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Indonesia Food Culture: Part 2

(Continued from last time)

Golden rice for celebrations!

For various celebrations, such as Independence Day, birthdays, or wedding ceremonies, Indonesian people eat Nasi Tumpeng.

They arrange Nasi Kuning (rice of golden color cooked with turmeric and coconut milk) in a cone form and put a lot of side dishes around it.

This cone arrangement represents a volcano and expresses gratitude to the God.

Yet, there are no rules to it. If you search the images for Nasi Tumpeng on the Internet, you will find it arranged as a heart, Hello Kity, a wedding cake, and more.

Golden color is a symbol of good luck in Indonesia, so this dish is believed to bring good fortune.

It is similar to Japanese red rice.

On the other hand, there are certain arrangements for the side dishes. You need to include at least one type of meat, fish, eggs, or vegetable food.

This food carries a prayer for a good harvest, many children and long life, so it's similar to Japanese New Year’s food.

indonesian food culture (acima blog)
indonesian food culture

Sweet food for tired times! Indonesian sweets

There is a type of sweet food called Quairpe sold at Jakarta food stalls.

It is a type of crispy crepes made of rice flour, sugar, coconut milk, eggs, and baking soda. It looks like a UFO because of its disk shape.

The middle pops out a bit, and this glutinous texture as opposed to a crispy feeling on the sides is this dish’s highlight.

Coloured with panda leaves it looks quite green, similar to matcha. Quite simple with a hint of sweetness.

Murtabak is another popular one!

There are two types of Murtabak – a sweet one and a salty one.

The salty one is called Murtabak Terrel or Murtabak Asin. It is fried to a crisp using flour dough with minced meat, eggs, and vegetables.

It gives off the same feeling as when eating a pie or gyoza.

The sweet one is called Murtabak Manis and is similar to pancakes. It is often fried with chocolate, cheese, or nuts. If you compare it to Japanese food, then the closest dish would be Imagawa-yaki.

What do Indonesians eat when fasting?

Because there are a lot of Muslims among Indonesians, there is a tradition called Ramadan (a fasting month).

During Ramadan, it is prohibited to eat or drink from the time when the sky starts turning white up until the sunset.

Ramadan is religiously mandatory and is considered to be a form of training.

During this period, Muslim people wake up and prepare food before the dawn, then they go to sleep again.

After waking up in the morning, people just normally go to school or work.

Most companies and schools work on a shortened schedule during Ramadan as well.

When the sun sets, that day’s Ramadan comes to an end.

People quench their thirst first as it is damaging for an empty stomach to suddenly take in food.

Apart from water, sweet drinks are also popular. Foods that include sweet coconut milk together with cassava and banana are called Colac and are also served a lot.

Then, they eat a dish called Iftar with their family, relatives, or friends.

This is the first meal of the day, so there are quite a lot of people who overeat because of that.

During Ramadan, the evening time is the only chance to be free to eat how much you want, so many people spend their time eating until dawn.

There is actually a tendency for people to put on weight and spend more money on food during Ramadan period.

When Ramadan finally ends 1 month later, there is a festival called Lebaran.

Companies are encouraged to be put on paid leave, and some of them even take a 10-day long holiday.

During Lebaran, there is also an event called Takarabin where everyone marches while saying “Allah Akbar (The God is the greatest)”.

Indonesia is also famous for its Java, Bali, and Sumatra islands.

Bali (acima blog)

This time, I introduced Indonesian food culture to you. What did you think?

There were a lot of ingredients you are not very familiar with, such as coconut milk, banana leaves, and sago palm. However, you have also found out that rice is the staple food and is used in many celebrations and events. Weren’t there many common points with Japan?

I hope this article helped you feel a little more familiar with Indonesia!


Ramadan, Indonesia, Islam, food culture, world, dining, Nasi Tumpeng, Nasi Kuning, Quairpe, panda leaves, Murtabak, Terreul, Asin, Manis, fasting month, Cassava, Colac, Lebaran, Takarabin, Allah, Akbar, the god is the greatest, Java, Bali, Sumatra, sago palm, banana leaves



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