When an old school friend (when I say old I mean young obviously) asked me if I would like to try his Mama Eti’s range I jumped at the chance because I love friends, food, cooking and small businesses, so obviously Mama Eti’s ticks all those boxes! Jeremy sent me a box of what I can only describe as deliciousness, so many brightly coloured jars containing ingredients and flavours with simple to cook instructions, I couldn’t wait to start whipping up a feast.
Jeremy’s wife, Tina, grew up in Bandung, a tiny and very picturesque village in the foothills of Western Java where she had an idealic but very humble upbringing surrounded by extinct volcanoes, rice paddies and trickling streams. Moving to England and living so far away from home, the two things she missed most about Indonesia were her family and her mother’s cooking so she used to recreate her mum’s dishes in her kitchen at home, where the smells and flavours immediately transported her back to her village. It was then that she struck on the idea to cure the homesickness and develop a business which keeps both alive here in England.
The first curry paste we tried was the Sumatran Chicken Curry which was bursting with flavour and the combination of lemon grass, kaffir lime leaf and galangal make this dish uniquely Indonesian, combined with the fiery chillies (I left out the birds eye chills just incase anyone complained) give it the personality that is undeniably of Padang Cuisine. All I had to do was fry the contents of the jar, add in the dry ingredients and brown the chicken before adding the Coconut Milk before leaving to cook in the slow cooker. It was so yummy that there was nothing left after everyone had gone back for seconds.
I’m not normally a lamb curry kind of girl but the Sumatran Lamb Curry was decidedly moreish and Big Welsh said it tasted just as nice a few days later. Influenced by the trading links between the Middle East and Sumatra, it’s a coconut based curry with subtle hints of cardamom, star anise, cinnamon and clove. I fried up the ingredients and added the lamb leaving it to soak up the flavours for before putting it in the slow cooker.
Last night we had the Beef Rendang which is the most famous of all the banana leaf curries. Beef Rendang is a dry but succulent curry typically eaten at festivals and ceremonies, so if you like your curry with an abundance of flavour you will just love Rendang which we did and again there was nothing left! I dished it up with a mixture of rice and a big bowl of broccoli that was wolfed down.
The instructions are very easy to follow and the additional ingredient Coconut Milk is one that I have in the cupboard all the time so I was able to throw open the cupboard doors and start cooking straight away. I’ve always got tins of bamboo shoots and a fridge full of vegetables so could easily add in some of those if I have unexpected guests. Everything you need is included which makes it ideal for a cupboard staple in our house. The allergens are highlighted on the packaging and for a milder taste they recommend leaving out the bird’s eye chilli.
We are yet to use the marinades though with the BBQ season fast approaching we will no doubt be trying out recipe and suggestions and will be adding the relish to our lunches without a doubt. Other products in the range include a Sate sauce which I know I will love as well as Nasi Goreng which I know will complement fried rice and the Fragrant Chicken Soup Spice Paste will find its way in to some recipes I whip up.
If you just so happen to be around Birmingham on the 2nd Saturday of every month head to Brum Yum Yum in Kings Heath and sample their live cooking and take away one of our spice pastes to cook at home. Be sure to tell Jeremy I suggested you pop along, but don’t ask him to tell you any of our school horror stories!