Posted by Carole

Are you a lover of Asian food and its subtle flavours?

Then keep on reading because today I want to tell you about Andaliman pepper, also known as Batak Berry, a much loved condiment from Indonesia, which I discovered a few months ago and I now cannot live with!


Andaliman pepper boasts delightful citrus and fruity flavours that perfume any dish beautifully and give it that “Asian twist” I’ve been looking for for so long but couldn’t get right. It’s as exotic as the Chinese Szechuan pepper but a lot less numbing and therefore it can safely be added to dishes while being sure the results will be flavourful yet subtle!

Andaliman pepper can be used in so many different ways too… crushed and sprinkled on food, in marinades, sauces and curries and is ideal to beautify fish, seafood and poultry dishes.

No need to say Batak berries have brought extra flavours to my kitchen and will continue to do so for a long time as I cannot get tired of this wonderful taste, however there is one dish that this exotic pepper has completely changed for me and as simple as it seems… it is rice!

As an Asian food lover, I’ve tried so many times to re-create the unique flavours of rice I had tried while traveling or at my local Thai restaurant but I could never get it right. I added lemongrass, ginger, coconut milk but something was still missing until I discovered Andaliman pepper!

So let me give you my recipe for a flavourful rice that you can enjoy with many dishes or on its own as it’s just so tasty!

I also want to apologize if you’re from anywhere in Asia and think this recipe doesn’t come close to your rich culinary traditions and that “Asian food’ doesn’t mean much as each country has its specialities (I fully agree!) but my only intention is to share my love for food and flavours!

Ingredients for 2 to 4 portions

  • 200 g of Basmati or Thai jasmine rice
  • 375 ml of water
  • 2 table spoons of coconut oil
  • 1 stem of lemongrass, outer leaves removed, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed Batak berries/Andaliman pepper
  • A pinch of salt

Chop the lemongrass and ginger and crush the Batak berries in a mortar. Place the rice into a colander and rinse 2 to 3 times then reserve.

Pour the coconut oil into a large pot over medium to high heat then add the rice and let it cook for half a minute until the grains turn a more solid white colour. Stir to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Add the chopped lemongrass, ginger, crushed Batak berries and salt to the pot and stir then add the water and place a lid on top of your pot.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and let cook for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. When the time is over, turn the heat off and keep the lid on for another 10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy that fragrant rice!

More recipes with Batak Berry are coming soon on this blog… so stay tuned and try to get your hand on this beautiful condiment… maybe here (US), here (UK) or here (CH)

Thank you for reading! Like, comment, subscribe if you like this blog!

Super Healthy Cooked Tomatoes

Posted by Carole

You’re already aware that tomatoes are good for you but did you know that cooking a tomato rather than eating it raw boosts it’s antioxidant properties and makes it even better for your body?

Indeed, tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, which gives tomatoes their distinctive red color but also has significant antioxidant properties known for reducing the risk of heart diseases and certain types of cancer and it’s been proved that cooking increases lycopene level in tomatoes, making them even better for you (two minutes cooking is enough to boost antioxidants level by 28 %)

There are many ways to enjoy cooked tomatoes beyond the traditional Bolognese sauce and here are two very simple and quick recipes to benefit from this very good news.

Pan-fried cherry tomatoes

Pan-fried cherry tomatoes are perfect to accompany any meat, especially grilled meats such as beef ribs or lamb chops or to beautify salad and pasta dishes.


Ingredients for one portion:

  • 6 ripe cherry tomatoes
  • One generous table spoon of olive oil (quality oil is worth the investment)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Aromatic herbs or condiments of your liking such as fresh basil, thyme, garlic, parmesan cheese or even turmeric powder – you’re free to experiment!

Wash and dry the cherry tomatoes then halve them.

Keep the tomatoes on your chopping board and drizzle olive oil onto them, add some chiseled basil and mix the all with your fingers to make sure the tomatoes are evenly covered in oil.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and dispose the olive oil & basil coated tomatoes into the pan face down/skin up then let fry for 4 minutes until golden. Turn the tomatoes face up/skin down and let fry for another 4 minutes making sure to reduce the heat to low to prevent the tomatoes’ skin from burning.

Add some pepper and salt then serve!

Tip: Drizzle some balsamic vinegar onto your tomatoes to give your dish a little kick!

Oven-roasted tomatoes

Like pan-fried cherry tomatoes, these make the perfect side-dish to grilled meat or fish and give a very sophisticated look to your plates. And the recipe is even easier!


Ingredients for one portion:

  • 2 ripe tomatoes (there are many varieties to try so have fun!)
  • One generous table spoon of olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Aromatic herbs or condiments of your liking

Heat oven to 160°C

Wash and dry the tomatoes then halve them. Keep the tomatoes on your chopping board and drizzle olive oil onto them, add some chiseled basil and mix the all with your fingers to make sure the tomatoes are evenly covered in oil.

Place the tomatoes face up/skin down on a baking sheet or baking tray covered with baking paper.

Tip: Pour some breadcrumbs on your tomatoes before heating them. Breadcrumbs will absorb any water surplus and give a beautiful crispiness to your dish!

Let roast for 45 minutes, add some pepper and salt then serve!

Bon appétit!

Good to know: Did you know that tomatoes also have astringent properties and drinking tomato juice can help reduce sweating? I guess it’s interesting news for those suffering from excessive sweating!

Thanks for reading! Like and leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your cooking tips with us!