Remember my previous post on the Masakan Sehari-hari cookbook? well I did my first (and second, actually) try at one of their recipes. I picked Opor Tahu.
Opor refers to a dish cooked with savory coconut milk soup. It’s similar to padang curry in terms of its richness but it is not spicy at all.
When you say “opor” it will almost inevitably be followed by “ayam” or chicken. And I have always disliked the dish even before I became a vegetarian because I found it hard to tolerate chicken cooked in non-fried ways, especially with the bones still intact.
So when I found the recipe for tofu opor in this book I was delighted, because I liked the opor soup nonetheless. To have it without the chicken, even the scent of it, would be marvellous.
On the first try, the people who tasted it said it needed more salt. I personally think not, but it WAS lacking in kick, although I wasn’t sure how. The second try was better, but the soup was too rich and it ended up so savory that it reminded me of our ketupat ketan (rice cakes) we have for Idul Fitri celebration. But I think, all in all, I’ve gotten the hang of it.
six cubes of yellow bandung tofu, or the firmest tofu you can find. cut into
halves of triangles, fry.
one small potato (optional), peel, cut into medium-sized pieces, boil until half-done.
five bilimbi or tree sorrels (optional), make a gash along one side
three citrus leaves, torn
two salam (indian bay)leaves, torn
One stalk of lemongrass, hammered
750 cc of coconut milk (try not to have it too thick, although ready-bought ones are usually already the right consistency. i f too thick, thin with water)
Seasoning: Grind to a paste:
five small shallots
three cloves of garlic.
one table spoon of finely chopped galangal
one teaspoon of finely chopped ginger.
one teaspoon of finely chopped turmeric (optional)
three candlenuts, smashed and roasted (or fried without oil in a wok)
two teaspoons of coriander seeds, roasted
half a teaspoon of cumin seeds, roasted
two teaspoons (or adjust to taste) pepper , roasted
salt and a bit of sugar to taste.
heat up around two table spoons of oil. sautee the paste, bay leafs, citrus leaves and lemongrass briefly until fragrant.
pour the coconut milk, let boil.
put in the tofu, potatoes and bilimbi. cook until soup thickens (around 10 minutes) .