Eid al Adha, the Culmination of Hajj Pilgrimage

It's been a while since I food-blogged. Or blog for that matter. 

This entry  has been posted on my Examiner.com column. 

Eid al-Adha is a day in the Muslim calendar that marks the culmination of the Hajj pilgrimage. During this day, a Muslim is ordered to give sacrifice in the form of a four-legged animal; to symbolize the mercy of God by sparing Abraham of sacrificing his son, Ishmael, by turning him into a lamb.

Muslim all over the world, who are financially able, will give sacrifices in the same form as those who are conducting Hajj rituals in Saudi Arabia. In Indonesia, the slaughtering of the animals tend to turn as 'just yet another excuse' for families to get together and feast on the abundance of blessings God has granted the family for the past year.

Indonesian are not used to eat large, slab-sized meat. Yet they are not tardy in figuring out methods to season and cook cow-based products. Indonesian are not one to throw away parts of a cow - if it's bite-able, then it's edible. Offal is not to be thrown away nor fed to pets. For many parts, and many population, of Indonesia, eating a four-legged animal is a luxury. Therefore, none of its part is to be thrown away.

 

One of the methods is to produce the above meal. The complete meal is to consist a meat dish, a vegetable dish, and diamond-shaped rice cake. Traditionally, they are to be made with coconut milk.

The recipe here, however, is for the beef liver. Liver, as part of offal, often received a bad reputation as sources of cholesterol. It does, however, also has high concentration of iron that helps those with low red blood cells. It also contain high concentration of Vitamins A, B12, C, folic acid, zinc - all good to be consumed by those recovering from illness.

Granted, the bitter taste of liver often turn off the palate, especially when not cooked properly (i.e. sans strong spices). This recipe will make a believer out of the taster.

Sambal Goreng Ati (Fried Liver Chilli)

Ingredients:

  • One whole liver (preferably one that is about 2lbs/1kg) - boiled for 30 minutes, then diced into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • 2 sachets of coconut milk powder, diluted with 350 ml water (for each pouch). If using a liquid kind of coconut milk, please make sure it's the thick version.
  • One small red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 5-10 pieces chilli pepper, sliced thinly (julienne style slicing) along the sides.
  • 2 leaves of Bay leaf
  • 2" galanga, or 2 tablespoon of galangal powder.
  • 2" ginger, bruised
  • 2 leaves of orange leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

  • Fry the liver in hot oil for approximately 3 minutes. Set aside.
  • With one or two tablespoons of cooking oil, fry onions, garlic, chilli, bay leaves, orange leaves, ginger, then galangal powder - in that sequence, for about 5 minutes or until it gives out a very fragrant scent.
  • Put the liver into the mixture. Put in the coconut milk slowly and carefully. Stir lightly as to not squish the liver pieces. Set the fire to medium until boiling, all while stirring constantly.
  • Once it boils, stop stirring, and wait for at least 15 minutes until the coconut milk's liquid evaporated and left behind a nice, thick mixture.

If a more soup-based dish is preferred, use 400 ml of water instead of 350 to dilute the coconut milk powder. Dish is to be eaten with white rice or rice cakes.

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