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  • Writer's picturePoki Poki


Updated: Aug 9, 2021

Receipes from Togian Islands we want to share with you.

During this exceptional times of an international pendemic, while COVID-19 puts everything at a stop, we desperately miss our guests and hope they can visit us soon again. One thing we love to think back too is all the wonderful cooking classes we had. Since during the COVID-19 "lock-down" some of you might be cooking more then usual we`d love to take the chance and share our favorite recipes with you.

Besides snorkelling, diving, canoeing and all the other things you could imagine doing in and above the water, there are plenty of things to do around the islands and POKI POKI which keep your bathingsuit dry. Many of our guests love to join one of our cooking classes which by now some of our guests even got on their bucket list on things to do around the Togian Islands. Every now and then our chef Mila has time to leave her busy kitchen crew behind and teach a small group of guests on how to cook a fresh Indonesian "Togian Style" dish.

The meals served at POKI POKI are strongly focused on a vegetable based cuisine, including fresh fish from our neighboring waters. Around Togians a very traditional way to eat, even though the people of Togians usually eat small portions of rice and vegetables only, while rice is the main component of their diet. The supplie of vegetables is mainly covered by the gardens of the neighboring villages Bomba, Kulinkinari and Tumbulawa as well as the town of Ampana, just south of the islands in central Sulawesi. Many vegetables even grow right behind us in the jungle sourrounding our beautiful beach. Our kitchen crew collects Casava, Moringa, Banana Flower, Pandan Leaves and many other things right from the jungle behind us. With those exotic plants and many traditional dishes sered, a cooking class with Mila defenately is one of the things you should do on your trip to Togian Islands!

Up until then, here we go: a few of Mila´s recipes with comments how you can adopt the ingredients from the Togians to ingredients which are avaialble in Europe and countries all over the world. Enjoy cooking it! And hey - please send us some pictures, Mila will be very excited to see how her recipes fill the tables around the world. Also feel free to contact us if you remember a special meal which you want to know the recipe of.

Let´s start with this three classics of Togians kitchen: Nasi Kuning, Poki Poki Kari and Sambal.


Most beaches around Sulawesi are covered with coconut trees and fulfill the cliché of paradise. Coconuts are avaialble all year around and almost all parts of the plant are used by the people of Sulawesi. The water of the fruit is used as a refreshing drink. The coconut fat that deposits in the pretty shell of the nut is used for cooking and nibbling or is further processed as a candy. The remains of the bowl are used to fire almost every kitchen at Togian Islands as in many other rural parts of Sulawesi and Indonesia. The leaves can be processed as sun protection or as roofs to protect from the rain. The straight trunks of the coconut tree with their strong, resilient, fibrous wood are ideal as building materials and, due to their springy effect, refine even the finest dance floors around the world. No wonder that a lot of dishes are based on the coconut milk itself. At the Togians we are lucky to take our coconuts directly from the palm trees in our garden to produce fresh coconut milk on our own. If you want to cook the following recipes in Europe you might not get fresh coconuts. However, you can also buy canned coconut milk, which is slightly thicker than the fresh one. We recommend you to mix the canned coconut milk with a little bit of water to make it slightly thinner.

In case you can get coconuts at your local market: even better! We will tell you how to make fresh coconut milk below.



  • 1 Coconut

  • 1 l Water


  • two small bowls

  • one sieve


* Grinding the coconut: In Europe you might take a blender and put all the white coconut pieces inside. In Indonesia we have a special tool which is used to scratch to do so (see the picture below). Grind the coconut in small pieces, but not too small.

** Water the coconut and squeeze the coconut grate with one hand. After 5 to 8 minutes of squeezing it, take the sieve and put out all the coconut grate. Make sure to squeeze it again in the sieve so all the water will end up in the bowl. Take the squeezed coconut out and put it in the second bowl and repeat the process a second time.

***In the end all the flavor will be in the water, not in the coconut grate anymore. In order not waste it, you can use the flavorless coconut grate as flour for a cake for example. Or you can simply use it to make Mila´s favorite pancakes!


For two person.


  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil

  • 150 g Basmati Rice

  • 300 ml Coconut Milk (mix 150ml of canned coconut with 150 ml of water)

  • 2 tsp Turmeric

  • 1 piece (about 10 cm long) of Pandan Leaf (if available)

  • 1 stick Lemon Grass (smash it a little bit)

  • A pinch of Salt


  • A middle size pot with a lit

*Heat up the coconut oil in the pot a little bit and put the basmati rice inside. Heat the rice for about 3 minutes until you can smell the rice but be careful not to burn it. The rice should not get brown.

**Put all the other ingredients inside: the coconut milk, turmeric, lemon grass and salt. Taste the water, if it is salty enough.

***Slowly cook the yellow rice until the coconut milk is gone. This should be around 12 minutes. Than put it on the lowest heat.

****Take a thin towel and wrap it over the lit and close the pan with it. This way you can steam the rice for another 10 to 15 minutes.



For two person.

  • Coconut Oil for frying

  • 1 can of Coconut Milk

  • 6 small, long Eggplants (not the one with the big belly)

  • 1 piece of Ginger (about 5 cm long)

  • 1 piece of Garlic

  • 1 red Shallot

  • 2 tsp Turmeric

  • 1 pinch of Ground Coriander

  • 1 pinch of Cinnamon

  • 1 pinch of White Pepper

  • 1 small piece (about 10 cm) Pandan Leaf

  • 1 pinch of Salt

*Wash the aubergines and cut the endings. Take out some of the peel (peel out a lined pattern)

**Heat up the frying oil in a pan and fry the aubergines. Don´t put too many at once in the pan. After frying put them on a plate with kitchen paper to suck dry the rest oft he oil.

***Cut the ginger and garlic in small slices and smash it in the mortar to mix it together, add all the other spices. Take a Wok and heat up 1 tbp coconut oil, than fry the spice paste for about 2 minutes.

****Than put the coconut milk inside and the pandan leaf. Cook it for about 5 minutes, than put the fried aubergines inside and cook it for another 5 to 10 minutes.



There is no Indonesian meal without Sambal, it´s essential and served as a side to every dish.

For 2 person.


  • 1 small red Shallot

  • 1 piece of Garlic

  • A pinch of Lime

  • A pinch of Salt

  • A pinch of White Pepper

  • 2 small Cherry Tomatoes

  • 2 to 10 Chilis depending on how spicy you want the Sambal to be:-)

  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil


  • A mortar to mix up all the spices the best way

*Put all the ingredients in the mortar and start pounding it. Stop when everything is in small pieces and mix them together. Don´t pound it until it is a sauce. You should still see small pieces of the ingredients.


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