Tag Archives: Indonesia

Kitchen: Ayam Betutu Gilimanuk

Ayam Betutu Gilimanuk [2016:EO]

Ayam Betutu Gilimanuk [2016:EO]

One of my favorite chicken dish is Ayam Betutu Gilimanuk, it is a Balinese spiced roasted chicken which is served with boiled spinach water (kangkung), fried peanuts, Balinese raw chili (sambal matah) and plain white rice. I must say that I had it quite regularly when I lived in Jakarta because it is very tasty and filling. When I lived in Jakarta, I normally went to Ayam Betutu Gilimanuk in Jalan Wolter Mongisidi, Kebayoran Baru which was close to both my office as well as my home. I never tried to make one at home. However, since I got pregnant and have been craving for various Indonesian cuisines including Ayam Betutu Gilimanuk, I decided to give a shot and the result is pretty good. It is very easy but it takes sometimes.

Ingredients 

  1. 1  whole chicken
  2. 2  stems of lemon grass (crush)
  3. 2  bay leaves
  4. 1 large banana leaves to wrap the chicken
  5. aluminium foil
  6. 80 ml of vegetable oil
  7. 15 chili
  8. 4 cm of fresh ginger
  9. 4 cm of fresh turmeric (roasted)
  10. 4 cm of fresh galangal
  11. 2 stems of lemon grass (chopped)
  12. 10 shallots
  13. 6 garlic
  14. 4 candlenut
  15. 1 tsp of coriander seed
  16. 4 kaffir lime leaves
  17. 1/2 tsp black-pepper
  18. 2 tsp salt

Ingredients for Sambal Matah 

  1. 2  garlic (finely chopped)
  2. 8 shallot (finely chopped)
  3. 1/2 tsp of dried shrimp paste (quickly grilled)
  4. 10 red chilli (finely chopped)
  5. 2 stems of lemon grass (finely chopped)
  6. 2 kaffir lime leaves (finely chopped)
  7. 1/2 tbs sugar
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 1 tbs lemon juice
  10. 3 tbs coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Wash the chicken, pat it dry and place it aside;
  2. Seasoning paste: In food processor, process chili, ginger, turmeric, galangal, lemon grass, shallot, garlic, candlenut, coriander seed, kaffir lime leaves, blackener and salt until finely ground;
  3. In frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat, add the seasoning paste and cook it for 4 minutes;
  4. Over banana leaves, place the chicken and spread the cooked seasoning paste evenly over the chicken, including inside the chicken;
  5. Wrap in banana leaves and wrap it again in aluminum foil;
  6. Steam the chicken over medium-high heat for 2 hours;
  7. After being steamed, roast the chicken at 185 C for 2 hours.
  8. Sambal Matah: place all sambal matah ingredients into a small bowl and mix it together; heat the coconut oil over medium heat for 3 minutes; pour the heated coconut oil into the mixed ingredients and stir it all the ingredients well.
  9. Serve Ayam Betutu Gilimanuk with plain rice, sambal matah, fried peanuts and boiled spinach water.

Happy cooking!

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Kitchen: Veggie Egg Noodle

Homemade Veggie Egg Noodle [2016:EO]

Homemade Veggie Egg Noodle [2016:EO]

Noodle has always been my favorite food because it is quite light and filling at the same time. However, I must say that I am not really big fans of instant noodle. I don’t deny that I eat it sometimes because they taste very good but whenever I eat instant noodle, I often feel sick (throwing up). Therefore, sometimes I like to make my noodle bowl with vermicelli noodle or egg noodle as soup or stir fried. So today, I would like to share the recipe of Veggie Egg Noodle. It is very easy.

