So Can You Cook? 4

2 tablespoons peanut oil (or other if allergic)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3cm piece ginger, peeled, grated
½ banana chilli, deseeded and cut into strips
2 medium banana eggplants, cut into fine strips
200g marrow or squash, peeled, deseeded, cut into fine strips
1 tablespoon spice paste (recipe to follow)
Salt to taste
6 pieces banana leaf, each 20cm square (available from Harris Farm or quality grocer)
8 shallots, peeled
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
10 cm piece fresh turmeric, peeled (try Asian grocers, or use dried to taste)
6 lge red chillies, deseeded
5cm galangal, peeled (Asian member of the ginger family. Substitute ginger)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
2 kaffir lime leaves (Harris Farm grocers)
100g candlenuts (try a health food store, or Asian grocers. “Herbies” at Rozelle stock them. They are used to thicken the paste)
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised (use the flat of your knife_
2 tablespoons peanut oil (or other if allergic)
Coarsely grind all ingredients except lemongrass in a mortar and pestle(prefered), or a food processor. Heat oil in a heavy-based pan, add the paste. Add lemongrass and cook over a LOW heat for 30 minutes. Cool completely before using.
This will keep in the fridge for 1 week, or freeze small quantities.

Recipe continues
Heat a wok or heavy-based frying pan. Add oil. When smoking, add garlic, ginger, chilli, eggplant and marrow. Sauté for 2 minutes until golden, then add spice paste. Stir, season, then remove from heat. Wash and dry banana leaf. Soften for 5 minutes in a moderate (180C) oven, so they will fold without splitting. Set on a bench, and divide mixture between them. Fold ends of leaf in, then roll to seal the parcel. Secure with a toothpick. Steam for 20 minutes and serve as a snack.
NB Banana leaves are not eaten. They are used to protect their contents, and give a subtle flavour. Wrap and freeze extra parcels for later use.
Makes 6 parcels
Approx $2.00 per parcel

I adore the flavour of tamarind. It’so sweet/sour. You can get it from Asian grocers, or from “Herbies” at Rozelle.

Fresh fruit such as papaya, mango, pineapple, lychees, rambutans, pawpaw, berries and passionfruit.
¾ cup palm sugar, chopped
½ cup water
1 pandanus leaf (Harris Farm or Asian grocer)
4 tablespoons tamarind paste (no seeds)
4 red birds-eye chillies, whole
Pinch of salt

Bring palm sugar, water and pandanus leaf to the boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add tamarind paste, chillies and salt and simmer 5-10 minutes. Cool before drizzling over fruit salad for an unusual hot-sweet-sour dressing.
Serves 4-6 (depending on size and quantity of fruit)
Approx $2.80 per head

Tim Alderman 2015


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