GrowinKitchen At Bandung Berkebun

I've always wanted to have a big, beautiful garden, almost similar to the one in Jamie At Home. The idea that I would be able to pick fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables then directly cook them in the kitchen was somehow alluring. But, because I currently share house with a lot of people (plus the owner's family with two toddlers), the dream will have to wait.

Nevertheless, I still want to learn gardening elsewhere. So on the 21st of May, with an invitation from a friend, I joined Bandung Berkebun event 'Tanam Perdana'. The garden is located at a vacant space in the middle of a residential area around Sukamulya Indah, Pasteur. It's only a couple of hundred square meters, but more than enough to plant loads of vegetables.

Front area: junior's plot.

One of the junior gardeners.

My watch pointed at 08.00 AM local time when I arrived there. In the front area, I saw three large bean-shaped plots for local kindergarten pupils and several other junior gardeners to plant green and red amaranth. Meanwhile, in the back, a couple of workers prepare the space into small plots of approximately 45cm by 60cm each. Every four plots are numbered and surrounded with some kind of gutter. There will be planted green and red amaranth seeds too, alongside water spinach, pak coy, red bean, long bean and chayote.

I myself got a small plot number 9D to work on, while the rest of the 9th plots are shared by my new friends Samii, Diah and Ade. Together we planted red amaranth. But before that, we had to clear up weeds, rocks, glass fragments, plastics and any other things that could detain the growth of our vegetables. Now, this is the 'endless' part. The more we dig, the more garbage we found. I barely believe what was beneath our soil, we even found this..

Tazos! (Tazos were popular free toys that we collected from packs of certain snack during early to mid nineties.)

After an hour (or so) trying to get rid whatever garbage in our plots, we gave up. Arbitrarily concluded that a couple of plastic and a handful of rock would do no harm. So we spread the amaranth seeds (and planted red chili that I brought from home, in every corner), watered the plots, then moved to another plots to help planting red bean. Dozens of people were busy digging, seeding and watering (and laughing) that very morning.

Red amaranth seeds.

Somehow this little garden remind me of my mum's. She used to have a little garden in the front of our house when I was still at primary school. There she grown some local herbs and spices, and allowed me to sow watermelon, orange and grape seeds. Sadly, the plants never bear fruit. Some even died earlier because I was too lazy to pull the weeds.

Well, that was old story. I hope our laziness this time won't cost the four of us our red amaranth babies. Because I already have several red amaranth recipe ideas for later. We will continuously visit our garden every Saturday while daily maintenance are scheduled to a local resident. Oh, can't hardly wait to see our sprouts spring..

Fingers crossed.

Bandung Berkebun is a part of a project called Indonesia Berkebun, which aims to create green spaces in the middle of town that (hopefully will) also benefit the surrounding communities. Visit their website for more information.

This post is also featured on Simple Lives Thursday #49 round-up.
Special thanks to the five awesome hosts from Iowa, Diana, Annette, Alicia, Wardeh and Mare.


The Sweet Comfort of Pisang Goreng (Plantain Fritters)

The opulence of glazed natural plantain caramel.

In Indonesia, particularly west part of Java island, you will find a lot of street food vendor selling fried snacks. Such as bala-bala (also known as bakwan, fried wheat flour batter with added vegetables), fermented soybean fritter, fried cassava, cireng (tapioca starch batter filled with peanut paste), comro (fried cassava batter filled with oncom), misro (a kind of sweet comro with palm sugar filling), gehu (bean curd filled with vegetables and fried with batter), sweet potato fritter and plantain fritter. All in one cart.

One of the famous fried snack vendor in Bandung is the one around Dalem Kaum. I must say their plantain fritters are winning, using several kind of plantains with different ways of processing. The most I love is their gegodoh, which use a very ripe plantain. A sweet, tender, greasy treat, with the opulence of glazed natural plantain caramel. And, by the way, it tasted even better when served with a cup of tea or black coffee.

Heaven is as simple as a plate of plantain fritters and a cup of jasmine tea with The Famous Five.

Pisang Goreng - Gegodoh
(Plantain Fritters)

  • 1000 ml oil for frying
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 300 ml water
  • 3 ripe plantains

Preparation methods:
  1. Heat the skillet in medium, pour in the oil.
  2. Meanwhile mix flour, vanilla, salt and water to make a batter.
  3. Peel the plantains and cut it anyway you like.
  4. Cover plantains with batter, fry in fair heat until tender. Drain and put on kitchen towel.
  5. Serve while hot, with tea or black coffee.
Yield 3 serves.

Sweet comfort. Don't you care to dive in? Go on, I know you want to..

This post is also linked to Simple Lives Thursday #49.
The food blog event is hosted by five awesome Iowa bloggers, Diana, Annette, Alicia, Wardeh and Mare.