A quick guide to Batam

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What's growing in the Bawah Reserve gardens.....

A highlight for guests at Bawah Reserve is the permaculture garden walk. Guests can discover our organic and ecological gardens and take an eye-opening guided tour learning about our recycling and pioneering farming practices, natural ecosystems and diverse natural systems, which allow us to grow the freshest and most delicious organic produce possible.  They can even get involved with some harvesting.

Here are 10 of the most delicious things currently growing in our gardens.  Plus some interesting facts we bet you never knew about these top Indonesian vegetables, herbs and spices............



1) Ginger

Ginger Growing Permaculture Gardens

Ginger is a popular component in Indonesian cooking and is often grated or cut into small
pieces and added to dishes like rendang and curries. It has a strong flavour and a distinctive
smell. It’s also great steeped in hot water with a squeeze of lemon as a comforting, healthy
drink.


Did you know…

ginger is actually a rhizome, not a root. Rhizome are underground stems that
grow horizontally. Roots, on the other hand, grow into the soil vertically to anchor a plant in
place.

 


2) Galangal

 

Often mistaken for ginger since the two look alike, the two rhizomes can’t always be used
interchangeably as they have different tastes. While ginger is spicy and pungent, galangal has
a more citrusy, earthy flavour. The skin is lighter in color than ginger and the insides are
harder, so you can’t grate it.


Did you know…

To add to the confusion, galangal is also called Chinese ginger and Thai
ginger. Watch out for these terms when you’re cooking Asian food.

 


3) Red chilli

Red Chilli growing at Bawah Reserve permaculture gardens
Many Indonesian dishes have a spicy kick due to the addition of fresh or dried red chilli.
Mild dishes are often served with red chilli sambal (RECIPE HERE) on the side.
With a fabulously fiery colour, the general rule with chillies is that the smaller they are, the
hotter the flavour. Bawah Reserve’s chilis are small, so consider yourself forewarned.

 
Did you know…

Chillies are natural painkillers as they trigger the brain to produce pain-
relieving endorphins.

 

4) Lemongrass

Lemongrass growing Permaculture Gardens
An important part of Indonesian cooking, lemongrass grows in long stalks and has an
invigoratingly, lemony fragrance. To use lemongrass in cooking, you need to trim the top and
base of the stalk, then peel off the tough outer layers before finely chopping or mincing the
inner core. Alternatively, stalks can be placed whole in a dish and removed before serving.


Did you know…

Lemongrass can be used to repel mosquitos and attract honey bees, making it
perfect for Bawah’s permaculture gardens.


5) Coriander/Cilantro


The entire coriander plant is edible but it’s the fresh leaves that are used the most in
Indonesian cooking. Don’t throw out the stems though; they are great for making curry
pastes.


Did you know…

Coriander can relieve digestive problems and can help regulate blood sugar
levels in people who have diabetes. 


6) Kangkung

Water Spinach Kangkung growing at Bawah Reserve Permaculture Gardens
Also known as water spinach, kangkung is loved throughout Asia for its crunchy stem and
long green leaves. It grows quickly and easily in most types of soil. Similar to spinach, you
need to use quite a lot as it shrinks down when cooked. Full of minerals, such as potassium,
iron and magnesium, this vegetable is a great addition to stir fries and dishes like gado gado.

 

Did you know…

Kangkung is listed as a "Federal Noxious Weed" under the US Department
of Agriculture's Plant Protection Act as it can be a nuisance to aquatic species.

 

7) Red Okra

Red Okra growing at Bawah Reserve permaculture gardens
Offering a unique flavour and texture, red okra has a taste that is similar to aubergine
(eggplant). When cooked, it turns green and takes on a stickier texture. Sambal okra is a
popular dish, as the finger-like vegetable is delicious when fried with garlic, chili and shrimp.


Did you know…

Red okra tastes exactly like green okra; the only difference is the colour.

 

8) Pumpkin

Local Pumpkins growing at Bawah Reserve permaculture gardens
Local pumpkins grow well in Bawah’s warm climate and, despite their weight, they grow
high up on the plant’s vines. With an orange flesh and a sweet flavour, they are a great
addition to an Indonesian curry or soup with coconut milk and chilli.

 

Did you know…

The name pumpkin comes from the Greek word “pepon”, meaning large melon.


9) Long Beans

Long Beans growing at Bawah Reserve permaculture gardens
Long beans grow very quickly in warm climates and are a versatile addition to any kitchen.
Edible both when fresh and cooked, this vegetable is also known as a yard long bean or snake
bean due to its long, slender size. Long beans stir fried with tempeh is a common local dish.

 

Did you know…

Long beans can grow up to thirty inches in length, although they have more
flavour if you harvest them around half this size.

 

10) Local Cucumber 

Local Cucumbers growing at Bawah Reserve Indonesia permaculture gardens

In Southeast Asia, the cucumbers are shorter and thicker than many of the Western varieties. They are often crossed with different types of melons -making them slightly sweeter.  They almost look like a marrow! 

 

Did you know.....

Cucumber is commonly known as a vegetable because of how it's eaten. However, it grows from flowers and contains seeds, so botanically it is classified as a fruit. 

 

Our aim is for the permaculture gardens to supply 60% of all the fresh supplies for the kitchens. We are well on track for this and you can find all of the above on the menus daily. 

 

 

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