Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cumi gulai padang is one of my husband's favorite food. He's a huge fan of squid dish. Any kind of it. And this time i want to spoil him by making a squid dish with Padangnese curry sauce. We call this sauce Gulai. Gulai  is a type of food containing rich, spicy, succulent curry-like sauce. This dish is commonly found in Indonesia and Malaysia.  The main ingredients could be poultry, beef, offals (jeroan), and seafood. It is very delicious and goes well with hot steamed rice and sambal. I believe this kind of dish is one of a kind that can make every Indonesian feel homesick when they are abroad.

I got this recipe from my mother in law. She's good at making Padang or Aceh dish. I tried her recipe and it turned out great. Everybody like it. Even my daughter like it. Actually, I was not so sure she would eat it, but she liked it as well. The squid was chewy but tender. I didn't throw away the tentacles. They are edible too as long as you do not overfry them. The sauce was rich with a bit touch of lemongrass and tamarind. The spiciness was acceptable (not spicy enough i think. But otherwise my daughter won't be able to eat it). My idea adding some fried tofu was excelent as well. Basically it was because of some economical reason but acceptable.

That's why, I'd love to share this recipe. To share my happiness when I ate this dish. :-)

Ingredients :
  • 800 grams squid
  • 200 grams tofu, cut into 3 cm cubes
  • 3 shallots
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 candlenuts
  • 1 chili pepper, remove the seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (or about 3 cm fresh turmeric root, peeled)
  • 3 cm fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 lemon grass, bruised and knotted 
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind paste (reduce the amount if you have a very sour paste)
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • salt and pepper
  • about 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Tip : feel free to add some small chili peppers (cabai rawit) if you want to make a spicy version 

Preparation :
  1. Clean the squid by removing the internal organ, cartilage (white transparent squid back bone), eyes, and the ink sac. (Tip : You can see the pictures in here ) No need to remove the outer skin/membrane but feel free to do it. 
  2. Wash it under the running water and dry it nicely with kitchen towel.
  3. Blend together shallots, garlic, candlenuts, chili pepper, turmeric, and ginger until you get a paste form.
  4. In a pan, pour and preheat the vegetable oil to fry the tofu and the squid.
  5. Fry the tofu for about 2 minutes until the surface become golden brown
  6. Remove the tofu from the oil and drain it well.
  7. Put the clean squid into the same pan and fry it for about 30 seconds. ( You can see the tentacles start to shrink and curled up)
  8. Remove the squid from the oil and drain it well.
  9. In another pan, preheat about 4 tbs vegetable oil.
  10. Add the spice paste and saute for about 3 minutes until fragrant.
  11. Add fried tofu and squid into the pan and stir it carefully until they are covered with the spices.
  12. Add lemon grass, tamarind paste, bay leave, and coconut milk.
  13. Stir again and bring it to a boil.
  14. Reduce the heat and simmer it for about 20-30 minutes until the liquid is slightly reduced and the coconut milk become slightly oily.
  15. Turn off the heat and serve it hot with hot steamed rice and green sambal.
Tip : do not fry the squid too long otherwise you will get a very tough squid. But you can not skip this process as well otherwise during the cooking process you will get a excess water coming out from the squid. 

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