Friday 24 May 2019

Potato Tuturuga from Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford

Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford | salt sugar and i

A couple of weeks ago, amongst the cake madness (see previous post) I received a beautiful book in the mail. Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford. I had a brief flick through and thought wow, yum, um I need this now, ooo I think I had that in Bali, mmm noodles, but had to put it down to get back my cakes. It wasn't until last week I finally got the chance to have a real read and start cooking from it. And let me tell you, this book will make you hungry. It will make you hungry to source fresh turmeric and water spinach, and it will make you hungry to go and book a flight to Indonesia and not just sit on the beach of Nusa Dua drinking beer and eating Nasi Goreng every day, as delightful as that is.

The flavours and colours of the dishes in this book show waaaaayyy more variety of Indonesian foods than what we experienced. I have been completely oblivious of Indonesian cuisine before this year, and I'm embarrassed to say, the only Indonesian food I'd had was Mi Goreng from a packet, cooked in the microwave. Don't judge, I know you love the stuff too! Spicy and salty noodles, perfect street food/late night snack after too many drinks.

Potato Tuturuga from Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford | salt sugar and i

Potato Tuturuga from Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford | salt sugar and i

As much as I wanted to recreate the first meal Tris ever made me (true story!) and make a proper Mi Goreng recipe from this beautiful book it was the the Potato Tuturuga which caught my eye. It's essentially a potato curry and they are a huge hit in our home. If you like potatoes in your curry, then you'll fall in love with this one. I served it with a roast chicken like Ford suggests and goodness it was delicious. It's comforting and savoury from the coconut milk and mild spice paste but keeps its freshness from the fresh herbs and splash of lime juice at the end. Ford also suggests you can serve it with Fiery Sulawesi pork ribs which I want to give a try next time.

I apologise for my photo's, I think it's a hard one to make look pretty, gravy and potatoes. Well, curry and potatoes but still... you're just going to have to trust me (as usual) that it tastes a thousand time better than it looks in my photos. Because this really does.

It was surprisingly simple and didn't take hours to make which I think a curry that starts with a home made paste can often get a reputation for. I'm not saying this is a 15 minute meal with 5 ingredients but it'll come together while your chicken is roasting in the oven. You make a bumbu paste first, a spice base used in a lot Indonesian cooking, by wizzing fresh turmeric, ginger, garlic, chilli, shallots and a few almonds in the food processor, heat a frying pan big enough to fit all the potatoes in and fry off the bumbu paste until it's fragrant and making your kitchen smell utterly delicious. Wilt a couple of limes leaves in the pan, toss in the potatoes, a cup of coconut milk and top the rest up with water so the potatoes are covered. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through. Finish with a squeeze of lime and shredded basil and mint. It spices up a roast chook in more ways than one!

Potato Tuturuga from Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford | salt sugar and i

Mind blown with this cookbook and Indonesian Cuisine. Oblivious no more and hungry for more.

Has a book ever blown your mind?

Potato tuturuga

Serves 2-4
Recipe from Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford

Lime leaves, mint and lemon basil perfume this spicy, savoury curry. Tuturaga is made by the Minahasen people of North Sulawesi where the name means 'turtle' - the original meat cooked with potatoes in this red spice paste. Today chicken or beef is more typical, but I keep mine meat-free as I think potatoes cloaked in the spiced coconut milk are the best bit.

500g potatoes, peeled
1 tablespoon oil
2 lime leaves (I used kaffir lime leaves)
250ml coconut milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
small bunch of lemon basil leaves, shredded (I used regular basil)
small bunch of mind leaves, shredded
juice of 1/2 lime

Bumbu spice paste
4 small red Asian shallots, peeled
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 large red chillies, half seeded
2cm ginger, peeled
3cm turmeric, peeled, or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
6 candlenuts or 10 blanched almonds

Start by making the bumbu spice paste. Roughly chop the fresh ingredients and grind to a paste in a food processor, adding a little water if needed to help it come together.

Cut the potatoes into 4-5 cam chunks.

Heat the oil in a pan that will be large enough to hold the potatoes later. Scrape in the bumbu and fry until fragrant and the rawness has gone. Add the lime leaves and wilt in the heat of the spices. Add the potatoes, coconut milk and salt and top up with just enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a slow boil and cook uncovered until the potatoes are tender and the sauce has reduced to a good consistency, about 20-30 minutes.

Leave to cool a little then stir through the lemon basil and mint. Taste for seasoning ans brighten the flavours with a zap of lime juice.


  1. I love the sound of this book and your potato curry looks amazing, what a great colour!

    1. I love this cookbook. The recipes in it have such bright, fresh colours throughout the whole thing! Makes me want to book another holiday :)

      Thanks for stopping by x

  2. I have just found your post and it has made me very happy to see I have brought a bit of Indonesian flavour to your kitchen!
    Thank you for sharing this.
    Eleanor Ford

    1. Hi Eleanor, thanks so much for stopping by :) your book is so beautiful and full of such delicious recipes - I couldn't not share it! x


Thanks for stopping by, I love hearing from you! x


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