Steamed vegetables mixed with a spicy grated-coconut concoction make this a favorite at Warung Seniman. Also a traditional part of the tumpeng [rice mountain] at a slametan [ritual feast].

Bumbu [spice mixture]
4 small red chilis
1 clove of garlic
3 lime leaves
1 thumb-sized piece of kencur
1 Tbsp gula jawa
½ tsp salt

1 young coconut, grated

4–6 cups raw bayem (amaranth)
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup long beans, chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 carrots, thinly sliced

  1. Crush the bumbu ingredients together well, using a large lemper.
  2. Add grated young coconut and mix well, using your hands.
  3. Steam bayem, beans, and sprouts for a few seconds.
  4. Set out the vegetables on one plate and the grated coconut mixture in a bowl. Javanese eat this with their fingers (“dipulug”). They mix vegetables and coconut on their plate thoroughly together through their fingers.
  5. Serve with tahu/tempe goreng (fried tofu/tempe) or hard-boiled eggs cut in half.
  6. Eat with rice—“nasi gudangan”—or without.
  Serves 3–4

Jakartans call gudangan “urap,” and they fry the coconut mixture. Like most things Jakartan, this does not at all agree with Bp. Wakidi's “lidhah wong Solo” (Solonese taste).

American notes: Grated young coconut can be bought frozen in southeast Asian stores, Indian stores, and sometime in Hispanic stores. Whole young coconuts are sometimes available, but most of the green ones are a bit too young; their flesh is too gelatinous to grate. Old  (brown)  coconut might work in this recipe if freshly grated, but dried coconut won't. If you have only dried coconut, soak it for a few minutes in boiling-hot water, and then lightly fry the bumbu to make urap. I like to eat this with kemangi.