Sun, 05 Nov 2000

Shrimp cooked the Acehnese way

JAKARTA (JP): Aceh, perched on the northernmost tip of Sumatra, is famed for its seafood dishes and its people's love of spices.

Although it is geographically close to West Sumatra, its cuisine is distinct in its use of the particular spices of the region. Many Acehnese say the local cuisine is like a culinary hybrid of the Minang food of West Sumatra and the Indian dishes which are also common in Medan, North Sumatra.

Acehnese style shrimp

* 600 grams shrimp, cleaned, shelled, deveined, heads removed, slit along the back * 4 tablespoons cooking oil * 2 stalks lemon grass * 4 pieces tamarind ends * 4 tablespoons grated coconut, fried without oil * 500 cc water * 1 teaspoon salt * 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Spices to be ground:

* 10 chilies * 6 red onions * 3 cloves of garlic * 4 cm piece of turmeric * 2 teaspoons coriander * 3 nutmegs

1. Heat oil. Stir-fry the ground spices along with the lemon grass stalks and tamarind ends until fragrant.

2. Add the shrimps and cook until they change color. Add grated coconut, water, salt and granulated sugar. Stir evenly.

3. Cook on a low heat until sauce thickens. Remove and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Hidangan Nusantara by Rudy Choirudin (Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2000).