Pressed Rice or Rice cubes,vegetable stew and groundnut gravy is a very famous cuisine in Malaysia. Even thou the originality of the dish is said from Indonesia, these three in one dish has found its way to Malaysia and Singapore.
One of traditional Malay food that often served during Eid /Raya festival, ketupat is famous not only in Malaysia but also in Indonesia, Philiphines, Singapore and Brunei (where it is known by the name of Patupat in Kapampangan. Puso in Cebuano, or Ta'mu in Tausug). Also known as rice cake or rice dumplin, ketupat is cooked in intricately woven palm leaf “baskets” or pouch and cut into cubes before serving.
And due to modernization, we can also have instant ketupat nowadays. Just head to any supermarket and you can easily find the package of “ketupat mini”. But don't expect it to come with the palm leave pouch as it is pre-packed in small plastic pouch (might as well called as mini nasi impit). And even the ground nut gravy can be found easily in the supermarket. Besides using palm leaves or palas leaves to make the pouch, some people sometimes subtitutes this palm leave with plastic bag, and this type of rice is famously known as "nasi impit".
Sayur Lodeh is an everyday vegetable stew in a thin coconut milk gravy . It is traditionally served with nasi impit and is an appealing dish for vegetarians.The stew is eaten with fragrant sweet and spicy groundnut gravy.
The Sayur Lodeh gets elevated to a festive dish with the addition of nasi impit . Beside pressed rice, sayur lodeh is served with a spicy gravy . This spicy gravy can be ground nut sauce , beef or chicken rendang or even with a sambal relish.
This dish can be found in the malay food stall or just walk along the street market especially in Johor.But thru out the years the dish is scattered all over Malaysia that you can find Lontong(another name that Nasi Impit is known as ) in most states around Malaysia.The difference can be on the ingredients in the stew and the topping served.
Serve the mouth-size cube and pour the lodeh stew into your plate top with groundnut gravy and drool yourself with the tasty tradition passed down from generations to generations.
Pressed Rice/Nasi Impit
I have used the ready made Adabi brand mini nasi impit.Each bag is about 6.5cm X 7.5cm in size and has about 20gms of uncooked rice.These ready made rice bags should be boiled for 60 - 90 minutes. The boiling pot should be covered at all times.When rice sachet has expanded and cooked ,take it out to cool.The rice should cook well and be compact in the plastic.
(Grind paste of bird eye chillies,shallots and fresh turmeric, uncooked rice bags and compact cooked rice bags)
500gm uncooked rice
1 liter water
¼ tsp salt
You can create your own rice bags, Place rice in a plastic bag which is heat resistance ,sew one end of it and cook in boiling water. If not
Cook rice in a square pan .Cover with a plastic and place a heavy object on the pan while the rice is still hot. Leave it for 4 to 6 hrs to cool. Cut into cubes.
Vegetable Stew/Sayur Lodeh
From right: carrots, long beans,cabbage,tempe, semi fried tauhu,,lemon grass,suun(glass vermicelli,julienne turmeric leaves.
Center: sliced red and green chillies
1 packet tempe
2 semi fried or white firm bean curd
100gms long beans
30 glass vermicelli/suun
2 green chillies(slice thinly)
2 red chillies(slice thinly)
500ml coconut milk
2 turmeric leaves(julienne)
2 lemon grass (bruised)
Salt and sugar to taste
Grind into a paste
6 large shallots
4-5 bird eye chillies
½ in fresh turmeric
Cut tempe and beancurd in rectangular shapes.Deep fry both ingredients separately in oil and keep aside.Cut small the cabbage,long beans and carrots.Soak the vermicelli in 1 cup water. After 15mins squeeze out and leave aside.
Mix coconut milk(keep aside 1 cup of coconut milk) with the grind ingredients in a pot.Leave to boil in low heat.Once boiling , add in carrots and long beans.After the carrots soften, add in green and red chillies,cabbage,tempe ,bean curd and glass vermicelli. Add in salt and sugar. Leave to cook for another 5 mins. Pour in the balance 1 cup of coconut milk and add in turmeric leaves.Adjust the seasoning. Once the gravy start to have one or two bubbles close fire.
Note: You can lessen on the bird eye chillies if desired since topping with groundnut gravy is spicy.
Groundnut Gravy/Kuah Kacang
100gm groundnut (roast and discard the skin)
120ml coconut milk
100gm palm sugar
Salt and sugar to taste
Grind into a paste
4 nips garlic
2 lemon grass
100 dried chillies(soak in water for 15mins nd squeeze out)
Pound coarsely the groundnuts.Keep aside.
Heat about 4 tbsp oil, sauté the grounded ingredients until oil floats on top.Add palm sugar and salt to taste. Pour in coconut milk and leave to cook in low heat. Once the oil start to float at the edges of the wok, add in ground nuts.Saute further. At this stage check seasoning. If you want more sweet add in some sugar . This gravy should be more on the sweeter side. If you feel the gravy is too thick, pour about 1 cup of water and make it in pouring consistency.Close fire. Serve with nasi impit and sayur lodeh.
Note : If you are a non vegetarian , add ½ in of shrimp paste in groundnut gravy.Grind it with the rest of the ingredients.
You can also add some dried shrimp in your vegetable stew. Soak the dried prawns for 20mins.Squeeze out the water and pound coarsely.Deep fry in oil slightly brown then add into the stew.
The above 3 recipes Pressed Rice,Vegetable Stew and Groundnut Gravy goes to the event AWED-Malaysia started by DK of Chef In You and at present hosted by Annarasa.
Sayur Lodeh or Vegetable Stew is my entry for the event Think Spice-Think Turmeric started by Sunita and at present hosted by Bengali Cuisine.Other entries are
Curry Laksa, ,Spicy Prawn Canapes, and Water Convolvulus In Spicy Coconut Milk
Sending again the above recipes for the Combo Event hosted by Cooking GoodFood