In line with the article about the cookbook Indorock let’s make a dish out of it. I chose a modern take on a traditional Javanese recipe called petjel (or petjil, or, in today’s Bahasa Indonesia: pecel), because it clearly shows what the title of the book stands for. Vanja van der Leeden rocks this vegetable salad with peanut sauce into something super hip, something that would not look out of place on the menu in any vegan eatery: roasted pointed cabbage with a sauce of cashew nuts and a fresh, raw sambal.
I’m afraid I’ll have to send you to the store for it. At least for kentjur, a rhizome that is related to ginger and gives a very specific taste to petjel sauce. And then immediately buy a few kaffir limes, those small, highly aromatic limes with a thick, bumpy skin. And take those petite red shallots with you, just like palm sugar. It’s also possible with regular shallot, regular lime and regular sugar, but because we’re doing Indorock anyway, you know.
Roasted pointed cabbage with petjel sauce and sambal matah
1 large pointed cabbage (or 2 small ones); 3 tbsp sunflower oil
For the cashew petjel sauce:
100 g cashew nuts, roasted and salted; 100 ml of water; 1 small garlic clove, peeled; 1 to 2 red rawits (small chili peppers); 3 tsp salty soy sauce; 2 tsp tamarind paste; 1 tsp palm sugar (or regular sugar); 1 phalanx of fresh kentjur root, peeled (or a pinch of dried kentjur powder); 1 kaffir lime, well washed (or regular lime)
For the sambal matah:
4 to 5 small red Thai shallots, peeled; 2 lemongrass undersides, halved lengthwise, outer part removed; 4 lime leaves, midribs removed; 10 g fresh ginger root, peeled; ½ green lombok pepper, seeds removed; 1 red lombok pepper, seeds removed; 1 kaffir lime (toko), well washed; ½ regular lime; 2 tsp sunflower oil
sprigs of celery
Heat preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Cut the pointed cabbage lengthwise into six, sprinkle the wedges with salt. Drizzle with sunflower oil and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until soft and nicely charred.
Doe for the petjel sauce all ingredients except the kaffir lime in a blender. Grate the zest of the lemon on top with a fine grater. Cut the lime in half and squeeze it over a sieve (it has a lot of seeds) over the measuring cup. Little juice comes out, but it gives a lot of flavor. Or use the zest and juice of half a regular lime. Blend everything into a smooth sauce. It should be thinner than peanut sauce, but thick enough to stick to the cabbage. Taste and make it sweeter, saltier or more sour to taste.
cuts for the sambal, separate the shallots, lemongrass, lime leaves, ginger and lomboks very fine. Mix in a bowl. Grate the skin of the kaffir lime on a fine grater over the bowl, halve it and squeeze out the juice over a sieve. Also add the juice of half a regular lime. If you can’t find kaffir lime, use the zest of half a regular lime as well. Finish the sambal with a pinch of salt and the oil.
serve the pointed cabbage with the petjel sauce, the sambal matah and steamed rice and garnish with the celery.