visualise :o)

For the sauce I used palm sugar, cream and butter, which is similar to a butterscotch sauce that you might serve with a sticky date pudding. However it also went equally well with the mango and cream filled crepes.

I am happy to say that everyone enjoyed the food today.

I don't know though when I will cook "my family food" again maybe for my sister, my Aunts, mother etc. Its unlikely I would cook this food for P's family again for a while even though they enjoyed it. I imagine we will continue with our usual style of food which is Mediterranean influenced rather than Asian.

Oh, by the way my sister made the Sayur Pumpkin, essentially beef and pumpkin casserole I suppose, it was delicious thanks Suga Lu - enjoy your evening out at "Punk night"!

1 comment:

sarni said...

Mmmmm, yummy. Mango icecream does seem very Asian - I've noticed that it's an Indian specialty, and that the Chinese eat mango ice cream much more so than most other types.

My problem with cooking my family's food is that I've never had any practice - Mum's always the one who cooks Chinese!

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Mother of two with one of each. Wife of one.Dogless. Busy working five days a week, baking and cooking when time allows. Writing rarely these days. Wishing I had time to read more often.