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Serves 4 with steamed vegetables

I supposed it’s too late to share with Leah Hyslop for the coconut recipe swap, but this coconut relish is one of my favourite Javanese Sambals to serve with steamed vegetables, we call this dish Gudangan or Trancam if the vegetables are raw. Now I realise there so many different types of vegetarian or even vegan dishes from my home to share. In my home town of Solo in Central Java which is famous “the city spirit of Java” this dish also called Urap meaning urup or life.


250g fresh grated coconut or
200g steamed desiccated coconut
Lime juice from 1 lime
Lime zest from 1 lime

For the paste
3 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2cm sand ginger or lesser galangal (kencur), finely chopped
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
2tbs coconut sugar
Salt to taste

For the vegetables
4 carrots, julien sliced, steamed
50g green beans, 1cm length sliced, steamed
100g spinach, steamed
50g bean sprouts
90g mix salad leaves
Bunch of kemangi (Indonesian basil leaves)

For the paste, use the pestle and mortar to pound chillies, garlic, sand ginger, kaffir lime leaves and coconut sugar to a finely paste.
In a bowl mix the fresh grated coconut or steamed desiccated coconut with the spice paste, add lime zest and lime juice stir well.
Serve immediately with the steamed vegetables and fresh salad leaves and a bunch of basil leaves.
Boiled eggs and fried anchovies can be served with this dish too. If you can’t find lesser galangal, you can replace it with ginger and if you can’t find Indonesian basil leaves you can replace it with mixture of basil leaves and mint leaves which will bring a similar fresh and crisp taste to the dish.



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When the email came from Ben York asking me to join U Fit event at Chutney Ivy, in the back of my head I would say no because my blog and myself focus on Indonesian recipes and foodie culture. I said yes anyway nothing wrong to try Asian Diet Food for a change and to be fair I will talk about the food here.
I arrived 10 minutes early Mr Hanney the founder U Fit Studio and Head chef and co owner of chutney Ivy Shaf Islam greeted me with a welcome, and shortly after I was presented with a watermelon and passion fruit unalcoholic drink and two different canapés I sat at the table which was already set. By the way the two canapés were rather lovely but the spicy paneer and sun-roasted tomatoes was exquisite, small portion bites never give any harm before a big meal. The starter I had was tuna salad with roasted cumin dressing, the question for myself is that just because a meal on a diet my salad had minimal dressing secondly I was a bit curious with the palate cleanser “salty lassi”, a shot in my opinion with my coffee experience is only 2oz, the salty lassi was rather big for me it was almost flat white size, but if you cherish cumin like I do, this palate cleanser worked so well.
I love rijsttafel, so when the main course came on sharing plates I could try everything the fish cooked to perfection the spices weren’t over powering very subtle. Another fish dish was sea bass, as a home cook I barely use dry turmeric powder and for the sea bass dish that definitely used fresh turmeric. The vegetarian dish blew me away, the spiced pumpkin made me feel autumn is coming early, once again very subtle taste, choosing the right spices and the ingredients is sometimes harder for a vegetarian dish but this dish once again blew me away.
Back to diner on a diet, Joe sat in front of me so just pick few things that every one on Diet :
Joe an accomplished performance and change specialist with over 14 years experience in personal development, motivation and health and fitness. And He helps people break through challenges, reach their true potential, transform their lives and achieve the body of their dreams.

Part of the process above, involves educating their clients on nutrition and lifestyle. It is common knowledge that anyone who is doing some kind of diet feel that they either cannot eat out (avoid social situations) so that they don’t run the risk of falling off the diet or plain and simple just don’t know what to eat, U Fit’s philosophy is a very different one, they don’t ask clients to diet and fact they actually encourage them to eat out and socialise. Personally, Joe can not think of anything worse than feeling the odd one out on a diet or having to put their social life on hold for the sake of a diet.

This is where dining on the diet originated from. He wanted to provide an educational dining experience for dieters and non dieters alike, whereby they didn’t have to worry about calories, points, shakes but instead eat tasty delicious food that was nutritionally healthy and at the same time not to worry about their waist line in fact it could help reduce it.

Diners can now feel confident when eating out at certain restaurants across leicestershire which have been approved by the U Fit ways.
Anyway let’s leave the exercise with Joe and the U Fit team, I prefer to go back to another palate cleanser, mango lassi.
For the desert, jackfruit was part of the dish which was so inspiring, I personally love jackfruit, but normally I use it for savoury dishes when unripe or sweet dishes and deserts when ripe, jackfruit coconut ice cream was my favourite in my childhood.
Rate the dinner?, in Javanese culture, food is symbolic for health and prosperity of the guest so rating the dinner is rather taboo for myself personally. For more information about U Fit Studio here’s the link



Ginger and Vanilla Hot Chocolate

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Midnight feast

Serve 1 comfortably

This recipe using Espresso Machine with steamer wand attached.
65g dark chocolate (green and black 85% cocoa), grated
250ml milk
60ml double cream
1tsp vanilla sugar
1 ½ tsp muscovado sugar
½ tsp ground ginger
Put Dark Chocolate and 50ml milk into a milk jug, and using streamer espresso machine, steam into 70°C, pour into mug or glass add vanilla sugar, muscovado sugar and ground ginger whisk until smooth like honey. Mix remaining milk and double cream into milk jug steam the milk and try to aerated milk to create smooth foam similar if we make cappuccino, stop steaming when temperature reach 70°C. pour the milk into the chocolate mixture, hold the foam using a table spoon when pouring the milk and pour the foam at the last drop to hold dark chocolate topping or caramel butterscotch sauce on top.
This hot comfort drink just a bliss in the middle of the night

If you don’t have thermometer, you know you can stop steaming when you can’t hold the jug comfortably – keep a hand cupped around milk jug while steaming.
If you don’t have espresso machine, use small pan on the hob, use a whisk or a spoon to stir the milk constantly and melt the chocolate in a microwave.



