It is famous for its spices and beautiful beaches that make it a popular touristic destination: Indonesia.
This vast archipelago with more than 223 million residents has been officially independent since 1949. For the past 2 weeks, 196 flavors has been celebrating the national independence day of Indonesia, which has long been under colonial powers, mainly from Holland, which has been present in the region since the seventeenth century.
A brief history: after the Second World War, the Netherlands tried to reclaim their former colony, which they abandoned in 1942 to the Japanese. But Indonesian nationalists loudly claimed their independence.
It was not until December 1949, after four years of military and diplomatic confrontation with the Netherlands, that they finally recognized the independence of the Dutch East Indies, which became the Republic of the United States of Indonesia.
A little more than a year ago, during one of Mike’s visits to Paris, it was with a lot of laughs, pleasure and complicity cooked together, also helped by our loyal friend Nicky.
For the eclectic menu that week, we traveled through three continents:
– Appetizer: yue tow may fun from Singapore
– Main course: arroz con bacalao from Panama
– Dessert: lamington from Australia
I am in Israel today, and after that famous and unforgettable moment, preparing those rempeyek was for me one of the most enjoyable moments since the birth of our blog.
Today, it is our friend Laetitia’s kitchen that I invaded. What could be nicer than cooking in a swimsuit with my girlfriend in a nice big kitchen looking at stunning views of the Mediterranean sea, and with lots of laughter… and gossips? Absolutely nothing!
It is Laetitia who chose this recipe. Rempeyek or peyek are lentil or peanut crackers from Indonesia, more precisely from Java. Made from rice flour and coconut milk, the end result should be very crispy.
Rempeyek come in several versions: teri (dried anchovies), rebon (small shrimp), ebi (dried shrimp) or lentil but the most common version is rempeyek kacang (peanuts). Laetitia chose the version with lentils.
I made a major discovery with this recipe: you can fry lentils without cooking them before. Until today, cooking lentils was for me a very specific process. (1) Start cooking with cold water (2) only add salt in the last 10 minute of the cooking to prevent the skin of the lentils to harden (3) 45 minutes of cooking total.
To prepare rempeyek, you only need to rehydrate the lentils overnight before frying.
Second curiosity of this recipe: the fluidity of the batter. I admit that I was very skeptical at the end of the batter preparation that it would keep together in the pan. How could such a liquid batter form crackers that do not spread out all over the pan like a pancake batter. For a first time, we both mastered the technique as if we had done this all our lives!
Laetitia and I have been really happily surprised about the end result! This is a great recipe, very quick to prepare and very original to serve at a happy hour!
- Soak the lentils in plenty of cold water overnight.
- In a pestle, crush the garlic and coriander seeds and form a paste.
- Pour this mixture into a large bowl and add the rice flour and salt. Mix well.
- Pour the egg and mix with the flour.
- Mix coconut milk with water and pour into the bowl while whisking to obtain a very fluid and smooth batter.
- Pour the drained lentils and stir.
- Heat enough oil in a fryer or saucepan for deep frying.
- The oil is ready when fine bubbles rise to the surface.
- Using a small ladle, pour small amounts of batter into the hot oil. As the batter is very liquid, it spreads out and forms a small flat surface.
- If pieces of batter meet and stick, gently separate them with a knife.
- When the batter becomes golden and hardens, the rempeyek are ready.
- Take them out of the oil and place them in a colander to drain.
- Proceed until all the batter is used.