Sunday, 22 February 2009

Fake Rojak

We've just had a cheat's dinner. Charmaine Solomon rendang paste, made into a curry with diced wallaby rump (from Eco meats) and some cauliflower. Rice, and salad, and a glass of beer. Good stuff and dead easy. The curry is trivial: mix tin of coconut milk into jar of paste, add meat and simmer until done. I added the cauliflower as part of my regular policy of increasing vegetable content.

The salad is inspired by the Indonesian rojak, but is missing the important traditional note of the shrimp paste. I'm not mad keen on it, and the bloke dislikes it. It's also a haphazard thing, with cashews where you might expect peanuts, and lime juice. I'd have added jicama or daikon if I had any, but I didn't. It worked very nicely, though. The idea is that it's a fresh, contrasting accompaniment to a rich curry: cold and hot; sweet, salt and sour.

Recipe: Fake Rojak
1 small tin pineapple chunks, drained
1 large lebanese cucumber
1 medium wedge rockmelon
2 tablespoons chopped salted cashews
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
1 teaspoon chilli paste
1 teaspoon finely grated palm sugar
small pinch of salt
juice of half a lime

Peel and chop the lebanese cucumber in small dice, a bit smaller than the pineapple chunks. Chop the rockmelon the same. Mix the fruit and cucumber together.

Mix the tamarind, chilli, salt and palm sugar together. Thin with the lime juice. Pour dressing over the salad and mix well. Let stand for half an hour. Add chopped nuts just before serving.

Notes: Seed the cucumber if you wish, though with lebanese or telegraph cukes the seeds are soft and I don't bother. If you like shimp paste, add it - or some powdered dried shrimp. You might then need less salt - it's a matter of taste. Other fruits can be used - star fruit, mango or even fresh pineapple instead of tinned :)

1 comment:

BJ said...

This inspired me to make a fake vindaloo. Take jar of P*t*k's vindaloo paste, add to chicken and random veg found in bottom of crisper and freezer, tip in tins of tomatoes and beans, slosh in extra fluids (bottoms of bottles), and bubble. I'm told it smells great. When we apply it as food tomorrow I'll let you know if it bears any resemblance to vindaloo as I know it. Ya know, with beef, no tomato, etc etc.