Flowers, veggies and mystery plants from the garden and jungle for Chef Asire’s Indonesian cuisine . . . a blend of medicine and delectable flavors.
A visit to the Turi tree is almost as good as going to the market.
The flowers on our trees are a delicious cream color about 10cm long. But some Turi trees have purple flowers; good for blood-pressure and cold sores. The flower is delicious and I use it in the 3 following recipes as my standard dishes. Wednesdays and Thursdays are my days to create food–art and medicine in the kitchen. I call it ‘Urap Turi’, because I add coconut to the bring out the flavors (steamed vegetables with grated coconut are called ‘urap’).
RECIPE: Urap Turi
- Turi flowers – remove the pistil.
- Urap/coconut mixed vegetables: Turi leaves – young, garlic, shallots, galangal, kefir lime leaves, tiny bit of palm sugar, grated coconut, salt to taste, and small bit of big red chilies. Add any other vegetables you might love. Mix it all together and steam about 20 mins.
- Steam the Turi leaves about 10 minutes and add to the ‘urap’/coconut mix at the last minute.
- You can use peanut sauce instead of the grated coconut.
RECIPE: Peanut sauce
Peanuts – deep fried -really brown, sautéed garlic, raw galangal, kefir lime leaves, tamarind, palm sugar, salt to taste, some chilies if you like it spicy. And water. Throw into blender and blend away.
Genjer (Balinese call it biah jawa) :
This is tasty to season a salad or add to a stir fry. It will scrub your intestines of toxic elements and also end a phase of constipation. I chop it in tiny pieces because not much is needed.
Lantoro bean: This is just plain medicine and doesn’t taste particularly good. But it will kill parasites and worms and help diabetes. Eat the bean raw for parasites. For diabetes, dry the bean and make tea.
Jungulan for salad or cooked vegetables: good for tonsil infection and constipation. Boil leaf into tea.
Cassava is the most versatile vegetable, using both the leaves and the roots. It’s rich in vitamins and considered a super food; we should eat this every day. It grows like weed, in the rain or drought but prefers strong sunshine.
Cassava Fritters: My recipe for Cassava Fritters is a favorite.
Root: Dry it until it turns black and becomes more dense. This intensifies the flavor and makes it easy to make into flour which is used widely throughout Indonesia for cakes and cookies; I have over 50 recipes.
Leaf: Raw – the young leaves have a slightly sweet taste and are great in salads. The older leaves are great for folding around tofu and other veggies as a ‘wrap’. Cooked – for curries and any other mixed veggie dish.
Ingredients: Cassava root, steamed and mashed. Grilled turmeric. Sauteed garlic and shallots. Roasted Candlenut.
Roast and grind the Cumin. Roast and grind the Coriander. Salt to taste. Mix together and roll into a ball. Fry the ball in small amount of coconut oil. Let oil soak into paper.
Taro root and trunk: use same as cassava. It can also be used on a cut for anti-infection and will stop the blood flow.