Great, healthy food.

Sorry I've been absent for so long but as I was travelling for a while, and normally, to take that time off, I've got organize so much stuff, that The Life Juice got left behind. You know, before I travel, I write lists, packing lists, to do, to call, to shop, laundry, dog, kids, etc, so that at home, everything still runs smoothly in my absence. Bali was my destination, a first, and since I love south-east Asia, I was super excited!! One the things I really wanted to do was a cooking lesson and at this amazing boutique hotel I stayed at, Tugu Hotel in Canguu, with Iboe Soelastri, the hotel's chef of Indonesian cuisine, I did just that.

We started early, left at 7am to go to the market, to buy indigenous products, like tamarind, fresh bay leaf, coconut, fresh of course to grate, and a whole lot of other things. They use a lot of coriander, like we do in Portugal, but dried, in seeds, and bay leaf but fresh, not dried like we do here!  

I'd chosen my dishes the day before, based on what ingredients I could get back home, ( you can get all of the more unusual ingredients at the shops around the Martim Moniz area in Lisbon), and also what I wasn't so comfortable with, fish! I'm lucky to love all kinds of food and so do the children, so this is easy to replicate at home.  

All the exotic and essential ingredients that make the difference.

I want to share with these out of this world recipes, so you can make them at home too. 

If you don't have lemongrass, just use normal wooden skewers, don't forget to soak them previously, otherwise they'll burn. 

Before grilling....

Frying up the shredded chicken.

Mixing the minced beef with the spices

Rolling the minced beef in a croquette shape and then making the banana leaf case.I think you can substitute the leaf for wax paper.

Steamed in a basket  but you can use a bamboo basket over a frying pan for this.

This fantastic pestle and mortar was difficult to handle but got the job done. 

Hope you enjoy yourself as much a I did, the taste is amazingly spicy and perfect for theses autumn days.

xxx

Isabel

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