Ingredients:

  1. 300 gr of thin egg noodle
  2. 2 stem of green onion
  3. 1/2 chicken breast
  4. 100 gr of pak choi
  5. 1 carrot (thinly slice into matchstick)
  6. 4 shallot
  7. 3 cloves of garlic
  8. 1 tsp white paper
  9. 1 tsp salt
  10. 3 cloves of candle nut
  11. 1 tbs vegetable oil
  12. 2 tbs of sweet soy sauce
  13. 3 tbs of salted soy sauce
  14. 2 tbs of oyster sauce

Steps

  1. Place the thin egg noodle into a large bowl, pour boiling water over the noodle and let it sit for 6 minutes until the noodle are soft. Drain and pat it dry;
  2. As the noodle get cold, mix the noodle with sweet and salted soy sauce as well as oyster sauce until the noodle are coated entirely;
  3. Place shallot, garlic and candlenut into food processor; pulse it until it become paste;
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan and add the spiced paste into the pan for 2 minutes;
  5. Place the noodle into the pan and mix it spiced paste;
  6. Add chopped pak choi, carrot, salt as well as white paper;
  7. Stir all the ingredients for 5 minutes;
  8. Transfer the stir-fry noodle into a serving dish and serve it immediately while it is hot.

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Kitchen: Soto Ayam

Soto Ayam [2016:EO]

Soto Ayam [2016:EO]

Soto is one of Indonesian version of soup with spiced chicken or beef broth. It is normally served with hard boiled egg, rice, thin vermicelli noodle, fried shallot, chopped celery leaves, lime and sambal. There are many version of Indonesian soto, it depends on the place of origin. The differences normally can be seen through the type of broth, coconut milk broth or clear broth, as well as the type of meat which can be chicken, beef as well as offal.

I believe that there are more than 10 type of Indonesian soto. Those are including Soto Betawi with beef and coconut milk based broth, Soto Lamongan, Soto Kudus, Soto Mie Bogor, Soto Sulung Surabaya and also Soto Banjar. And today, I would like to share the recipe of Soto Ayam Yogya.

Ingredients: 

  1. 2 stalks of fresh lemon grass – crush
  2. 6 pieces of kefir lime leaves
  3. 3 pieces of bay leaves
  4. 5 pieces of candlenut (kemiri)
  5. 5 pieces of garlic
  6. 6 pieces of shallot
  7. 5 cm of turmeric
  8. 5 cm of  ginger (crush)
  9. 5 cm of galangal (crush)
  10. 1 tsp of  ground black pepper
  11. 1 tsp of coriander seeds
  12. 2 tbs of salt
  13. 1 tbs of sugar
  14. 1 chicken breast with bone
  15. 1 thin vermicelli noodle
  16. 1 cup of chopped celery celery
  17. 1.5 L of water
  18. 3 pieces of hard boiled egg
  19. 2 cup of bean sprout
  20. 2 cup of chopped white cabbage
  21. 1 lime  (slice it)
  22. 2 tomato (slice it)
  23. Chopped chilli

Soto's spices and herbs [2016:EO]

Soto’s spices and herbs [2016:EO]

Steps

  1. Place chicken in a saucepan. Add water, lemon grass, kefir lime leave, bay leaves, galangal and coriander seed.  Boil the chicken over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium-low heat. Cover and simmer it for 15 minutes;
  2. Place turmeric, ginger, shallot, garlic and candle nut into food processor and pulse them into thick paste;
  3. Add spiced paste, salt, sugar and ground black pepper into the boiled chicken and continue to boil it for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and shred it;
  4. Steam the bean sprout and white cabbage;
  5. Soak the vermicelli noodle into hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and pat it dry

How Serve Soto Ayam

  1. Place vermicelli noodle into a bowl. Add shredded chicken, bean sprout, white cabbage and slice tomato;
  2. Add filtered spiced chicken broth into the bowl;
  3. Add sliced hard boiled egg, chopped celery and fried shallot as topping;
  4. Serve it with chopped chili and lime.

