Bubur Ayam Kampung ala Peranakan

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In the process of cooking daily in Warungkita, I realised for me food are part of my expression of nostalgia and I am my own storyteller through my own family recipes.

I talked the history of this long signature dish of: Bubur Ayam Kampung ala Peranakan (rice porridge aka congee Chinese Indonesian style) that reach my friend Nino’s table yesterday rainy afternoon and we had this talk.

When I grew up, my family favourite spot for Bubur is this particular famous restaurant in Cipayung (all the way after Puncak) called Sudi Mampir (Why Don’t You Drop By – basically the name of the restaurant). They sell the best comforting bubur in the world. My mom and me has always taken by this, and since Cipayung is two hours away (minus traffic) from our home, we tried to make this at home, guessing the recipe by the sense of our tongue, trying to replicate the taste of this particular type of bubur. We managed to have them close to its taste until the day she died.

When my mother was diagnose with cancer in 2005. Her sense of enjoyment of food was lost. And I had to see her pass her days, slipping and slipping further away towards death.

There is a saying in our family or a general belief, that the closest you are to death, in the end you will keep on eating your favourite food. At her death bed, my mother requested a particular shark fin soup from TRIO restaurant in Cikini, which my best friend Alia brought all the way from Jakarta, before she went to a coma. And its one of the last dish that she eat with delight before she died. TRIO restaurant has also been my grandfather favourite when our family still stayed in Jakarta.

A week before my father died, he requested to my grandmother house assistant to cook all his favourite food. I am reflecting now, that food is the closest thing that still attached to us when our sense of life is still lingering. Its the symbol of our survival urge to cling with material world.

My only way as my mother’s daughter at that time, hopelessly 22 and lost with the sight of death, was to go back to my mother’s pots and pan. And cook this particular bubur recipe. It become the only thing that my mother can eat and digest. And yes, I believe every time I stir the pot, I put all my love and tears, and maybe a tinge of fear even with the fact that I know I am going to lose her.

But in the process years later I ended up improving this recipe and reclaim them as my own. I add ginger, lemongrass and a whole of ayam kampung (free range chicken) to the pot. Making them to have the reputation of bringing people back to life (I wish) when one of my best friend name them “Bubur Pembangkit Mayat” (The Porridge that Can Rise Death People).

Such reputation came in the changing season or at the rainy afternoon like yesterday that hit Jogja. When a friend or my son or even myself is going to catch the flu or cough or slightly shivering, I always make this one whole pot of chicken porridge. It really help people who are sick and a very comforting dish. I remember when my best friend, Dina, can’t eat anything in her early trimester of pregnancy, I always come to her house and cook this for her. This porridge had grown to something we all love together. I am so glad how this memories has turn out to be one of my most meaningful story.

Thank you for sharing this pot, Nino, by coming to our warung in the middle of the heavy rain. And also every other friends, worker, customer that had enjoy this pot of memorable porridge. Thank you for sharing my memories. I will not forget this.

Have a nice Sunday

This post is a late post from a few months back. Slowly going back to the blogging world.

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Our Bubur Ayam Kampung is serve every Saturday in @warungkitajogja,

Nitiprayan – Jogjakarta

Karanganyar: Cetho Temple, Kethek Temple and Sukuh Temple

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Sunrise view from Candi Cetho, Merapi, Merbabu and Sindoro Mountains range, Central Java, Indonesia

I’ve been missing Java a little bit since moving to Bali for a while, and I remembered this trip that I impulsively did before I went to Kathmandu again last year. I went with the boys, my ‘brothers’ and my son, Bhumy, to Candi Cetho and Candi Sukuh in Karanganyar, Central Java.

These two magnificent old temple have a special meaning to me since the very beginning of my first visit way back in 2005. Its located near Solo where my father lineage come from, its been an inspiration for my favourite theatre, Teater Garasi, in Jogjakarta for their masterpiece work of Watubatu. It has also been always a personal pilgrimage for my Javanese ancestors.

