Only the best peanuts are good enough for our sauces.
The main reason for Ratu Culinair's successes is the fact that we always choose quality. When purchasing, we set high standards to the ingredients for our products. At least as important is the way in which we produce our sauces and snacks. This is done in a contemporary yet traditional way, based on old family traditions. Peanut sauce at Ratu Culinair is always real peanut sauce: rich, royal and full of flavour. We do not skimp on the amount of peanuts, which is of course the most important ingredient of our sauces. The Ratu Culinair sauces are prepared with whole peanuts, and not with peanut butter diluted with water. Taste one of our sauces yourself!
In the West, we mainly know peanut sauces because they are frequently used in the Asian cuisine, which has become very popular over the years. The peanut is, however, not an Asian or Eastern plant. The peanut plant is originally from South America, where the Incas discovered the nutritional value of the fruits of this plant centuries ago. The Spaniards took the peanut on a 'world tour' in the 16th century, which is how it ended up in Asia. The climate ensured the plant thrived there. The Asian people soon incorporated the peanut into their rich culinary tradition. The peanut also turned out to be a lucrative export product. Soon after Europeans got acquainted with the Asian peanuts, large commercial plantations were started to be able to meet the increasing demand from the West.
Along with the peanuts, also the Asian dishes in which the peanuts were used, crossed over to Europe. This is how the West got acquainted with the exotic peanut sauce, which has been completely incorporated in the Dutch cuisine. Think of the very Dutch delicacy of fries-and-peanut sauce ('patatje pinda').
In Europe, peanut sauce is often called sateh sauce. This makes sense, as sateh is almost always served with peanut sauce. Nowadays, many people know that there is not one, but many kinds of peanut sauce. They often look similar, but they taste quite differently. In the Asian and Eastern cuisine, there are many varieties of peanut sauce. A different sauce for every dish! Ratu Culinair has specialised in the preparation of these sauces, that are all different due to the addition of various spices and herbs.
In the preparation of the authentic peanut sauces, Ratu Culinair exclusively uses natural and vegetable ingredients. No colourants and no preservatives are added. This also goes for ingredients of animal origin, which makes the sauces ideal for use in the vegetarian kitchen.
And not in the least, we emphasise that the Ratu Culinair peanut sauces are prepared with love and passion, as our ancestors in the tropics have also always done. Without realising it then, they stood at the cradle of our modern company, that lets thousands of people enjoy the Asian cuisine of healthy and tasty culinary delights with its peanut sauces today.
The peanut is not a nut but a legume
The peanut (Indonesian name: kacang tanah) is also known as the earth nut, ground nut and monkey nut. However, the peanut is not a nut. The peanut is the legume or fruit of the peanut plant (official name: arachis hypogaea), which grows underground. The annual plant looks like a little green shrub with small yellow flowers. From these flowers, the plant develops a pod with usually two seeds. The stem with the pod becomes an offshoot that disappears into the soil again. Underground, the pod ripens to then start to germinate under natural conditions. However, the peanut farmer will not let it come that far. The peanuts are harvested before germination. The plants are then laid in the sun to dry with the peanuts facing upwards. Dug up peanuts contain 25 to 50% of water and must dry to 10% or less before they can be stored.
Peanuts are the most popular snack vegetable in the world. There are few parties where peanuts are not served as a snack. It is a stubborn myth that peanuts are bad for your health. Often, it is stated very firmly that peanuts are fattening. The opposite is true, however. The peanut is a healthy snack and even has medicinal capacities. The healthy unsaturated fats in peanuts are not converted into body fat and help prevent heart and vascular conditions. Peanuts contain a lot of resveratrol, a substance applied in diets against cancer. Peanuts are also full of antioxidants, that destroy free radicals in the human body. The amount of fibres in peanuts is high, as well as vitamin E, vitamins B and quite a few minerals such as magnesium, copper, phosphor, selenium, zinc, folic acid and potassium.
Peanuts are not just used as a snack and as main ingredient for peanut sauces. They also provide the well-known peanut oil, which is tasteless and odourless and often used for stir frying.
Peanut sauces for vegetable dishes
The Indonesian cuisine has a large variety of vegetable dishes, that are served both as main and side dish. These dishes consist of raw or blanched vegetables. The most well-known vegetable dishes are gado gado, lotek, petjel and karedok. They are all quite similar and are often confused. Each one has its own specific ingredients, own method of preparation and also a peanut sauce that is inextricably linked to the dish. Ratu Culinair makes a delicious authentic sauce for each of these vegetable dishes, with each its own specific authentic flavour. You should try them all at least once.
