While they do sell the instant spice sachets, I find it superfluous to use. It's not that hard. If you own a mortar and pestle, you can make any Indonesian dishes (and of course you need a pantry full of Indonesian spices). Heck, I don't own mortar and pestle, but magic bullet could also doubled as spice grinder.
Today, we just had a simple soto ayam. Without the usual condiments and toppings. My son was slightly disappointed, he's used to the whole spread of potato fritters, tomato, Chinese celery, lime and fried shallots. Good thing he understood "because we used the potatoes for the jo-jos". Okay, let's not be cheeky here and cut the chase, I need to do some grocery shopping..... :)
Soto ayam (chicken soto)
- 1 whole chicken
- 3 shallots (depends on the size, I used 3 pingpong-sized shallots)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt
- 3 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 inch ginger
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 3 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 lemongrass
Grind together the shallots, garlic, turmeric powder, salt and white pepper. Stir fry the ground spices with the oil. Add in to the water used for boiling the chicken. Dump in the chicken pieces.
Serve with glass noodles, hard boiled eggs, potato fritters, diced tomatoes, squeeze of lime, shrimp crackers, whatever floats your bowl. Sambal oelek is also recommended.
This is why I love Indonesian food, it's like a DIY dish where you can put whatever you want without being judged.