Their unique architecture style are one of my favourite in Java. It is somewhere reminding people with the style in Latin America. I am so glad that I could take Bhumy in this trip and also visiting a newly found temple behind Candi Cetho, Candi Kethek (The Monkey Temple).

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Krisna praying in Kethek Temple, Central Java, Indonesia

IMG_0329The boys on top of Kethek Temple

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Bhumy in the path to Kethek Temple, Karanganyar, Central Java

Its nice to see my son back on his barefoot and exploring the wilderness with his uncles. We rent a car for two days and head off to the temple. The small hotels are still nice like I remember. The feeling of the place stayed sacred after seven years even.

I took the bath in the Saraswati statue, where they have one of the best water spring in the area. It brings the memories of a personal silent time I had with the place years ago and somehow I awash all those memories that I need to let go. I felt home and quiet at peace.

IMG_0649  IMG_0638Cetho Temple, Karanganyar, Centra Java

While entering Sukuh temple, one of the local old guide explained to us a lot and even showing Bhumy a lot of things while we were there. The architecture of both temples are still a mystery for modern archeology. The way they made the statues and the way it constructed like a certain pyramid has somehow become a missing link in the typical Hindu-Buddhist period of Java. I had a long talk before with one of my professor and we agree that the theory of its age is more likely that its dated on the site latest renovation that happened in 17th century. This place feels ancient to me. Much much more ancient.

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IMG_0678Candi Sukuh, Karanganyar, Central Java, Indonesia

The Hindu in Indonesia do regular ceremony and pilgrimage to both places. Also the Javanese that also still practicing Kejawen rituals. Both of these sites are still active, so please show your respect while you are exploring these areas especially when people are praying and practice certain rituals. Its as sacred as any places of worship.

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Yogyakarta: One Billion Rising

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“ONE in THREE WOMEN would be RAPED or BEATEN in her lifetime. That’s ONE BILLION too many! STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN!” #OneBillionRising

We’ve been waiting for this day. Of all rising. 14th February 2013. This is the One Billion Rising against Violence towards Women. In Yogyakarta, people starting to gather in front of the Inna Garuda of Malioboro Street. We were going to have a V-Rally along the street at 4 PM. People talked whether it was going to rain soon.

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And the rain storm did come, with a slight of hard wind. It took us around 10 minutes to decide, the heck of it, let’s go dancing through the rain. Let’s celebrate ourselves, women, the mothers, the daughters and sisters within ourselves! LET’S RISE TOGETHER! Saying out lout to STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN!

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P1000607We dance under the rain, being blessed by mother nature for such a beautiful and inspiring day. FIGHT, DANCE and RISE! With all the love from Yogyakarta to every single of you and the rest of the world!

All photo credits to Lingga Tri Utama, the complete set can be seen here. And the One Billion Rising Jogja album. We are also being covered by the Guardian here.

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Rise with me, Rise with Us #OneBillionRising

I’ve read their stories for years.

I’ve experience what they experience.

I’ve share my own stories.

I’ve feel what they feel.

And I feel I have had ENOUGH!

NOW, I’m rising with them!

I’ll see you ALL on 14th of February 2013!

JOIN US! More information:

Yogyakarta: https://www.facebook.com/OneBillionRisingJogja

Indonesia: http://www.onebillionrisingindonesia.org

The Globe: http://onebillionrising.org

Imogiri: A Visit to Bumi Langit Permaculture Center

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Mas Salas carrying Safia and explaining to Labodalih about the waste water garden

It was a sunny Saturday morning to start with. It was a date with my regular organic vegetable seller- the Bumi Langit Permaculture guys- and my favorite guys: Asabhumy (me son), Labodalih Sembiring and Paul Daley. Mas Adri was waiting for us in Milas after the organic market finish at 12 PM, Mas Salas end up taking us up to Imogiri under the slight drizzle not long after we had our motorcycle drive. Despite Paul having a flat tire and we had to stop for some tea/coffee, the way up to Imogiri worth the best excitement and amazement of my son pointing in to whatever directions of the green surrounding landscapes. We even have not arrive yet.

