How to cook Soto Ayam…

I’ve been living in Indonesia for nearly ten years. After travelling the world for nearly 7 years, I fell in Love with a tiny island called Gili Air. I think what made me stay here is first and foremost the friendlyness of the local people. My second favorite thing is the food. As I move forward in life, more and more my attention gets drawn to the importance of nutrition and how little we know about it… I mean sometimes it kind of feels like there’s a pill for everything, but we forget that by improving our way to eat, we can change a lot. I mean its the fuel to our vessel, which is our body. A healthy body, ensures the first step to a healthy mind.

I’ve been organising various retreats in our property Slow Villas and Spa in Gili Air. Where I’ve always loved combining organic healthy food with Indonesian cuisine.

One of my all time favorites is the Indonesian chicken soup; also called Soto Ayam.

Just a small note. Its also great for when you have the flue.

Titi, my Indonesian friend has agreed to help me improve my Indonesia cooking every Saturday. I feel so blessed, because her Indonesian cooking is exquisite. Passed from generation to generation in her family. Stay tuned and lets take our taste buds on a journey of pleasure.

First clean the chicken and cut it in pieces. Cover it with water and put it on the stove.

In one plate peel and cut, shallots, garlic, ginger, turmeric and galingal. After which you can crunsh them all together.

I think today is the day I understood why in 10 years, I haven’t seen one couple of Indonesians fight. Seeing Titi banging on those veggies, haha, now thats the best anger management you can get!

Fry the mix in oil. Add the green spings of spring shallots.

On the next plate, cut top and bottom off from the lemongrass sticks; and off course crush them! Another hit of anger management, love it! Plus that stone smasher rocks, haha!

Titi: ” Add the “Bumbu” to the chicken, Julie!” Said Titi

Translation, the “Bumbu” is the paste we just crushed and fried.

Julie: “Ok!”

Titi: “Add the galangal!”

Julie: “Ok!”

Titi: “Add the lime leaf (from the garden “Love”)

Julie: “Ok!”

Titi: ” Add salt and some sugar to bring the taste of the ingredients up (thats probably why they think putting sugar in dpagetti sauce is a good idea haha)

Titi: ” Now, fry the shallots, for topping.”

I have to admit it feels great to have a boss in my kitchen. For once I don’t have to lead. Totally surrendered, I’m loving this so much.

Titi: “Add celery in the chicken soup.”

Then add the fried shallots on top.

Smell Smell Smell!

How to make sambal?

Fry tomato, shallot, chili, garlic; 2 types of chili (take the seeds out of the big one, make a little cut in yhe small ones so they don’t pop). Then crush it all together and add more tomato if its too spicy.

Garnish with cabbage, lime, egg and sambal!

Bon appetit!

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