Marijuana in Aceh curry, a thing of the pastPosted by Petty Elliott · 0 comments
In my two trips to Aceh recently I found many surprises and lots of inspiration. The character of food in this, the northernmost province in Sumatra, is rich and heavy, laden with spices and frequent use of coconut. Given its history of trade with South Asia and the Middle East, it is hardly surprising that Acehnese cuisine has Indian and Arab influences. These extend both in terms of cooking techniques and the use of selected spices such as cumin, cardamom, star anise, fennel seed, cinnamon and pepper.
Combining such spices with chilies, ginger, lemongrass, plik (fermented grated coconut) pandan leaves and belimbing wuluh (sour finger of the carambola, part of the star fruit family) results in delicious, complex flavours.
Curry leaves are regularly used ingredients and interestingly, once upon a time, marijuana was a traditional part of Acehnese curry dishes. Today of course it is banned as an illegal drug and this practice has died out. Still very much alive and in demand is the delicious Aceh coffee.