The Delicious Stone “Era”

How many of you here are into gardening, and cooking?

Okay, it seems quite many. But  for gardening, they can’t just do it easily, because of some factors:

only little space, and time

I guess one does not need a big garden to do gardening. Having a big garden is indeed a plus for those who are into gardening. But, there are still pots. One can grow plants in pots, but of course you are restricted to growing only certain kinds of plants. I used to grow chillies, and tomatoes. I live in a tropical country, Indonesia where nearly every plant can grow quite easily. I had no problems in growing chillies, or tomatoes back then. I have been googling “How to Grow Herbs”. It’s interesting to know each character of herbs. Some plants/ herbs are quite easy to plant;just sow the seeds on the ground where you want them to grow, and wait patiently until the baby plant grows, then you are reaching the next step, which is caring them until it’s time for harvest time. But, growing some herbs in pots does not seem to be as easy as I thought, or so I read.  Plus  the problem might arise if one lives in other parts of the countries where seasons change more often than in tropical countries.

Indonesia, as a matter of fact, likes to process food using fresh herbs. Even the process of cooking the food itself is considered “traditional”. I’ll show you how:

1. Believe it or not, even one lives in an extravagant house. The house full with a lot of expensive stuff, modern stuff. But, he or she can’t get far away from a traditional food processor called “Cobek” ( Bahasa).

Feeling like going back to the stone era? well, yeah perhaps this is one of the gifts the people in the stone era gave to human beings. But there is another variation of “cobek” which is made from clay. I have both.  It’s of course twice or even three times more tiring to process herbs using this “cobek” than using electric food processors.

How to  process the herbs into powder to spice your food?

Just lay any herbs you want on to the “cobek” then using “ulek

-ulek” the stone handle, you can try your power to smash the herbs.

And what does “cobek” have to do with fresh herbs? Well, probably nothing. But it’s more like the feeling of cooking the food when the two traditional things are involved.

Some people say : using fresh herbs will make your food taste more delicious than if you use instant herbs. The aroma your food produces is way more fragrant than if you use all instant. I would say so.  There are only few  instant herbs, which I sometimes use for my cooking; like pepper.

It feels nice when I see all the fresh herbs from home-grown herbs laying on the “cobek”.

There are a lot of Indonesians who decide to grow herbs in pots when they have to move to sub-tropical countries, for example. I am still reading about all these herbs thing growing in those countries, so I might be wrong. Some herbs do not grow easily in those countries. In Winter, for example, they die down because some herb plants do not tolerate extreme cold.Another case is that, some herbs are typical only for Asian food or dishes, thus European markets sometimes overcharge the kind of herbs.

  • Isn’t it better to have them grown at home than buy them for little amount only?
  • Isn’t that nicer to have fresh herbs for your food than the instant ones?
  • Doesn’t  it double the happiness when you manage to reach the harvest time, and use your crops for your own sake? ( even though you can share the crops with your neighbor, if it’s quite a lot.)
  • Isn’t that nice to make your house smell good because of the fresh herbs? ( better than perfume,maybe?) These kinds of natural perfume is more environmentally friendly.I only learned that some herb plants do have pretty flowers, and they also smell nice
  • And, last but not least, isn’t that fantastic to cook all those fresh herbs using traditional food processor? save energy! ( but not yours, and doing this “ulek-ulel” activity is quite healthy for you, isn’t it?)

My writing seems to be redundant; I am talking “cobek” as traditional food processor, but at the same time I am also talking about fresh herbs. The idea is :

Something traditional seems more fun! And homey! Just my two cents


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12 responses to “The Delicious Stone “Era”

  1. Hi LuLu, great post. Recently I bought a modern cobek myself to use in cooking. It´s a great tool in the kitchen and much better than modern electrical machines. I´m a big fan of Indonesian food too, here are many Indonesian restaurants but I prefer trying to cook myself the dishes. I love these Indonesian cobeks.

    • Oh yeah? where did you buy cobek there? hehe I thought it was pretty hard to buy cobek there?? let me know. I also think the same that it’s much better than modern electrical machines.
      There are some Indonesians restaurants I know in Germany, but I haven’t found one in Dortmund. Where are you?.Above all, good to know that you love it:-)

  2. I had a chance to crush tea leaves in something that resembles a cobek – not sure what the Chinese name is.

    I’ll probably stick to my food processor because I’m lazy 🙂

    • Yes, I believe something similar like this is found there too. Perhaps, someday you’ve got to take culinary shots of Taiwan:P

  3. It’s not exactly a cobek but a similar tool. Here in Holland in almost every street (in the big cities) there’s an Indonesian restaurant or toko. Very nice!

    • I’ve also heard that typical Indonesian food, which I like so much, can only be found there in Holland:D
      We’re closely connected

  4. Lulu, love your new home here :-p
    Gardening became one of my new hobbies when i moved to my other-half country. It´s mainly because fearing that I wouldn´t find any ingredients I would need for my Indonesian cooking (my other new hobby). As our home has a little piece of extra land, it´s perfect for our small garden. I longed for lemongrass, chilli, tomatoes, aubergines, zucchini, vines, pampasgrass, mango, strawberry, cherry, you name them 😀 At the end, I got most of my ingredients for cooking in nearby shops. Not necessarily asian shops. But even local German supermarket (like Real or Rewe) sold this éxotic´ingredients. I didn´t give up, but merely, because I have tried. Some worked, some didn´t. And I agreed that, unless I have greenhouse, different temperature was a major problem. But I guarantee that even you will not succeed in planting some plants as exotic as pineapple or lemongrass, you will likely get some tomatoes, chillies, ginger, and even bamboo grow in your garden. For banana plant, you will have to move them into the house during winter. Tomatoes will grow only one year anyway 🙂
    Btw, I have brought a small cobek with me for my sambal. But for other reason, I also had mini blender for making herbas paste (for curry, bumbu bali, bumbu sambal goreng, bumbu opor ayam). Trust me, it saved us the mood, time and taste was unaffected.
    So good luck !!

    • wohooo! What a surprise you are here! danke! This is actually not really my new home, but has been re-activated since the mid of this year, but I’ve got this home since 2008.
      Ya, you are lucky to have such a large garden! I’ve liked gardening since I was a little. In my mum’s, there are mango tree, pandanus leaves. Sometime ago, we also had chillies.
      Hehe, thanks for the encouragement of the possibility to find exotic ingredients there, especially in REWE. I just thought that something natural is somehow healthier. It makes your food taste better, as I said on the page.
      Sometimes I also think blender is such a big help, especially when I am in a lazy mood, hehe. But strange as it may sound, I miss using cobek once I use blender too often, hehe.
      Thanks for being here!

  5. Lulu, this looks really cool…. like a really flat mortar. In South India, there is something similar but it is bigger in size. I would love to have this thing in my kitchen… it looks amazing and seems useful.

    • I believe you have something similar in South India. Perhaps you should show me someday:-)

  6. Yes, It’s a small world sometimes, great to be so closely connected. Java is wonderful and so authentic, it’s a dream for me to visit Java in the future.

    • Thanks! I wish you luck for your dream, let me know if you are visiting Java:-)

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