World Food Challenge

Day 176: Timor Leste and Batar Da’an

Good evening, Raffies!

Today we are going East, East East. We are on our way to Timor Leste. We are going to the country that literally means East East, from the Indonesian and Malay word for “East”, Timur, and the Portuguese word for “East”, Leste. Funny isn’t it? I wonder how they actually came up with this name.
Timor Leste has been a colony of Portugal for a long time, before being swallowed by Indonesia and regaining its independence not long ago, in 2002. Up to this day, Portuguese is widely spoken across the country.

The cuisine is strongly influenced by Portuguese cuisine, with dishes like Feijoada. A lot of vegetarian dishes are also found on the island, like today’s Da’an.
The dish’s name already tells you what it contains, since it means “boiled corn” in Tetum, the second official language after Portuguese.

Today’s dinner will be pumpkin, corn, mung beans with rice. Simple right?
The recipe is as simple as the dish may sound:

300 g corn
100 g mung beans
500 g pumpkin, peeled and cubed
2 c water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced

If you are using dried mung beans, place them in water the night before and boil them before starting. For my recipe, I was lucky enough to find them canned.
In a skillet, heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the pumpkin, corn and mung beans. Cook for a few minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes.
Adjust with salt and pepper and serve with rice.

I must say that I wasn’t too excited about this dish. I had expected something closer to Indonesian, Malay or Filipino cuisine. However, it was a nice and simple dish to cleanse after the intense week we just had. It was good not to have meat on the menu for once.



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