Sweet coconut & basil salad


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Fire Islands: Recipes from Indonesia

Fire Islands

By Eleanor Ford

Published 2019

  • About

A Central Javanese relative of urap, trancam is light and fragrant, sweet and spicy. I can’t think of a table of food from this book that wouldn’t be improved by having this amongst its members.


  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 3 cm ( inches) kencur or 2 cm (¾ inch) galangal, peeled and chopped
  • 2 lime leaves, deveined and finely sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons dark palm sugar (gula jawa), shaved
  • 300 g (10½ oz) fresh coconut, finely grated
  • 100 g ( oz) fine green beans, sliced to tiny rounds
  • 100 g ( oz) Chinese napa cabbage, finely shredded
  • 100 g ( oz) cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • 100 g ( oz) beansprouts
  • 50 g (2 oz) Thai basil, leaves picked


Using a mortar and pestle, pound together the chillies, kencur and lime leaves to make a rough paste. Add the salt and palm sugar and continue to grind to a smoother paste flecked with lime leaves. Add the coconut and mix well to make the dressing. Taste: both the sweetness and spice should be very pronounced at this stage as they will be muted by the vegetables.

When ready to serve, toss the dressing through the raw vegetables and herbs and heap onto a serving dish.