A favourite breakfast across much of Asia is rice cooked until collapsed and made creamy by its own starch. I have always found the name ‘rice porridge’ an unappealing way of describing this, the savoury flavours jarring with the description. A risotto is a far better culinary cousin to call to mind for its similar texture and depth of flavour. Bubur Bali is velvety, comforting, nourishing. This fantastic version with spinach urap comes from the Bambu Indah hotel kitchens. The toppings make every mouthful different, so play around with these, adding some crunch, some spice, perhaps something pickled. Without the bumbu spice paste it makes perfect baby food. Add a scarlet spoonful of sambal oelek for some extra fire and it will soothe away the fiercest hangover.
Put the rice in a pan with one of the salam leaves and top with
Make the bumbu whilst the rice is cooking. Put all the ingredients for the spice paste into a food processor and blend to a puree. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in a shallow pan for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture darkens and the oil begins to separate from the paste. Tip in most of the grated coconut (keeping some back for later), the whole knotted lemongrass and the remaining salam leaf. Add
In a small pan, fry the shallot, garlic and chilli slices in the oil until golden and crisp.
Remove three-quarters of the spiced coconut sauce from the pan and set aside. Add the spinach to the remaining mixture and wilt over the heat. Turn off the heat and stir in the reserved grated coconut, the lime juice and the fried shallot/garlic/chilli mix. Taste for seasoning.
To serve, spoon the bubur into bowls. Divide the spiced coconut sauce over the top and then the spinach. Finish with a scattering of crispy shallots and fried peanuts.
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