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Balinese Vegetable Soup

any seasonal vegetables can be used in Sayur Oelih.

ingredients

serves 8
225 g (8 oz) green beans
1.2 litres (2 pints) 5 cups boiling water
400 ml (14 fl oz) 1 2/3 cups coconut milk
1 garlic clove
2 macadamia nuts or 4 almonds
1 cm (1/2 in) cube terasi
10 - 15 ml (2 - 3 tsp) coriander seeds, dry-fried and ground oil for frying
1 onion, finely sliced
2 duan salam or bay leaves
225 g (8 oz) beansprouts
30 ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice
salt

method

1. Top and tail the green beans and cut into small pieces. Cook the beans in the salted, boiling water for 3 - 4 minutes. Drain the beans and reserve the cooking water.

2. Spoon off 45 - 60 ml (3 - 4 tbsp) of the cream from the top of the coconut milk and reserve it.

3. Grind the garlic, nuts, terasi, and ground coriander together to a paste in a food processor or with a pestle and mortar.

4. Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan, and fry the onion until transparent. Remove and reserve. Fry the paste for 2 minutes without browning. Pour in the reserved vegetable water and coconut milk. Bring to the boil and add the duan salam or bay leaves. Cook, uncovered, for 15 - 20 minutes.

5. Just before serving, add the beans, fried onion, beansprouts, reserved coconut cream and lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and adjust it, if necessary. Serve at once.

Even in the East, cooks use canned coconut milk. Any leftovers can be chilled for 3 - 4 days or frozen immediately, then thawed before use.

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