Entering Bumi Langit you could feel the change in the air, the slight mist and the smell of fresh rain on the ground. All the oxygen you can feel coming to refresh your lungs from the city pollution. You feel you are relaxed on your own skin. And mother nature says hi.

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Bumi Langit Biogas Tanks

While waiting for Khrisna to finish doing his things, Mas Salas carry Safia (Khrisna’s youngest sister) and took us for a tour in Bumi Langit. We went first to the waste water garden (well literally things grow above your septic tank :D) next to the biogas tanks. Then into the pool of ducks, where the filtered water create a little ponds.

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Duck Pond

This is where Bhumy getting so excited and he even pee near the pond. This area reminds me of my childhood. We used to raise chickens and my dad make the farm above water, putting the chicken in bamboo huts where their discharge fall into the water to feed carps. We had a great harvest back then. It is great to see Bhumy being comfortable running around the place and being friendly with the animals. It’s tragic and sad to see many city kids todays being so unfamiliar with nature. It feels so unnatural for a human being to be disconnected with nature. It is such a loss to our future generation to lost this kind of relationship with the earth. Our home. Our own mother.

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The view of the permaculture farm

Khrisna finally join us in the middle of our little tour. We walk and talk while seeing the amazing surrounding and the permaculture system set up in Bumi Langit. Khrisna took us for another tour, while the clinging Safia is forbidding Mas Salas to go home. Let’s the photo speak from now.

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Bhumy going up the stairs

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Put plastic in the right bin

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The view of Jogja sky from Bumi Langit

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A few days old lamb, photo taken by Labodalih Sembiring

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Khrisna and his cows, photo taken by Labodalih Sembiring

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Bhumy on his way up again

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Papaya tree on the wall

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Lushful mints and basil

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Khrisna new site

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The view from Khrisna’s house

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Amaranth seeds, 80 % protein and high antioxidant, very easy to grow

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End up cooking meals for the guys and family of Bumi Langit

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Late night talks and discussion on permaculture and near future plans, photo taken by Labodalih Sembiring

At the end of the day our experience with Bumi Langit really lived its name. Bumi means Earth, like my son (just different spelling) while langit means sky. It feels like you are among the earth and the sky while you are here. Appreciating the nature and being amaze with the ecosystem. Khrisna father’s, Iskandar Waworuntu, started this place with his own family and communities. While his eldest son and Khrisna’s older brother, Tantra, is based in Bali in a similar sort of setting and permaculture set up. There is a lot to learn in one day and we will definitely coming again as regular visitor. Do visit when you are in Jogjakarta area :) It is such an inspiring place to live in. Great and amazing people. Vibrant and positive energy for the planet.

Bogor: Hometown Street Food Series #1

2013-01-13 14.11.45Gedung Dalem street food stalls

I was back at my hometown Bogor last weekend. Despite the short trip, I manage to get parts of my craving on hometown cuisine. I might as well would do some series in my short trips to Bogor every now and again. Anyway, like always, Bogor always, ALWAYS rain! It’s the famous rain city of the archipelago after Pontianak, second highest rate in this country.

All of people coming to Bogor always hunt for the famous Asinan Gedung Dalem (basically pickle) and Roti Unyil Venus (small cute bread in various of flavor and toppings). The asinan divide into two types, the fruity sweet ones and the semi salty vegetable ones. I like the fruit ones the best. I would not post about those two famous things here. But I would post about the Gedung Dalem street food just in front of the Asinan Gedung Dalem stores.

2013-01-13 14.05.31People trying to decide to get the many foods in this crammed stalls

Before they move to a newer building and having a few branch in the city, this area is famous for their traffic jam in the weekend, because everyone and everybody crammed for buying the famous asinan. The traffic jam lessen in this area now, although Bogor is still packed with weekenders from Jakarta every bloody weekend.

Anyway, basically the street food stall in front of the store made to be a small alley, despite the rain do sit and enjoy the varieties food that they offer here. Here’s are my favorites from the area:

2013-01-13 14.10.18Lumpia Basah Gedung Dalem

This is my old time favorite and also my mother, I usually buy the one on the right corner stall. Despite there are options of buying fried ones, the specialty of this place to offer is the wet lumpia (springroll) or famously known as Lumpia Basah Gedung Dalem. Per piece is only 7000 IDR. Served hot with their own sambal. The guy made the filling, stir fry on the spot with fresh bamboo shots, eggs, dry shrimp, garlic, tofu, bean sprouts. Super delicious, wrap with soft spring roll skin and banana leaves. A delicious treat!

2013-01-13 17.05.27Wet Springroll, still warm!

While going just across the street, you will find RM Sisca. This small restaurant is famous for their Nasi Pepes Ayam. It is basically rice steam with coconut milk, chicken, jambal dry fish, indonesian basil, chilies, petai (stink beans), wrapped in banana leaves. The sambal here is special too. Trust me you will finish two portion in one go.

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As a child I always love when my family made the nutmeg syrup. That’s why I lurvveeeee the ice nutmeg syrup they have and serve with slices of the nutmeg fruit! The yummiest thing ever :D And yeah, in Gedung Dalem stalls they come with other variety such as Mango and Soursoup.

2013-01-13 14.05.08Nutmeg, mango, sour soup ice drinks

Another area for famous street food is the Kesatuan alley via Suryakencana street. I’ll take more picture next time, but here is a little peek on the famous ice nutmeg sellers of this street. It’s one of the best in town!

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Bogor Selatan-20120519-00011Nutmeg slices in nutmeg syrup, the best in a hot day!

Gunung Kidul: The Sacred Beach of Ngobaran

P1050968Bowing towards the sea from Ngobaran beach

She decided to free herself, dance into the wind, create a new language. And birds fluttered around her, writing “yes” into the sky. ~ Monique Duval

Entering the last month of 2012, somehow made me reflect a lot. The above quote is a summary of about how I feel this year. Those quote somehow remind me of the feeling when I arrived in Ngobaran beach. I had my first trip to Ngobaran beach with Patrick and Pak Moko. We passed the hilly roads of Gunungkidul which had that certain melancholic view, crossing the teak forest and all. Ngobaran, the word come from both Javanese and Indonesian “Kobar”. “Kobar” means flame, “ngobaran” means in flame.

The place itself believed by the local as the place where the last Hindu king from Majapahit kingdom, Brawijaya V, immolated himself to death. Some believe he is “moksa” (vanish into enlightenment). The official story which I read in the morning of the government tourism sign, was a little odd myth. It is said that the last king had two wives, they were being chased by new ruler from Demak, which are no other than one of his son, Raden Patah. Before he immolate himself he asked the two wives a question “How much is your love to me?” His second wife, Dewi Lowati, said her love is as big as the mountain. While his first wife, Bondang Surati answer that her love is like a dirty nail, where when she cut it, it will always grow. Realizing that his second wife love is lesser than the first one, he pulled Dewi Lowati to burn with him into the fire.

Although there are many tales around about the death of Brawijaya V, I found this quite intriguing. Not to mention, the surrounding temple complex. A sacred pura (temple) with Balinese style undergoing a renovation. A new looking candi recently build by the Kraton. A sacred petilasan of Brawijaya V, with wooden huts on top of the highest cliff point towards the sea. A temple build exclusively to the South Sea Queen. Caves. A mosque facing the south and next to a lingga. The diversity of beliefs in this place make it one of the favorite sacred spot for many people coming here.

IMG00660-20120917-1718A new recently build candi

P1050955Temple complex and above the hill is the petilasan

P1050980The mosque and the lingga

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Sea urchin stir fry, high protein!

Magnificent sunset from above the petilasan. Sleep under the stars by the candi. Hearing the waves all night long. Eating stir fry sea urchin of local specialty with rice and hot sambal. Entering a cave that rain from the inside. Those were the things you could do while in Ngobaran. Do things with respect because you could felt the sacred sense of this place no matter you believe the myth or not.

IMG00663-20120917-1726The magical sunset of Ngobaran

I really could stay up in Ngobaran once again, just to make it another sanctuary when I need to write my own language. Where the nature, spirit and self talked as one.