Tuesday, 30 March 2010

The 4 T's of Jawastan

Any man with the essence of Jawastan in his blood will attest to the efficacies of the  4 T's.

This comes to mind because it's Usrah night tonight, and our ustaz who himself hails from Jawastan was the one who declared the above.

So too might have the grandparents of my own jawastani-blooded man, he who is home for a jaunt from the still-blizzardy steppes of Kazakhstan.

And  what I'm thinking of offering for the obligatory but non-mandatory potluck tonight makes use of two  of the 4 T's.

It's non-mandatory for you can come empty-handed but potluck pricks on my conscience and for me it has become obligatory. Something that I like and want to do - willingly, too.

Anyways, being married to one for close to 29 years now, I daresay that any true-blue jawastani will approve as part of a meal  any or all of the following:
  1. Taugeh
  2. Tauhu
  3. Tempeh
  4. Taucho
And somehow yours truly herself and her man as well, had  at one period or another evolved to become much like his favourite foods.

Just look:

This was when we were both taugehs.

Then plump tauhus.

 And now one is tempeh keju and the other tempeh goreng
- both slightly mouldy but nutritious nonetheless
This is the Kazakh way of holding a cup 
of the T that does not need mention - TEA!

Thankfully when the time comes that we are taucho, it won't be possible to show pictures.

In a little while I will be off to the kitchen to prepare a dish bearing 2 key ingredients akin to our evolution - tauhu and tempeh, the dish being Sambal Goreng Jawastan. 

This is my recipe, recorded for posterity due to the stage of my evolution.

Prepare little similar-sized heaps of diced tempeh, diced tauhu, diced beef. (My sister-in-law also uses shrimps and diced beef liver).
Likewise slice just enough long beans or french beans to get a similar sized volume. This is to get  a balanced proportion of each ingredient so that none overwhelms the rest.
Also slice enough petai to suit your taste, but for this it's best to err on the side of caution. You HAVE to slice up the petai because chunks of it in the dish make it look horridly unpresentable and you risk being branded as lazy. Similarly thinly slice some red chillies in the same quantity.
Pre-soak some soohoon and dried tauhu skin - also in enough quantities and neat sizes for balanced proportions.
Tumbuk or blend together some serai, lengkuas, shallots and garlic.

Heat up enough oil in a kuali to first saute the diced tempeh to a light golden yellow. 
Remove and set aside, then saute the diced tauhu the same way. Also remove and set aside.
Leave enough oil to  quickly stir-fry the bashed condiments (longer if you had blended them, that goes without saying) and sliced red chillies, then toss in the diced beef and stir until the beef is about half-cooked. *Add in the long beans, stir a while until cooked uniformly. (*Update: I accidentally left this out in the first publishing).
Plonk in the petai, tauhu and tempeh. Stir a bit.
Pour in just enough coconut milk to moisten everything,  too much  and the dish becomes masak lodeh.
Squeeze a little tamarind juice and add to the mix, some salt and a sprinkle of sugar to taste. I also sprinkle in some belacan powder for the ooomph.
Lastly mix in the drained soohoon and tauhu skin and leave to cook for 5 to 10 minutes on slow heat.

Taste and adjust accordingly.

Here's a picture of this well-known dish of the colonial-era Jawastani immigrants.  I had whipped this up a couple of months or so ago. Maybe it needs a little more green, don't you think?

 But whatever  - it's cheap to prepare, high in protein and simply divine taken with just hot rice or even on it's own. Maybe not for gout sufferers but most of my clan members of Bugistan ancestry who attend usrah are now, I'm very proud to say, enthusiasts of Sambal Goreng Jawastan.


Kak Teh said...

my husband is not from jawastan, but he'd kill for a tempeh. if you rummage through my archives you'd see a piece about tempe tantrums.

anyway, the evolution from taugeh to tauhu is not bad, from what i see in the pictures. very refreshing tauhus and full of protein.

Naz said...

OMG! Tempeh..tempeh...

Zendra-Maria said...

