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Indonesian reflects the country’s diverse cultures and traditions. In general, Indonesian food is rich in spices. The indigenous cooking techniques and ingredients have benefited from trade and influences originating in places as far away as India, China, the Middle East, and Europe.
Rice is a staple food for the majority of Indonesians. It holds an important place in the country’s culture. It shapes the landscape, is served in most meals, and drives the economy. Plain rice is known as nasi putih. Often, it is accompanied by a few protein and vegetable side dishes. Rice is also served as ketupat (rice steamed in woven packets of coconut leaves), brem (rice wine), and nasi goreng (fried rice).
Indonesians’ other main source of protein is soy. Soy-based dishes such as tahu (tofu) and tempe are very popular in Indonesia. In fact, tempe is an adaptation of tofu to the tropical climate of Indonesia. It is uniquely Indonesian. Tempe is made through a controlled fermentation process that binds soybean into a cake form. The fermented soybean holds more protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins than regular tofu. Tempe is usually prepared by cutting it into small pieces, soaking it in a salty sauce and then frying it to a golden brown. Cooked tempe can be eaten alone or accompanied with chili.
- Common desserts
- Martabak manis, Indonesian sweet pancake.
- Pisang Goreng, Bananas deep fried in sweet batter.
- Lupis, Cake made mainly of glutinous rice and served with shredded coconut and palm sugar
- Some popular dishes
- Ayam Taliwang, originally from Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, ayam taliwang is chicken cooked in various spicy herbs and seasoning.
- Gado-gado, vegetable salad served with peanut sauce dressing.
- Gudeg, originally from Yogyakarta, Central Java, gudeg is diced raw young jackfruit cooked in a traditional Javanese unique way.
- Nasi Padang, originally from Padang, West Sumatra, nasi padang is steam rice served various kind of light curry and a heavy taste of chili.
- Opor Ayam (chicken in Indonesian white curry), chicken cooked in coconut milk. It is traditionally consumed with Ketupat during the Eid ul-Fitr celebration in most regions of Indonesia is known in Indonesia as Idul Fitri (or more informally as Lebaran).
- Rendang, chunks of beef stewed in coconut milk and chili gravy.
- Ayam betutu a traditional Balinese steamed or roasted chicken or duck stuffed with spices and cooked in banana leaf wrapping.
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