Vegetable Urap with Fresh Spiced Coconut
On days when I crave the hot sun of Bali, I invariably crave this coconut salad as well. It is fresh, verdant and distinctly Indonesian. I love it with delicate curled fern fronds called pakis, but spinach or indeed any seasonal greens make a fine substitute. It is also lovely with green ribbons of asparagus.
140 g (5 oz) edible fern tips or seasonal
greens, roughly chopped
100 g (3. oz) fine green beans,
cut in thirds
100 g (3. oz) beansprouts
1 tablespoon coconut oil
6 small red Asian shallots, sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 large red chilli, seeded and sliced
100 g (3. oz) grated fresh coconut or
80 g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
100 g (3. oz) cooked black-eyed
juice of a kaffir lime or lime
1 tablespoon crisp-fried shallots
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the fern tips and green beans. Cook for 2 minutes or until just tender. Add the beansprouts for the last 20 seconds of cooking. Drain and leave to cool. If you have used greens that retain a lot of water, gently squeeze them dry.
Set a wok or frying pan over a medium heat and add the coconut oil followed by the shallot and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until pale golden, then add the chilli and cook to just softened. Lower the heat and add the coconut along with a good pinch of salt. If using desiccated coconut, also add a splash of water to soften and help the flavours meld. Cook just for a minute, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Toss the vegetables and black-eyed beans (if using) with the spiced coconut and lime juice and taste for seasoning. Scatter over the crisp-fried shallots.
From: Fire Islands: Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford (£25, Murdoch Books) Image: Kristin Perers