Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Jul 15, 2002

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus Delhi Published on Mondays & Thursdays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Thiruvananthapuram    Visakhapatnam   

Indonesia on a platter...

Though lesser known than Chinese and Thai food, Indonesian cuisine is yet another Asian delight. Apart from the popular dish Nasi Goreng, the world's largest archipelago can boast of an array of delectable delicacies. A bite at the ongoing Indonesian food fest at The Palms, The Oberoi's coffee shop can well be a discovery, says SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTY... .

INDONESIAN CUISINE for most, ends at Nasi Goreng. But Chef Mohan Gyani at The Oberoi's would like to brush aside this common tendency: The food from the world's largest archipelago is much more than just that. Chicken fried rice topped with fried egg and chicken satay to accompany, Nasi Goreng is no doubt a diner's delight, but there is a whole gamut of delicious dishes that Indonesia can boast of, he says.

Exposed to a variety of influences from across the world, Indonesian cuisine today is a thick cocktail of Indian, Chinese, Thai, Middle-Eastern and European taste, kneaded into a fine blend.

"Though it has various influences, most of the Indonesian dishes would be sweet, sour and salty at the same time, which gives the cuisine a distinct character," says the chef, who is at present churning out Indonesian food at The Oberoi's restaurant The Palms this July.

"As you eat a particular dish, you would find all the familiar tastes in your mouth and yet different. Take for example, Gulai Korma Kambing, which is a part of the ongoing Indonesian food festival at the restaurant. It is a lamb stew, made with raw mango to give a tangy taste, balanced by black mushrooms," he says.True to its Asian roots, most of the Indonesian food has generous doses of herbs like lemongrass, galangal, basil and coriander, besides shrimp paste, coconut and interesting combinations like peanut and honey.

"When you taste Ayam Saus Kachang Madu, a chicken dish flavoured with peanut and honey, available in the restaurant, you would know what I am talking about. It is a rare combination," he says. A few more interesting dishes waiting for a bite at The Palms are Ayam Gulung Urap-Urapan Saus Kemangi - comprising chicken chunks with spicy coconut stuffing in a blanket of sauce made of basil and chilli - and Udang Putih Surbaya, which has prawns cooked with lemongrass and galangal, a dish close in taste to Kerala's Fish Moili. Chef Gyani's menu also has some mouth-watering starters like red bean croquettes, spicy chicken salad from Bali and assorted vegetable salad served with peanut and shrimp paste. Plus, there are Indonesian desserts. Lapis Pepe Buah Segar, a rice flour cake layered with fruits and brown sugar is an eye catcher.

Beginning at Rs. 160, the prices of the dishes go up to Rs. 600.

If you ask the chef what made him think of the idea to cook Indonesian food, he would say, "A long time ago, when I cooked a few dishes, not only I but others too liked it. Since every month, we do promotions of different cuisines, I thought why not try Indonesian this time." He says he is happy to see the response so far.

As he leaves you after the chat with a tastefully laid out Indonesian delight for a gastronomical joyride amidst a series of paintings of palms by a Spanish artist, Chef Gyani says, "Silahkan Makan" - an Indonesian equivalent to bon appetit.

It's easy to fall in with the suggestion. These morsels melt in the mouth. But pronouncing their names correctly - that's more than a challenge for the untutored tongue!

Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Thiruvananthapuram    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Quest | Folio |

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |

Comments to :   Copyright 2002, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu