Monday, November 25, 2013

Indonesian Pilaf

Several years ago, Kashi ran an ad in Real Simple magazine. Included in the ad was a recipe for Indonesian Pilaf. In my pre-Pinterest days, I tore it out and added it to my recipe binder. I've tweaked it over the years and it has become a staple in our house. I usually have all of the ingredients on hand, so it's an easy switch on those days when I'm not feeling up to making whatever recipe I had on the menu plan.

For a long time, I kept skipping over this one because I thought I had to buy the Kashi packet, and as a general rule, I avoid mixes and packets. Finally I read the fine print and realized I could use any grain I wanted. Dutch cuisine includes a lot of Indonesian foods, given the whole Dutch occupation. Politics aside, it sounded yummy and I loved all the colors.

adapted from

  • 2 cups grain of your choice. (In this iteration, I used a combination of wheat berries, spelt berries, and barley. Other options include brown rice, couscous, or quinoa)
  • 1/2 cup whole peanuts
  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 1-1/2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 cup raisins (or cranberries, or a combination of both)
  • 1 small carrot, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup organic red cabbage, diced 
  • 2 cups kale, chopped (or spinach, if you prefer)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/2 organic red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped or 2 Tablespoons dried
  • 2 Tablespoons katsap manis, or soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoons brown rice vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoons fresh ginger root, grated or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoons crushed red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoons raw sugar or coconut sugar

1. Cook grain according to instructions.

Couscous works well with this recipe if you want dinner on the table quickly. But after making this recipe with barley, wheat berries, and spelt berries, I now prefer to take the extra time for a more filling version of this versatile recipe.  

Start cooking your grain first. That way, it will be ready by the time the veggie mix is prepped and ready.
2.  Dry toast peanuts in a small skillet until golden brown and set aside. I'm not able to multi-task when roasting. It only take a couple of minutes, so I give the nuts my full attention so I can take them off the stove when they start sweating and before they burn.

3. Once the grains are cooking and the peanuts are roasted, start prepping your vegetables.

We use red cabbage a lot, as it is very common in Dutch meals. To save time, we chop up a whole head at a time and freeze it.

4. Sauté garlic and onion in  the first 2 teaspoons of sesame oil in a large skillet until limp. I usually keep pre-chopped red onion in our freezer, like I used in this picture.

Unless, of course, you are out of red onion, in which case you skip it! I'm telling you, this recipe is very flexible.

5. Add cumin and coriander and stir.

5. Add cranberries, raisins, carrots, cabbage, kale, salt, water and stir well.

If I'm using fresh garlic, I usually add it now. If I'm using ground garlic, I add it later. 

Cover with lid, reduce heat to low, simmer for 3 minutes (or until kale is wilted), then remove from heat.

6. In a large mixing bowl, combine sauté mixture with cooked grain, red bell pepper, cilantro, and toasted peanuts and mix well. (I was out of red peppers. Our son is a pepper thief!)

7. In a small bowl, combine remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil, katsap manis, rice vinegar, ground ginger (if grated ginger was not added to the pilaf mixture), red chili flakes, and coconut sugar. Whisk together.

8. Add liquid to pilaf mixture, stir well and enjoy.

Eet smakelijk!

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  1. Oh wow! This looks delightful and nutritious! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

    Wishing you a lovely day.

  2. That looks so flavorful. I might have to try this. Thanks for linking up to the all things pretty party.

  3. I love all of the colors. That is really pretty! More colors means more nutrition.

  4. What a colorful dish, must be healthy and tasty. Thank you for linking to the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. I look forward to seeing you next week.

  5. I have never tried anything like this but it looks amazing and I want to add it to my menu for this week. Would love for you to come over and share at my linky party that is happening now


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