OK Kak Teh, insya allah tomorrow I'll search out your hubby's tempe tantrums - should be funny hehehe

Yes the tauhus were full of protein in those pics but all lay hidden under cushions of lemak :)

Zendra-Maria said...

Naz, you mean us?

NanaDJ said...


Will try your recipe, I did try the one posted by Ezza, very nice I must say.
Am not Jawastan but I love all the 4 t's. Don't eat too much tempeh though nanti you'll look like you know who (just kidding).

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Wah Makcik Maria, lu punya abang sulah balik kampong hah, lu manyak heppi lah…kekeke.

So that’s a nice dish fitting for a hero’s welcome. Funny I loves those 4Ts too.

Hey, U forget to mention that RA has evolved into a ‘Taukeh’ too lah, all his balaks/timbers have been chopped down over the years to make way for an airport runway, just look at the shine on his forehead; that’s good feng-shui mah.....soli lah so bad one I ni.

Hi RA, I sure u r glad too come in from the cold back to the warmth of M’sia &…and catch up on your…errrr never mind.


P/S – Hey Zen, FYI, do u know that I’m an honorary ‘Bugis’ member of the Daing family clan of Johor.

kay_leeda said...

Tempeh I loikeee!! When my old bibik was around, she used to make the sambal jawa. Me dunno how to make lah. After this will try your recipe, thanks so much for sharing :)

Plump tauhus ynag dua tu okay pe :)

Kama said...

comelnya "tauhu" !

Zendra-Maria said...

NanaDJ, sometimes I snack on diced tempeh sauted in olive oil. Eaten just like that, it's filling and simply lemaky delicious to boot.

I don't think it was tempeh per se that did it for the dentist lah, he's had them since birth hahaha. But maybe BOTOK - another jawastani dish which seems to have been buried with the elders. My poor hubby craves this. I wonder if Kak Ezza knows this one. She's a very accomplished cook and you can trust her very detailed recipes - not like mine, main campak-campak jer hehehe.

Zendra-Maria said...

Wah Lato' Tommy, you pun mahu claim member from Boogeysland, tapi takpa welcome, welcome. Kononnya dulu-dulu my ancestor was the most passive one of those lanun brothers, set up kampong in Melaka instead of meddling in the local politics. One of his progenies took a second wife, a chinese known only as P'ng or Pong, and dingdong dingdong ... here I am.

Hey itu RA shine is a jawastani trademark lah - shows braininess and ... errr never mind. Also very useful for when I need a mirror to check my skewed tudung hehe we're same height you see :)

Zendra-Maria said...

Kay, reason why I showed the tauhu pics above shoulders is because you'll get put off seeing what's below hahaha
My God, those days baju kurung pun sendat!

Buatlah sambal jawa tu, checkout Kak Ezza punya resipi gak - dia punya lagi betul kot.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Zendra, ha ha, always love your lively sense of humour.
Both of you look good what ever the 'T'....
interesting re the 4 't's.
You have fun and keep well, Lee.

Zendra-Maria said...

Hello Lee, long time you didn't drop by :)

As you can see the taugeh period won't pass your traffic-stopper minimum standard. But why stop traffic and create jams?

It's only from airport runways that high-fliers take-off hahaha!

You take care too.

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hey we might be related in some way, I think my maternal Ancestor Wang Hung Low & his brother Hung Hai, got a sister name P'ng Pong too...hahaha.



P/S - So u r attributing that lovely 'dreamy' eyes of yours on your cheena roots ka? (Not nice to say sepet mah..kekeke)

Zendra-Maria said...

Oit kama, how come your comey komen baru jer masuk?

Kalau tengok I makan those days betol macam tauhu sumbat hahaha

Zendra-Maria said...

Ya lorr Tommy, who else to give me dloopy eyes?

So your paternal ancestor is who?
Yew Hung Wang?

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Actually horr it's Yew Wang Kerr :))))

Gee I must be mixing with too many BAD Co

Ta ta bye2,cya next time!