Lifting the beautifully designed lid of this month’s Kitchen Trotter box, I knew I was well out of my comfort zone. Even though I consider myself to be quite adept in the kitchen, the Indonesian products were very foreign to me. I can’t even recall ever going to an Indonesian restaurant!
Luckily once I had a quick look at the enclosed booklet, it all seemed less overwhelming and actually quite exciting to get stuck in. The products were all explained and you were given a sample menu of recipes with a starter, two main choices and dessert. There was also quite a nice background of the country given as well as a playlist to blast out while you cook.
Inside my box was;
- A packet of Gado Gado mix – a base to create peanut sauces
- Kecap Manis – This seemed very well known amongst my friends and was said to have inspired the American ketchup!
- A jar of Terasi – a pungent, fermented prawn paste. This really was powerful stuff and not the most pleasant but I understand how it flavoures dishes well.
- Combava leaves – you crunch these up to give dishes a citrus lift
- Lemongrass powder – i think I’ll find this useful going forward, it had a really fresh aroma
- Pandan flavouring – completely new on me! Pandan is a tropical plant and the smell is amazing.
- Kemiri nuts – soft nuts that you grind and add to sauces.
- Kitchen hourglass timer.
You are given a shopping list of ingredients to complete you meal but there is nothing too hard to find on it.
First up was the chicken Ayam Areh dish, a curry with uplifting lemongrass and a savoury undertone from the pungent Terasi paste. The steps were simple to follow although it stated a 15 minute cook, you actually needed to simmer the dish for 45 minutes! We did enjoy this this and was unlike anything I had ever cooked or tasted before.
For dessert I tried out the Kue Dadar Gulung pancakes, flavoured with the really popular Pandan aroma. The flavouring also gave them a lurid green colour which my young son thought was brilliant – it looked like a dish out of Dr Seuss! The pancakes were filled with a sweet coconut filling and were really enjoyable.
The dressing for the Gado Gado salad was so delicious, I can see why kecap manis is as popular as it is and also adore peanuts so the Gado Gado peanut mix was also a nice addition.
This is so different from any recipe delivery service I have tried before. It really is a culinary journey and I imagine the different themes every month will really open up your taste buds and food knowledge. The pack has been really well put together and they have selected the products carefully to offer an good range of dishes you can create. I’m already looking up recipes for pandan cakes!