Something Indonesian: Wajik Ketan
One of the thing I love about my home country Indonesia is it's traditional Food. Having 17.000 something islands, we are blessed with different cultures and different dialects as well as many different type of traditional foods. My mother is a great cook. She used to have her own small diner when I was a kid. My sister followed her path, and open her own restaurant, specialize in Sundanese food. My parents came fromNorth Sulawesi, which is famous for it's spicy foods and it's Bunaken National Marine Park.
I hate cooking when I was a little. So did my father. Either he hates it, or he is just too lazy to cook. I remember when I was a little kid and my mother went back to visit her relatives in Sulawesi for a month, my life was miserable. Everyday for almost a month, my dear father cooked the same thing. The same thing. The same vegetables, the same fish, the same condiment, every single day. One day he tried to cook something different, it failed. Then we ended up eating the same thing again. Those golden era...
However, when I start living alone, went to college in a different city, I try slowly to learn how to cook. That was the start. I slowly begun my fondness of cooking. How you create something totally raw into something eat-able. It is more or less like fashion designing actually. I tried a lot of recipes but I also cook just doing what my heart said. It turned out to be nice, some turned out awful. But I cook. And I baked sometimes. I remember for a week trying to bake the same cake and succeeded on day five, and try again for the next day just to see if I have mastered it perfectly.
Anyway, this sweetness here called Wajik Ketan. There are many version of it, but the basic recipe is more or less the same. In Indonesia we eat it just like that. There is no special term weather it is dessert, or entrée. In Indonesia we don't have menu courses. Everything we have will be placed on the table, and we can eat whichever we want. Wajik Ketan can be found on traditional market in the morning, or in the afternoon in small warung specialized in traditional food. I have been having this Wajik since I was a little kid. There was a very old lady close to our home who sells many different kind of traditional cakes and other sweet stuffs, also food. Growing up, I did not really have this for too often, first because it is so so sweet. I think I haven't really have Wajik for such a long time, then few weeks ago I was invited by one of Indonesian here whom I knew, and her friends brought this Wajik with her. I brought one little piece back home, and my man really loved it. Then I said to him I will make it for him sometime soon. That time was last Sunday. For those of you who wanted to try, the recipe is very simple. You can get the ingredients in Asia Markets. A little tip though, it can be really really sweet. I have reduced the amount of brown sugar I put in it.
WAJIK KETAN RECIPE
- 500 gr white sticky rice (Glutinous Rice)
- 250 ml coconut milk
- 300 gr brown sugar (crushed) / I use less.
- 200 ml water
- Pinch of salt
- Pandan leaf
- soak the sticky rice overnight then steam it for 15-25 minutes until its cooked
- boiled the water together with brown sugar until dissolved
- add coconut milk to the mixture (water+brown sugar) and cooked until thick, occasionally stirring
- add cooked rice, salt, and Pandan leaf, stir until all absorbed.
- put it away and wait a few hours until its cold and hard.
Have a try! When you have any questions, feel free to ask.