Most Indonesian dishes that I know of consist of hard-boiled eggs in one or another of a wide range of sauce-all the way from mild combinations of soya sauce and tomatoes (as in Semur, see Semur Ayam, and semur Lidah) to explosive concoctions of the hottest chilli. At home in Magelang, where I lived with my parents and my five sisters, whichever sister was cooking that day would call to the other members of the family and ask if they wanted their eggs in Bumbu Bali, Bumbu Acar, Bumbu Rujak . . . These bumbu, or sauces, can be used, with variations, to cook meat or fish or vegetables. In Java we did not consider any one sauce to be essentially superior to any other, though I suppose everyone had his own favorites. I have noticed, however, that in Indonesian restaurants in Holland Bumbu Bali seems to be especially popular. Perhaps the name has something to do with it-but it does taste good, and it is easy to make.
- 12 hard-boiled eggs
- 6 shallots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 red chillies 2 tsp Sambal Ulek
- 4 ripe tomatoes
- 2 tbs dark soya sauce
- 1 cup boiled water
- 1 tbs vegetable oil
Peel and slice the shallots and garlic and seed the chillies. Pound these in a cobek or mortar until smooth. Peel, seed and chop the tomatoes.
Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan and stir-fry the shallot-garlic-chilli paste for a minute or so. Add the chopped tomatoes, soya sauce and water. Let the mixture come to the boil and add the eggs, whole or halved, and simmer for 8 minutes. Taste, and add salt if necessary. Serve hot, With boiled rice.
to serve four to six