Cooking in Bu Valentina’s Kitchen

Here we are in Bu Valentina’s kitchen. It is Sunday morning. Bu Yanti is here because we are all heading out today to Bogor. For breakfast this morning we are having tempeh bacam and gulai telur dan tahu. Here they are cooking.

It is very hot and muggy here in the kitchen. The back door is closed and the only ventilation comes from a few holey bricks in the wall but as they are covered in flywire, so not much air gets through. I am so hot but everyone else doesn’t even notice! And I am the only adult woman here not wearing a jilbab which must make them even hotter!

Bu Yanti is preparing the bayam for another dish. The bayam is for ‘tumis bayam’. The bayam has to be broken into small peices. The bayam stalk when snapped, has a membrane which has to be removed. It looks easy but is actually very difficult. I tried to and totally ruined the entire stalk!

20130609-080227.jpg Can you see the membrane? Here is how Bu Yanti is preparing the bayam.

Bu Valentina’s brother has just dropped in and in true Indonesian style brought many servings of lontong sayur for us all.

Nadia was given the job of pouring them all out into bowls.

20130609-080852.jpg ‘Sayur Lontong’ means vegetables with rice, however the rice has been cooked differently to the way we know. It has been cooked in banana leaf which was rolled into a cylinder. The rice is very dense and very filling. It is chopped into pieces and looks like potato pieces.

20130609-081224.jpg The pink shapes on top are krupuk (prawn crackers) made from the skin of the fruit manggis. The vegetable in this dish is nangka (jackfruit) and sometimes you can get it with pakis (fern leaf) but unfortunately the seller must have run out today. The kuah (liquid) is very spicy but oh, so delicious. True Masakan Padang breakfast to be eaten with fried banana and coffee.
Meanwhile the other dishes are still cooking while we eat the beautiful lontong sayur. The tempeh bacam which was boilied in coconut water & spices then fried quickly, looks fantastic.

The sayur dish is delicious too and has daun mangkok (cup leaves) sliced thinly and stirred through!


A nephew of Bu Valentina has arrived with his car and driver for our outing today in time for breakfast. We are all sitting in the sitting room now eating our breakfast. It is much cooler here with the front door open and I am also sitting just under the air conditioner which is on the fresh air setting. I am so full from the sayur lontong but I have no difficulty having my second bowl of breakfast and it too is beautiful

On the table is the food that Bu Yanti brought with her this morning. Banana cakes wrapped in banana leaf and soya milk for me which was warmed up! Visitors rarely arrive without bringing food!


While we eat Bu Valentine is having her mandi (shower). Cooking is hot work! As soon as she has eaten, we will head off for the Botanical Gardens in Bogor.


4 thoughts on “Cooking in Bu Valentina’s Kitchen

  1. Love the look of all this food! As I am cooking tea at the moment it is very apt!the rice looks similar to the sticky rice cooked in bamboo in Vietnam .brings back memories black sticky rice cooking in Ubud!

  2. I have to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this site. I’m hoping
    to check out the same high-grade blog posts from
    you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing
    abilities has encouraged me to get my own website now 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s