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Review: Snowing in Bali

The upcoming third batch of the execution of drug convict has once again triggered controversy. Supported with official data, some have stated that  the death penalty is actually not the answer to Indonesia’s drug problem. Some have even stated that those, who were busted and sentenced to death, are only courier and not big dealers. Most of them are coming from lower middle income family. I asked myself Is that statement correct? The controversy actually raises a lot of questions in my head, such as “What do we really know about drug syndicates in Indonesia? Are those who were arrested  just victims and being trapped? Or, are they professional drug runners? What do we really know about the Brazilian drug runner Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira, who has been executed in early 2015? Was he just a courier? What about Mary Jane Veloso? What do we really know about the world illicit in Indonesia?” I have heard some stories but honestly it was still unclear to me. But when I read Snowing in Bali: The Incredible Inside Account of Bali’s Hidden Drug World, much was reveled.

Written by Kathryn Bonella, the author of Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali’s Notorious Jail, Snowing in Bali highlights the drug world in Bali with interesting details. It opens the readers eyes about why people choose to enter the drug world, how the drug syndicate works, who those drug convicts are, how drug syndicates deal with the Indonesian legal system and what drugs can do to people.

One of the characters identified as Rafael, who is described as a former Brazilian cocaine boss in Bali, reveals stories of Peruvian and Brazilian’s drug syndicate in the island of God. The Bali-based Peruvian and Brazilian drug syndicate has been trafficking drugs in Peru, Brazil, the Netherland, Sweden, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia as well as Australia.

Despite the fact Rafael appears as the main character in Snowing  in Bali , it also highlights the story of Brazilian Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira who was executed  by firing squad in early 2015. Apparently, Marco has been a long time player who started his business in the 90s as a marijuana dealer in Indonesia. He imported top quality marijuana from the Netherland to Indonesia. Among his peers, Marco was known as a Lemon Juice’s King. Interestingly enough, Rafael actually started his career as a freelance marijuana salesman for  Marco.

As a freelance marijuana’s salesman, Rafael generated a huge profit which can pay for his fancy lifestyle in Bali. Knowing how easy it is to make fast cash through drug trafficking, Rafael has turned himself from a salesman to  drug runner and quickly to be one of the biggest cocaine player in Bali. He trafficked cocaine from Peru to Indonesia as well as Australia over the years. He had huge villa, nice cars, fancy motorbike, designer fashion collection and also a hell lot of money.

Surprisingly, many people who want to earn fast cash and enjoy a good life but do not want to do a real job, some would sometimes go to a dealer and request for ‘a job as a drug runner’. Although it is a risky job, many would take it anyway.

An older Brazilian woman, who has been living in Bali for 20 years, sidled up to him at parties hustling for a chance to run. “I need a job. I can do it – nobody is going to stop me because I’m old. Let’s do it.  (p.56)

However, every party must come to end sometimes. Many of Rafael friends, includes his own wife Anna, were arrested by authorities across the globe. Not forget to mention his former ‘boss’ the Brazilian Lemon Juice King Marco who had always been very confident that he would be able to escape from the authorities or even the death. Luckily, unlike Marco and Anna, Rafael managed to escape from the authorities and did not end up in jail. Nevertheless, he still has to face another consequences. His wealth slowly went down to the drain, he could not even pay the basic bill.  Rafael then decided to leave the game.

In the end, after all the glamour, I don’t feel proud. I try to forget this shit. Because I don’t think it is cool. I poison people here with this shit just for money, nothing else. Poison people, fuck families, even make people die from overdose. I like to show off in that time. For what? Now I have different value for life. (p. 387)

Reading the 401 pages of book actually makes me thinking twice whether I have to feel sorry about those drug convicts who are facing death penalty or not. Should I feel sorry for late the Brazilian Marco or Rodrigo Gullarte in the same way I feel sorry for the Philippine drug convict Mary Jane Veloso? The answer is NO.

Marco and Rodrigo are not the same as Mary Jane. Marco is a dealer, Rodrigo is a horse and Mary Jane is a mule. So what is the difference? Well, Marco and Rodrigo were aware with the risk meanwhile Mary Jane could have been trapped by greedy heartless dealer.

