Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Chicken and Yard Long Beans from the Island of Nias

Upon seeing attractive and fresh looking bundles of yard long beans yesterday at Han Au Reun, a favorite dish from the past came to mind. My son and his fiance were coming over for dinner, and I wanted something special and unusual that could be prepared quickly and easily. Chicken and yard long beans it would be.

The recipe is from The Exotic Kitchens of Indonesia: Recipes from the Outer Islands, By Copeland Marks. Kalio Manu is from the outer island Nias, which on the inside cover is described as follows: “This megalithic Stone-Age island, though a dot on the map, yields a rich trove of culinary invention.”


A three pound chicken (including giblets), cut into 8 pieces
5 kemiri nuts or macadamia nuts
1 teaspoon salt
1 shallot, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 hot red chili, sliced
3 cups coconut milk
½ pound Chinese yard long beans, cut into 3-inch pieces

In a food processor, chop the nuts, then blend in the salt, shallot, garlic, turmeric, chili, and ½ cup of the coconut milk. In a saucepan, combine the mixture with the remaining 2 ½ cups of coconut milk, bring to a boil over moderate heat, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the chicken with the giblets to the mixture and cook, basting frequently, for 30 minutes, or until almost tender. Add the long beans and cook for 10 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 6.

from The Exotic Kitchens of Indonesia: Recipes from the Outer Islands by Copeland Marks, M. Evans and Co., Inc. New York