Gado gado literally means 'mixture' or 'blend'. Gado gado is a mixture of various vegetables. It is a traditional Javanese dish and consists of a mixture of various vegetables, tempeh or tofu, steamed potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, lontong rice and peanut sauce. As with most Indonesian dishes, each region has its own variety. In East Java, for instance, the vegetables and other ingredients are first served on a platter, after which the gado gado sauce is poured over en the dish is garnished with fried onions and emping krupuk. This vegetable dish is often called gado gado siram.
The preparation of gado gado is simple and takes little time. That is why this dish is readily available at almost all warungs (food stalls) at the side of the road as well as in restaurants. With the authentic flavour of Ratu Culinair Gado Gado Sauce, you imagine yourself in Indonesia for a little while.
Lotek is also called the Sudanese brother of gado gado. The choice of vegetables for this dish is random, as with gado gado. Whatever is available can be used for this dish. The accompanying peanut sauce is totally different from the one for gado gado. In the lotek sauce, lime juice is used and when preparing the vegetables, laos, garlic and trassi (dried prawn paste) are added. First, the peanut sauce is prepared, after which it is mixed in with the steamed, blanched or raw vegetables. Lotek is usually eaten with lontong rice (slices of pressed cooked rice), but can also be served with nasi putih, white rice. In Indonesia, lotek is renowned for being one of the healthiest dishes.
Petjel is the East Java version of gado gado. The peanut sauce for petjel is spicier that the one for gado gado. Petjel is almost always served with nasi putih, white rice.
Karedok is a vegetable dish from West Java. The difference to other vegetable salads is that karedok is always prepared with raw vegetables.
Krupuk (or kerupuk) is an important side dish in the Indonesian cuisine. There are over thirty different types of krupuk in Indonesia. The ingredients can vary widely. The most well-known krupuk in the Netherlands is made of (tapioca) flour and prawns: krupuk oedang. This krupuk is available as slices of flour and prawns, fried to a crisp in oil. In Indonesia, krupuk is originally a side dish, that is served with every meal. Nowadays, it is also used as a snack, just as in the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands, there are also other krupuk varieties for sale, as well as other crispy snacks or crisps, that are conveniently all called krupuk. Cassava krupuk, called kripik in Indonesia, is made of dried slices of the ketela pohon (cassava, yucca, singkong). It is a vegetable krupuk. Emping is also often called krupuk in the Netherlands. Just as kripik, this is vegetable-based. Emping is made of the seed of the fruit of the melinjo tree.
Ratu Culinair makes various types of krupuk, such as Krupuk Gendar, Krupuk Opak, Gado Gado Krupuk and, of course, Emping Krupuk.
Emping has a spicy, nutty flavour and is made from the seed of the almost ripe oblong melinjo fruit. The melinjo tree (official name: gnetum gnemom) is an evergreen densely branched slender tree, that can grow to be about 65 feet tall. The fruits of the melinjo are about 1.5 x 0.5 inch and have a leathery skin. The core (kernel) of the seed is white. After harvesting, the seed is taken out of its skin, boiled, flattened and laid in the sun to dry. Then, the flattened seeds are fried crispy in vegetable oil. Emping is completely vegetarian, contains less fat than 'regular' krupuk and is rich in starch, minerals, carotene and vitamin C.
Emping is eaten, naturally flavoured or sprinkled with a dash of salt, as a snack, but is also popular as a side dish. Emping forms an excellent combination with the healthy vegetable salads from the Indonesian cuisine.
Besides emping, Ratu Culinair also makes so-called emping blado. The emping is then coated in a sweet and spicy layer of gula jawa (Javanese sugar) and chilli sauce. Emping blado is mainly eaten as a snack.
Tempeh is a vegetable product of soy beans. For the preparation of tempeh, cooked soy beans are fermented with the so-called rhizopus fungus. The fermentation created a firm white soy product. Tempeh is a versatile ingredient, as is its 'sister' tahoe or tofu. Fresh tempeh has a solid texture. It has a neutral, almost nutty flavour. As tempeh easily absorbs other flavours and aromas, it is an ideal ingredient for many dishes, such as soups, starters, salads, rice dishes and even as sandwich filling. Mostly tempeh is eaten as crispy fried slices or cubes.
Tempeh is very nutritious and healthy. It is rich in vitamins of the B-group, vitamin A, folic acid, pantothenic acid, biotin, fibres, and minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphor, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Tempeh is also low in fat and complete cholesterol-free. Just like tofu, tempeh is an ideal meat replacement and is therefore a much-used ingredient in the vegetarian kitchen.
Ratu Culinair Tempeh Gurih is a healthy and special snack, eaten as a cracker and also served with the main dish instead of krupuk or emping.