Mules are not the kind of people who work for me, people who come to Bali and enjoy life, this is a real horse. But mules are really, really desperate people. Really poor people, don’t speak English and they fall like flies– Andre, drug dealer (p. 166)

Rodrigo Gularte is a 32 years old rich upper middle-class guy from South Brazil. He was the black sheep in a rich family. He’d started sniffing solvents as a teenager and despite his mother trying to set him up in various careers, he chose to traffic drugs (p.286)

Overall, Snowing in Bali is very intriguing. I could not even stop reading the book. At the end, the readers actually can see the red line between many drug cases especially in Indonesia if only  those drug cases have been exposed by the media continuously and properly. Reader don’t have to believe whether it’s objectively written or not but It is worth reading.

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Photo: The Street of Bangladesh

One of the world creative entrepreneur, a street ear wax cleaner [2016:EO]

One of the world creative entrepreneur, a street ear wax cleaner [2016:EO]

Another little boy who is lost in the cruel world [2016: EO]

Another little boy who is lost in the cruel world [2016: EO]

Give no shit, take no bullshit and lice your life [2016:EO]

Give no shit, take no bullshit and lice your life [2016:EO]

 

It is ironic that Bangladesh is one of world garment manufacturing center for many of the global fashion brands and yet it is still extremely poor and under-developed [2016: EO]

It is ironic that Bangladesh is one of world garment manufacturing center for many of the global fashion brands and yet it is still extremely poor and under-developed [2016: EO]

He earns less than a glass of gin and tonic a day [2016:EO]

He earns less than a glass of gin and tonic a day [2016:EO]

Grateful [2016: EO]

Grateful [2016: EO]

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Photo: Tradition

 

The women of Giriloyo village have been taught to preserve their culture since they are young [2016: E O]

The women of Giriloyo village have been taught to preserve their culture since they are young [2016: E O]

It is a job, it is a hobby [2016: EO]

It is not just a job, it is a hobby [2016: EO]

Painting [2016: E O]

Painting [2016: E O]

Canthing [2016: EO]

Canthing [2016: EO]

Raw [2016:EO]

Raw [2016:EO]

The future batik entrepreneur [2016:EO]

The future batik entrepreneur [2016:EO]

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Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali’s Notorious Jail

Bali has been known as a paradise for surfers, beach lovers as well as party animals. Bali’s natural beauty and distinctive culture somehow have been able to attract millions of travelers to visit the Island of God annually for decades. Yet, the Island of God is not free from the dark world including drug cartel. Wide range drugs from  weed, cocaine to heroines with various qualities are available in the island. Anyone who wants it, they can get it as long as they have money for it and know where to get it. However, drug is illegal in Indonesia. Even small quantity of drugs can bring anyone to long jail sentence, heavy fines as well as cost thousands of dollars to get your freedom back. A Nepalese inmate Den was quoted in the Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali’s Notorious Jail saying that “If you want to have a little bit of freedom, you need to pay money, including for beer, movie or even girl (sex worker).” Otherwise, you will end up living miserably in the jail cell.

Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali’s Notorious Jail is written by an Australian journalist, Kathryn Bonella who is also the author of No More Tomorrow Schapelle Corby as a warning for travelers. Any holiday can turn to be a nightmare any moment as soon as they are dealing with drugs in the Island of God. With the main source Ruggiero, a Brazilian inmates who was arrested for possessing 146 g of hashish, 43 g of cocaine and one green ecstasy pill, and few other foreign national inmates, Ms. Bonella is trying to bringing the readers inside the Hotel K. Not a fancy villa with private swimming pool and hot shower but a pig house with filthy bathroom, dried poops and dead rats in the water tank. It is just dilapidated.

Through 301 pages of book, Ms. Bonella describes how complicated dealing with Indonesian justice system is and how corrupt Indonesian justice system is -be in the police station, the court as well as inside the jail- is. Really? Is Indonesian justice system corrupt? Yes and it is not surprising. Previously, one of Indonesian top lawyer Hotman Paris was even quoted by various international media outlets including  New York Times and The Age  saying how unclean Indonesian justice system is.

