The must have herbs in ENGGI’S KITCHEN

daun salam keringSalam (Syzygium Polyanthum):

There are many kinds of bay leaves originated from different places, but the bay leaf I use in ENGGI’s KITCHEN is the Indonesian bay leaf or Indonesian laurel ( salam leaf, Syzygium Polyanthum). I have tried other bay leaves found in the local supermarket but it does not have the same boldness and intensity as the Indonesian bay leaf. Although it is hard to find this herb outside of Indonesia, luckily there are some Indonesian stores that offered Indonesian bay leaves through delivery service.

The use of salam leaf in some of the Indonesian stir-fry or curry recipes is to enhance the aroma and flavor of the cooking.

laos lengkuas merahLaos (Alpinia Galangal):

Or known as Lengkuas ( Alpinia Galangal). The flavor of this root is aromatic and pungent. Easily found in Asian stores, the ones that ENGGI’S KITCHEN use is Lengkuas Merah (red galangal). I chose this type of galangal simply for its flavor.

Galangal Fried Chicken and Indonesian Beef Rendang. are two of the dish found in ENGGI’S KITCHEn that uses a fair amount of red galangal.

To buy red galangal you may have to go to an Indonesian grocery store as this type of root is not commonly found at your typical Asian supermarket.

serehSereh (Cymbopogon):

Better known as lemongrass easily found in the local supermarket. The familiarity of this type of herbs is superb. I often find that lemongrass is commonly and closely associated  (at least here) with Thai cooking. However, Indonesian recipes use lemongrass too. The sweet and lemony scent act as an aroma enhancer. To get the most of a lemongrass stalk, try crushing the thicker end of the bulb or slice it thinly.

Most of ENGG’S KITCHEN recipe will not survive without lemongrass.

daun kunyitDaun Kunyit ( Haldi Leaves):

Also known as Turmeric Leaves, a very difficult herb to find in Bristol. Indonesian recipes use turmeric leaves for fish, poultry, and beef mostly when it is a curried recipe.

The most famous Indonesian dish which is Beef rendang use this type of herb. ENGGI’S KITCHEN  Beef rendang also use turmeric leave to add flavor and body to the rendang.

kencurKencur (Kaempferia Galanga):

Also known as aromatic ginger, this type of herbs has a strong aromatic smell.

You find the taste of kencur in Javanese and Balinese dish.  This type of herb is use for fish, vegetables  (PECEL – a mixed vegetable salad tossed in peanut sauce that was flavored with kencur) and Indonesian savory snacks such as Rempeyek ( deep fried Javanese crakers).

You may find it hard to find this type of herbs outside Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. For my stock of Kencur, I have to get mine from an Indonesian grocery.

kunyitKunyit (Curcuma Longa):

Commonly known as Turmeric, the peppery aroma and musky taste herb can be found in a powder form or fresh. Personally, I prefer fresh turmeric. Unlike the other herbs, Turmeric is widely available in Bristol.

Please use gloves to avoid orange stains from the fresh turmeric.

jaheJahe (Zingiber Officinale):

Simply known as ginger, widely available in a powdery form or fresh ginger root. With its aromatic, pungent and spicy, ginger is always added to fish, poultry, and beef recipe.

Use ginger especially fresh ginger in moderation, over using fresh ginger can cause the dish to taste bitter.

daun jeruk nipisDaun Jeruk (Citrus Hystrix):

Or kaffir lime, when chopped or crushed it will give away it’s citrus fragrance which is perfect to add to fish, poultry, and beef recipe.

I personally use kaffir lime for my curry, stir-fry, and Soto (Indonesian traditional soup) recipes.

*****

Apart from cooking, apparently these herbs have medicinal purposes as well, a topic that I will not be put forward on this occasion.

For herbs that were mentioned above and are not widely available please visit these two stores website:

  • Toko Gordon:  www.tokogordon.com
  • Waroeng Windsor:  www.waroengwindsor.co.uk

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