Aditya Muskita: Hearty Feast
Christmas is one Chef Aditya’s favorite holiday traditions. For generations, his family has passed down a recipe for a Bruine Bonen Soep (Dutch brown bean soup). For the holiday feast, one of his grandmothers would make a big pot for the family.
The batch would last for days, sometimes all the way to the new year. Over the time, the soup only got better as the beans cracked open and developed more flavor.
“For that span of days, that’s all we would eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” Aditya said, adding that the family would also have roasted duck. He said how much he loved his mother cooking whole poultry for the festivity,” said Aditya.
Aditya, who as a teenager worked at his parents’ food stall in one of suburban Jakarta’s wet markets, comes from a big family with mebers with diverse backgrounds. “That’s why during Christmas, there was always plenty of food to feast on: a variety of food and so many presents! But above all, I mostly like the sharing part. Every one of us would bring food to the table. It’s like a potluck, with lots of choices and flavors.”
Growing up with diverse food, Aditya said his cooking style leans towards modern simplicity while using the best ingredients around, which mostly means local produce. For him, all the components have to serve a purpose. “I won’t use a leaf or a flower for the sake of aesthetics,” said Aditya, who also believes in balanced elements.
During the holiday season, Aditya aims to serve meals that would reflect diversity while keeping the simplicity and balance, as he showcased in a number of dishes for FoodieS.
“We simply serve it with a nice stew of green lentils that has been cooked with Alang-Alang stock to give a particular grassy note that works very good with poultry. It’s effortless–home-style–but with a lot of focus on the details, like the moisture and crispiness.”
“We’re going to bake the meat in a brioche crust instead of a regular puff pastry. The bread is more buttery and moist, absorbing the juices from the meat just enough that it doesn’t become soggy and cakey. We’re serving it with a herb sauce and sauce from whipped egg whites and garlic. The dish is perfect with the vegetables baked in keciwis custard.”
“I like to use salt whenever I’m making something sweet. The salt balances out the flavor and makes it more delicious as it provides contrast. Serve with an eggnog punch to complete your Christmas dinner, top to bottom.”
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