Serving
(click to enlarge)

Tempeh & Tofu Curry
Indonesia
  -   Tahu dan Tempe Bumbu Rujak
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
Do ahead:  
3 w/rice  
***
1-1/2 hrs  
Yes

This curry is typical of the way they are made in Java. Tempeh is very popular there and is the "meatiest" of the fermented soy products. It is used to make vegetarian dishes similarly to how meat is used. This curry could also be made with chicken or eggs (see Note-8).



10
10
ar
------
6
4
4
4
1
1
1/2
------
2
5
1
1-1/2
14
1
oz
oz

---

cl
oz
T
T
t
t
---


in
T
oz
T
Tempeh (1)
Tofu, Firm
Oil
-- Curry Paste
Candlenuts (2)
Garlic
Shallots
Sambal Oelek (3)
Tamarind (4)
Turmeric
Salt
--------
Lemon Grass (5)
Kaffer Lime leaf (6)  
Galangal (7)
Oil
Coconut Milk
Palm Sugar
Prep   -   (45 min)
  1. Cut TEMPEH into pieces about 3/4 inch by 1-1/2 inches by whatever thickness your cake is. Heat Oil in a kadhai, wok or iron skillet and fry until lightly browned and a bit crispy on the outside. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cut TOFU into blocks of similar size to the Tempeh. Drain well and fry in the oil until very lightly browned. Do not fry as dark as you would for stuffing pockets or it will be too tough. Drain and set aside. This isn't always done, but, hey, you've already got the hot oil sitting there, so why not?
  3. Prep TAMARIND if using block (see Note-3).
  4. Smash Candlenuts to paste in a mortar. Crush GARLIC and chop fine. Add to the mortar and pound. Chop SHALLOTS fine. Add to the mortar and pound, or run in a mini-prep processor or whatever you can manage. Mix all with Sambal Oelec, Tamarind, Turmeric and Salt..
  5. Strip off tough outer leaves from LEMON GRASS and cut off the hard root end. Cut off the bottom 5 inches and smash the bottom 4 inches with your kitchen mallet leaving an inch to hold it together. Rumple the Lime Leaves well to release the flavor. Slice Galangal thin. Mix.
Run     -   (25 min)
  1. In a spacious sauté pan heat 1-1/2 T Oil and fry Shallot Paste stirring until fragrant.
  2. Stir in Lemon Grass mix and continue to fry stirring for another minute or so.
  3. Stir in Coconut Milk, Tempeh, Tofu and Palm Sugar. Bring to a boil uncovered (coconut milk foams over worse than cow milk) and simmer slowly for about 10 minutes or more, uncovered or covered to control how liquid the curry is (I like it fairly liquid).
  4. Pick out the hard stems and leaves with chopsticks.
  5. Serve with plenty of steamed Jasmine rice.
NOTES:
  1. Tempeh:   This fermented soybean product can be found in the frozen food cases of many Asian markets and in some natural food markets. Cakes will be flat, about 3/4 inches thick and will weigh typically 8 to 11 ounces. For details see our Tempeh page.
  2. Candlenuts:   These are oily nuts similar in appearance to Macadamia nuts (but not related). Popular in Southeast Asia, Candlenuts aren't easy to find in North America and they tend to be already rancid by time they're on the shelf here. The recommended substitute is raw Macadamia nuts - but that doesn't help much either, does it? Raw Almonds are the next preference, and they're pretty available, Use about 10 because they're smaller.
  3. Sambal Oelek:   This is a chili paste without garlic. The very widely available Huy Fong brand from Los Angeles is not strictly authentic, since it uses tasty red ripe jalapeno peppers unavailable in Indonesia - but I don't hear anyone complaining.
  4. Tamarind:   Use concentrate, or block prepared as described on our Tamarind page.
  5. Lemon Grass   Available in markets serving a Southeast Asian community. For details see my Lemon Grass page.
  6. Kaffir Lime Leaves:   These come two to a stem, one large and one smaller. If you don't have these use some lime zest - green only - not the same but something. For details see my Kaffir Lime page.
  7. Galangal:   This is related to, and looks a lot like ginger root, but is hard as board and with more of a camphor taste. If you can't find it use slices of Ginger Root instead. For details see our Galangal page.
  8. Variations:   This curry can be made with all Tempeh or all Tofu, or 2 pounds of Chicken joints (Ayam Bumbu Rujak), or 6 or 7 hard boiled eggs (Telur Bumbu Rujak). Cut some shallow slashes in the eggs so the curry can penetrate. Of course it would not be made with Pork in Indonesia (except Bali), but we infidels can use whatever we want.
  9. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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