Lodeh (Light Vegetable Curry)

Lodeh is one of my go-to dishes when I want something warm and soothing on a cold day – it’s just so wholesome; it feels like it wraps you up like a blanket when you take a sip of this light, refreshing curry. This Javanese dish is traditionally made without meat but an array of fresh vegetables, but don’t fret because of the long list of ingredients. I have to admit, some of the ingredients are impossible to find outside Indonesia. The list below include my favorite vegetables to put in a lodeh, but some people also like to put jackfruit and eggplant in – so just experiment! You can’t really do anything wrong with making this.

Ingredients you need to make lodeh:

3 shallots

2 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp coriander seeds (Indonesian: ketumbar)

1 bay leaf (Indonesian: daun salam)

2 cm of galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas)

1 cob of corn

1 large chayote (Indonesian: labu siam)

1 handful of long beans

1 handful of gnetum leaves (Indonesian: daun melinjo)

half a block of tempe

3-4 bird’s eye chilli (cut into halves)

200 ml coconut milk

salt and sugar to taste

cooking oil

lodeh-2

Steps to make lodeh:

  1. Toast your coriander seed and blend with shallots, garlic and a bit of water into a paste.
  2. Stir fry the paste with a bit of oil (around 1 tablespoon) and add one bay leaf, chilli and galangal. Let them cook until fragrant.
  3. Put in 200 ml of coconut milk and another 200 ml of water. Turn heat into low and let it simmer. (Warning: be careful not to boil the soup because the fat in the coconut milk might split and your soup will become nasty).
  4. Season with salt and sugar. I like my lodeh not just salty but also sweet – I think sugar gives a much richer taste and rounds up the whole dish quite nicely.
  5. Add in your vegetables from the hardest to the softest every two minutes or so (Corn > chayote > long beans > tempe > gnetum leaves). Don’t worry if you can’t find all the vegetables, just leave them or substitute with your favorite ones.
  6. Cook until all the vegetables are ready. It’s extremely delicious to serve with rice and fried tofu. Delicious! 🙂
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