Tag Archives: Yogyakarta

Sambal

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Chopped ingredients

Sambal is a Southeast Asian condiment, a sauce, an appetizer, or an accompaniment to rice or viands. And because it’s hot and spicy, it’s something I have dearly adopted. I have learned to prepare sambal in Yogyakarta through Made, a Balinese cook.

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Shrimp paste

There are several variations of sambal, and one can modify the proportions of certain ingredient to suit one’s taste. In a nutshell, here’s the process: chop shallots, garlic, chili peppers, and tomatoes, you may crush all together with a squeeze of calamansi juice, then saute everything with belacan (shrimp paste) in a small amount of oil. You’re done if you feel the urge to sneeze.

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Not the saucy version as I didn’t crush the ingredients. Perfect accompaniment to my weekend lunch of fried eggplant and fried fish

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Here’s Made, the Balinese cook

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Made’s recipes in our cooking class can be found inside this Javanese cookbook

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Here’s Made again

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Front cover of the cookbook. A souvenir from my Jogja trip

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Womenfolk Knapsack

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Lady carrying a sack of goods in an alley in Jogja

Sounding Bamboo

An array of sound producing bamboo implements as traditional entertainment or toys of Java children.

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Flute, bird whistle, top (will make sound when spun) and the unidentified one as seen in Malioboro street, Yogyakarta

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Doing bird whistling by blowing and moving the stick at the same time

Mr. Durian is Southeast Asian

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He is very hard and spiky on the outside

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...but creamy and yummy in the inside

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He is my post dinner treat that made me post him here

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I then remember this snapshot I took in Malioboro St, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Wayang Kulit

The making of Indonesian leather (kulit) shadow puppets (wayang) is done by hand in several stages involving different artists just like the time-consuming and tedious process of making hand painted batik fabric.

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Punching holes one by one meticulously on the drawn outline in the buffalo hide

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Is there a word for extremely detailed?

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Putting on base paints

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Just an initial layer of paint and still more paintings to be done

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Layer upon layer of painting and then finishing it with gold leaf

This is how it looks like at the back of the white screen during the show. The stick attached in the middle is wedged to the banana trunk so that the dalang (puppet master) can move the other sticks attached to the limbs.

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By means of light behind the screen, the leather puppets come to life

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A dalang giving us a sample show in this puppet making place somewhere near kraton in Yogyakarta.

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His right foot has some kind of metal attached between his toes to hit a some kind of a tiny gong to produce sounds during the show

Lidded Enamel Mug

I’ve noticed merchants in the market in Yogyakarta have this lidded enamel mug with them, which is actually practical.

So find the mug:

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The mug has a character so I got one plus an enamel pot. 

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Local Market in Jogja

While shopping arcades/malls will draw the life out of me, local markets give the opposite effect. In a larger picture, Southeast Asian local markets look and feel the same though it’s just a generality. There are detailed contrasts between regions from the atmosphere, to the quantity of certain ingredients also the variety, the tools, the merchants and patrons, the layout, the arrangement, and even the ornamentation.

I went to this food market in Yogyakarta near Prawirotaman street and took joy (as usual) in my stroll within.
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Floor level seating is the norm.
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I’ve noticed that there’s no market type of shouting, a contrast to the palengkera manner of calling out to shoppers (in a good way) in the Philippines where that kind of market chaos (one that I love) is eternally present. These merchants were relatively quiet in Jogja.
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See the mangoes in that handsome timbangan (weighing scale). Also chilies, petai and sprouts in those flat round baskets.
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The chicken lady of the market and her timbangan. I like this photo.
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Spice pack of galangal, bay leaves and lemongrass. So unlike in the Philippines where one can see Knorr Cubes and Magic Sarap junk in the palengke.
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Those are palm sugar inside the clear plastic bags.
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The Indonesian cook who was with me the second time I went here says these are macadamia nuts commonly used in Indonesian cooking (but I think she meant candlenuts).
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Tahu Sumedang

Fried soybean curd block known as tahu, Sumedang-style and accompanied by green chili pepper when eaten.

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Padang

Assortment of fried or grilled stuff stacked on stacked plates by the display window. This buffet like arrangement looks better than the boring chafing dish.
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Not as well stacked as couple of hours earlier in this padang understandably because this was past lunch hour already.
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A look behind the display window where stacks of viand are almost gone.
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Tricolor Rice Eats

Rub-a-dub-dub, three sticky rice thing in a tub.
And what do you think they were?

