Indonesian food cooking methods are prepared in a various ways: shallow or deep fried, grilled over hot coals, simmered, steamed and even in remote areas of Irian Jaya – baked in an earth oven as in Polynesia. However, there one important basic that you need to know how to prepare. It is how to prepare what is called the basic spice paste or bumbu used to season so many dishes. Indonesians cook use a grinding stone, ingredients are peeled, sliced or chopped into small pieces so it would be easier to grind. If you are using a blender or food processor, the order of processing the spices is much the same as for grinding stone, but you will probably need to add some liquid to keep the blades of the machine turning during the blending process. The liquid can be oil if the spice paste is to be fried or water if the spice paste is to be simmered in either coconut oil, stock or water. However, just add a little into it. The order to be followed when grinding or processing spice paste ingredients :
First : hard items, such as dried spices, nuts and tough fibrous rhizomes or leaves such as galangal and lemon grass.
Second : softer rhizomes such as turmeric, ginger and fresh or dried chilies
Third : ingredients which are full of moisture such as shallots and garlic
Last : shrimp paste and tamarind juice, and process just to mix well
To cook Indonesian meals, the spice paste either need to be fried in oil or simmered in liquid. If it needs to be fried, just use a little bit of oil over low to moderate heat and fry, stirring well until it starts to smell fragrant. Usually takes only 2-3 minutes. Sometimes, pieces of meat and poultry are added to the paste and stir fried until these are well coated and the color has changed.