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(Opor Ayam dan zukini)

This creamy coconut soup came from when my Italian friend popped in to my house when I was in Bali with a strange vegetable, the texture was like “oyong” one of Indonesia’s vegetables that we use for sweet and sour soup. The first time I cooked this vegetable I am in love with it. For the pickled courgette and cucumber I love to make the night before I use or serve.

Serves 4 comfortably

For the pickled courgette and cucumber
2 courgettes
1 cucumber
2tbs sugar
4tbs rice wine vinegar
1tbs black pepper
3 star anise
Using a vegetable peeler, cut the courgette and cucumber by length to get thin long strips, only use the skin and white flesh, discard the seeds. Put the strips of courgette and cucumber in a bowl add cracked black pepper and star anise, sugar and rice wine vinegar. Wrap the bowl with cling film and leave it in the fridge overnight.

Creamy coconut chicken and courgette soup:
3 courgettes, washed and cut 2cm length
500g chicken thighs, 3cm diced
330ml coconut milk
400 ml chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised the stem
3 kaffir lime leaves
2 bay leaves
2 tbs vegetable oil.
for the paste :
3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
5 shallots, finely sliced
1 ½ tsp coriander seeds
3 candle nuts
2 cm fresh ginger, finely chopped
To make the spice paste, use a pestle and mortar or food processor to pound the garlic, shallots, coriander seeds, candle nuts and ginger.
In a wok heat the vegetable oil, fry the paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and bay leaves for 3 minutes, add the chicken and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the lemongrass, bay leaves and kaffir lime leaves. Add courgette and coconut milk and cook for another 5 minutes to soften the courgettes. Add salt to taste.
Serve immediately and top with the pickled courgette and cucumber, garnish with chopped parsley and fried shallots.


Martabak Mie

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Martabak Mie
(Noodles omelette)
Midnight feast
Serve 1 comfortably

80-90g noodles (any type of noodles from your cupboard even instant noodle does the job)
3 eggs
3 spring onions (2 finely chopped for the mix and 1 roughly chopped for topping)
small bunch of parsley finely chopped
small bunch of basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2tbs crunchy fried shallots
30g cheddar cheese, grated
30g parmesan cheese, grated
1/2tsp white pepper ground
1/2tsp black pepper ground
pinch of salt
1/2tbs dollop of tomato sauce or crème fraiche to serve

In a small pan, boil the noodles and leave it longer than packaging instruction, so the noodles will soften, drain the noodles leave it for 2 minutes to cool down. Gently beat the eggs in a mixing bowl add spring onions, parsley, basil, half amount of parmesan and cheddar cheese, salt and pepper stir well. Add the soft noodles and crunchy fried shallots.
Heat the oil in the a frying pan, fry the the mixture until golden brown about 3-4 minutes.
Serve with chopped spring onions, basil leaves, parsley, grated parmesan and Cheddar cheese on top of the martabak and serve with dollop of crème fraiche or tomato sauce
Tips :
• Stir the crunchy fried shallot at the last minute into the mixture before frying in the pan so you can still get the crunch inside the martabak.
• Combine Tomato sauce and chilli sauce great to serve if you want a spicy kick or add finely chopped of bird eye chilli into the mixture, but anchovies or garlic crème fraiche is the best.




Asinan Dressing

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Bobby Ananta Asinan Dressing
Serves 6 for Indonesian fruit salad or vegetable salads.

This recipe is inspired by asinan Jakarta and Rujak Bali, simply fresh and lovely for summer time. Sweet, sour, hot, umami, and fresh.
300g cucumber, chopped
3 red chillies, chopped
2 bird eye chillies, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1cm ginger, grated
15g dried shrimp, toasted and finely ground (using pestle and mortar)
60g coconut sugar, grated
1tsp salt
Sprig of coriander leaves, finely sliced
Sprig of Kemangi (Indonesian basil) optional or sprig of mint leaves, finely sliced
Lime juice of 1 lime
1 ½ tbs rice wine vinegar
In a blender or a food processor put all the ingredient except lime juice, rice wine vinegar, coriander leaves and kemangi, blend into a smooth paste. Put into a small bowl, add coriander leaves, kemangi, lime juice and white wine vinegar, stir well. Leave it in the fridge for an hour before use to let the ingredients get to know each other.
Enjoy the dressing with sliced tropical fruit or mixed noodles and fresh vegetables and I always find this dressing is a compliment for pan fried sea bass.