This lady vendor in Prambanan Temple Compound has three appealing variations of sticky rice snack where the texture and taste are similar to a couple of glutinous rice based kakanin in the Philippines.
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The purple one taste like puto maya while the pink one looks like an odd-shaped mochi with no filling (I was too full of the purple and green stuff to try this one, and its color isn’t natural that’s why).
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The green thing that’s more visible in the photo below taste like suman sa lihiya but presented in tiny square bite size.

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Sticks as utensil and banana leaf as plate

Whichever color you’d choose, they’ll be served with that latik at the center of the tub (sugar-coconut syrup), and garnished with grated coconut meat.

Indonesian Yakult Lady

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Met the Petai Once More

My initial sighting of this bean was in a tamu in Sabah, Malaysia. Then spotted anew in a pasar and padang in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (where I had some boiled ones still in its pod). After that, a more than just a stumble upon story when I cooked sambal with petai (aka stinky beans) in a Javanese cooking class. My conclusion is that, Malays love petai.

Mostly I see this variety.
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But that brown one (in round tray) are also stinky beans says the cook.
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Same with these packed ones.
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Sambal with stinky beans in the bowl.
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Kerupuk Tin Can

A see-through tin receptacle for large kerupuk (starch/flour/rice crackers) that are oftentimes eaten as side dish to a rice meal, as in one would chomp on the crackers, then partake on rice with viand using hands, then chomp on the crackers again and so on in that manner.  I’ve easily acquired the taste and habit of having kerupuk in my meals and have simply adapted to this kind of eating while I was in Indonesia.

Keeping kerupuk close to the padang diners by having a can or two in every table
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Several cans within reach in this gudeg lesehan
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Fish Organizer

Weaved bamboo canister to organize fish in twos.
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Bike Cargo: Clay Stoves

An everyday scene in Yogyakarta where weaved baskets as bicycle saddlebags carry different kinds of stuff like in this one – clay stoves.
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Becak

Becak drivers are truly fit.
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Tempe

Very common in Javanese diet is this fermented whole soybeans known as tempe (or tempeh).

The lady at the market was showing the whole soybeans in banana leaf ready to be fermented inside those sacks in the floor.
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Fermentation process ongoing in those sacks. After 24 hours one can already enjoy the protein rich tempe.
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Newly fermented tempe on the table. Still warm when we bought it.
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Slicing tempe in thin strips and frying it till crispy then covering it in caramel sauce using palm sugar will make a perfect accompaniment to spicy dishes.
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Lesehan

A kind of street restaurant (rather a sidewalk one) minus the chairs. But who needs chairs when one can comfortably sit and eat on the floor. Utensils are optional too but each one gets a bowl of water for handwashing.
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The floor mat I noticed were those weaved plastic ones.
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One can always have a typical restaurant dinner anytime in my home country and for occasions such as New Year’s Eve it’s kind of natural thinking for most (who can afford) to celebrate it in fancier restaurants (if eating outside home), in fine dining style. But my last dinner for 2013 was a very satisfying meal of bebek goreng and nasi goreng with lots of sambal, hand as utensils, in lesehan-style.

Javanese Batik: Stamped Ones

Still handmade as the motif is stamped by hand although in this way one can now mass produce the designs. 

Artisans in Solo created these art in copper blocks.
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The copper block is dipped in hot wax and stamped into the fabric carefully. The sizes of the blocks vary like there’s a small rectangular one below for the border.
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And this one’s a square block to cover large areas like the center of the round table cloth. 
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The above pattern in brownish wax will be the white area when the round table cloth is dyed in indigo.
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Javanese Batik: Hand Painted Ones

A hand painted batik motif (batik tulis) will take about three months to finish. Longer than those stamped ones (though still by hand).

Motifs are hand-drawn in white fabric.
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Then, waxing those parts that will remain white or will be in different color using that pen like tiny tool with metal cup and spout for the wax.
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At the center is the wax in copper container used by the craftswomen.
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After dyeing in blue (dark blue/indigo), those white ones have remained white because the patterns were covered in wax. Wax was removed by means of boiling water.
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Waxing those blue area that will remain blue and white area that will remain white when cloth is dyed in brown color (or in any other color).  Blue and brown are natural dyes that came from plants and also the traditional colors of Javanese batik.
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Dyeing area.
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To remove all the wax, boiling water is used on the fabric. To remove some of the wax (for selective dyeing on various sections of the fabric), manual scraping is done by hand.

Waxing, dyeing, drying, scraping/boiling water, then repeat until desired color combination is accomplished. The end product is the beautiful batik fabric.

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