April 26, 2012

Eggs with Traditional Balinese Spice Paste (Teluh Mepindang/Telur Pindang Bali), a guest post on Season with Spice

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Today I am part of the spark to Exploring Southeast Asian Spices & Herbs, a great series that held on Season with Spice during the month of March until April.

I really love the idea, lighten-up the flavor of Southeast Asia cuisines, which inclined to use the most freshest spices like lemongrass, bird's eye chili peppers, galangal, Thai basil, kaffir lime leaves, torch ginger flower, Vietnamese mint leaves, coriander root, tamarind, pandan leaves, curry leaves and many more.  All of which give those tantalizing flavors and aromas to an unparalleled diversity of cuisines and Season with Spice is the only Blog that will be introducing many of the popular Southeast Asian spices and herbs, along with ideas on how to use them in your kitchen to cook healthier, more colorful meals.


Reese and Mark are Creator and editors of Season with Spice, they are currently based in Penang. Somehow, the really cool thing that I’ve find out on its “About” which is really "wow" me as they're work as consultants for various community and art projects in the UNESCO World Heritage site of George Town, aren’t they so cool eh…

Their blog really loaded with so many delicious recipes and drooling food photos, please heading over to Season with Spice to quench your taste buds *do not blame me if you're stuck on their blog and started to print out all the recipes ;)


My contribution for the Southeast Asian spices and herbs series would be Balinese cuisine, it calls Eggs with Traditional Balinese Spice Paste (Teluh Mepindang/Telur PindangBali) 

Please have a look my authentic Balinese eggs recipe on Season with Spice.


Thank you Reese and Mark for a great job that you have done for me and Bali.
The Blog post is really cool, it showcasing both the beauty of Bali and its cuisine to the world, its perfect wrapped together!


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I’m so delighted to take part in Season with Spice’s series – Explore Southeast Asian Spices & Herbs.  I love the idea of introducing different Southeast Asian foods, with the wonderful mix of flavors and aromas in each dish.

I’m from Indonesia, living now in the beautiful island of Bali.  A place with endless stretches of beaches and unlimited sunshine, and a culture and cuisine that is absolutely unrivaled anywhere else in the world!

I feel blessed to have been born in a tropical country, where I developed a passion for cooking, and had the freshest spices and ingredients all around me to create delicious Indonesian dishes.

I’m still in the process of learning and exploring how to cook traditional Balinese food with a long list of to-do recipes, but it’s what I love.  And I hope to one day be an expert on Balinese food.




It's time to take a closer look in my kitchen and into my cooking pot, as I reveal a Balinese dish called Taluh Mepindang / Telur Pindang (Eggs in aromatic Balinese spice). 
Taluh Mepindang is cooked by boiling whole eggs with guava leaves, shallot skin and garlic skin, until they turn a deep, dark brown color.  Then, the eggs are cooked again in an aromatic Balinese spice paste (Basa Gede)

Perhaps, it sounds strange to all of you but it is worth the effort – the cooking process is authentic, rare, and unique to the island.
Traditional Balinese cooks will use a clay pot to cook the eggs with guava leaves, because the leaves release a dark color that would dye their regular cooking pot.  But I just use my regular thick, bottom aluminum cooking pot, which I can clean with a one hour boiling process.



Taluh Mepindang/Telur Pindang (Eggs with Traditional Balinese Spice Paste) 
by Ira Rodrigues of Cooking Tackle 

Part 1: Cooking the Eggs 
Ingredients: 
4 whole eggs
A handful of shallot skin
A handful of garlic skin
1 1/2 tablespoons of salt
4 Indonesian bay leaves (salam leaves)
8-9 guava leaves (if available)

Directions: 
1. Wash the eggs, and place them in a deep cooking pot. Top up with enough water to cover the eggs. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
2. After 10 minutes, lift the eggs out using a slotted spoon and place in cold water.
3. When the hard-boiled eggs are cool enough to handle, gently crack the shells with the back of a spoon until the entire shell is a network of cracks--do not peel!
4. Return the eggs to the pot and add in guava leaves, Indonesia bay leaves, shallot skin, garlic skin and salt. Boil until the water has evaporated and eggs are dark brown. I did this step in about 1 hour.
5. Peel eggs, and set aside. 

* During Step 4 above, I normally prepare and make the spice paste, so it’s ready when the eggs are done.

Part 2: Preparing the Traditional Balinese Spice Paste (Basa Gede)
Ingredients: 
100g shallots
80g garlic
40g greater galangal
20g fresh ginger
30g kaempferia galanga (kencur)
30g fresh turmeric
1 tsp black peppercorn
1 tsp white peppercorn
1 tsp coriander seeds (toasted)
2 cloves
1/2 nutmeg
4 Indonesian bay leaves (daun salam)
3 candlenuts (crushed and toasted)
2 Balinese long pepper (tabia bun)
1 red chili (deseeded)
bird’s eye chilies
1/4 tsp toasted shrimp paste (terasi/belacan)
Coconut oil/vegetable oil for frying

Directions: 
1. Using a mortar & pestle, or an electric blender, combine all ingredients except Indonesian bay leaves (daun salam), Grind to a smooth paste. If you are using a blender, make sure to add a little bit of water or cooking oil to keep the ingredients moving.
2. Heat oil in a wok on medium fire, then add in the spice paste and salam leaves, and stir-fry until fragrant or until the spice paste changes to a golden color (do not add any additional seasonings).

Notes:
- If you can’t find Balinese long pepper (Tabia Bun), you may leave it out.
- For a less spicy version, you can always skip the bird’s eye chilies, and only add in the red chilies.
- Any leftover spice blend can be transferred to a sterilized jar and refrigerated for up to two weeks. 

Part 3: Cooking the eggs with the spice paste
Directions:
1. Place two tablespoons of the cooked Balinese spice paste into the wok, and pour in 3/4 cup of hot water.  Stir well.  Then add in two Indonesian bay leaves, and simmer until aromatic.
2. Place in the cooked eggs, and stir well.  Continue to simmer until the water reduces to half and thickens.  Serve as a side dish.