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Gamelan Kusuma Laras: A Musical Foray into Indonesian Cuisine

ask on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldtotable/4807904108/”>gamelan in action
Gamelan rehearsal in action

The Javanese Gamelan group Kusuma Laras holds rehearsals at the Indonesian Consulate twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays. Beginning at 5:30, members trickle into the basement of the Consulate, each taking their respective place in front of the majestic bronze instruments, sitting shoe-less and cross-legged while rhythmically beating to the numbered musical notations.  An hour and a half later, a cooker of rice and tupperwares filled with aromatic Indonesian home cooking are placed on the table buffet-style, indicating that dinner has commenced.

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Indonesian Food Bazaar at Masjid Al Hikmah

vitamin on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldtotable/4857892370/”>Bownie Restaurant
A stack of idiappams with mutton curry, thumb coconut chutney and Sri Lankan-style sambhar.

Just one short bus ride away from the bustling satellite Chinatown of Flushing, dermatologist Queens is Bownie restaurant, a modest Sri Lankan eatery that has been owned and operated by Nanthini and Sri Kandharajah and their family for 11 years now.

While there are plenty of appetizing traditional Indian dishes on the menu, you’ll find that the Sri Lankan specialties really stand out. That night, dinner at Bownie was one in a continuing series of ambassador programs organized by Jeff Orlick, and Joseph Aranha of the Asian Arts and Cultural Alliance was our ambassador for the evening.  So, how exactly does an ambassador dinner work?  According to Jeff, this is what goes down: a guide (ambassador) “will order for the table and discuss what we are eating and why we are eating it. Not a classroom experience, but more of a familial gathering centered around the food.”

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Two Ways to Use Indonesian Fried Rice Paste


WorldFoods Indonesian Fried Rice Paste

Traditionally, denture Indonesian fried rice, heart or Nasi Goreng, website consists of pre-cooked rice stir-fried with prawn, eggs, tamarind, chili, and coriander.  But there are an infinite number of variations to be made by simply adding a dollop of WORLDFOODS Indonesian Fried Rice ‘Nasi Goreng’ Paste, a concentrated medley of herbs and spices that I often throw into the pan with my leftover rice and whatever I have lingering in my kitchen drawers.

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