And yet, life does not get any cheaper as soon as one goes inside the prison, one would need to continue to pay their bill as if they are freeman as there is nothing free inside. Interestingly enough, inmates are not only able to buy mineral water, soap or instant noodle but also  beer, weed, cocaine as well as heroin inside Kerobokan prison. What? You could even purchase drugs inside the prison? Yes. That is indeed interesting.

 “Kerobokan is drug paradise. Drugs all the time. No special time for drug. Drugs twenty-four hours. You smoke cigarette, you smoke shabu. The party was daily. Every single day after lunch we’d sit outside and get pissed, those who want to smoke shabu, smoke shabu; those who want to use smack, use smack. That’s on daily basis. ” Brazilian inmates Ruggiero told Ms. Bonella. (132)

So the question is now being “Does arresting drug dealer/runner actually have a significant deterrent effect to them? Will they ever stop of doing their drug business?” No, it does not seem so.

Arman wishes to become Hotel K’s drug lord. He was selling huge quantity of drugs inside and outside, paying Laskar (Bali) for protection, and prisoners and guards to work as couriers supplying bars and club across Bali. Arman made at least 100 million Rupiah a day, sometimes 300 million Rupiah a day. Many times I saw the guy folding up the whole lot of money. He sold shabu, heroine, ecstasy  ganja, hasish, cocaine.” (196) 

I must say that it is slightly shocking but I believe that public actually has acknowledged it through media reports over the years. Even recently, a drug lord Freddy Budiman, who was sentenced to death in 2013, openly admitted that he is still running his business from the jail cell with the help of prison guards because the China-based  drug syndicate does not have any other ‘distributor’ in Indonesia.

Honestly sometimes I wonder how dangerous drugs are? Hotel K gave me clues and  I found it interesting

“With Laskar and Arman pushing drugs and offering unlimited credits to westerners, many inmates let their drug bills spiral out of control. If they couldn’t pay up when Arman called in the cashed, the consequences were deadly.

Many of the westerners who lost control of their drug bills got cash from their parents or friends to avoid being bashed.

Juri (an Italian inmates) lied in any way necessary to get cash from friends and family for his heroin bills.  (198)

You see? Reading Hotel K makes me understand why President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has declared war on drugs. As a president, he refuses to grant president clemency to drug dealers or runners because the drug dealers and runners cannot just be stopped and they do not want to stop. Other than that, an addict would eventually not just hurt themselves in many ways but also their family.

Interestingly enough, it is not only drug dealers who cannot stop themselves from committing crimes when they are in prison. Other criminal still do including  scammers and thugs.

Benoit was one of three Africans doing time for a fake American dollar scam. All three were now acting in sync in Hotel K to find investors among the wealthy drug bosses. Benoit was working with Afong and the third African named Karim. (178)

I must say that I enjoyed reading Hotel K because it was produced through interviews and document research which means it can be quiet objective. It opened my eyes. It brought my imagination inside Kerobokan Prison. It shows the readers what kind of people end up in the prison and what kind of life inmates have inside the jail. It is scary. It drives you insane and brings depression. It kills your soul. Other than that, even though you can buy your freedom by bribing the guards, it is not a life inside the jail cell. For me, it would be very wise to not ignore the warning while you are visiting Bali, the Island of God, the paradise as your holiday can turn into a nightmare any moment.

Yet, I asked myself “Should I buy Ruggiero’s stories especially Ruggiero told Ms. Bonella  the Balinese hate foreigners, they are so jealous simply because only one Balinese guy snitched on him?” He seems like to generalize things and many of his comments sound to be angry or coming from a talker. Well “Snowing in Bali: The Incredible Inside Account of Bali’s Hidden Drug World” has more stories to tell and makes the readers understand about who Ruggiero is. Juicy and eye-opening!

 

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