for October, 2012
The rich diversity of Indonesian cuisine is an intriguing assembly of influences that crept into the world’s largest archipelago from near and far, resulting in some interesting variations, province to province. The impact of historical trade with China, the Middle East, India, Spain, Portuguese and the Netherlands and a colonial past have played a role in determining our culinary palette today.
Spices or rempah-rempah refer to dry spices such as cloves, nutmeg, coriander seed, cinnamon, fenel, candlenuts and many more. Bumbu is a mixture of more than two ingredients that refer to spices or fresh root spices, herbs, soya sauce, peanuts, shrimp paste or fruit.
Petty Elliott meets a woman on a mission to promote Indonesia’s agrarian heritage.
Helianti Hilman, an Ambassador for Organic Goodness
It might come as a surprise to many, but buying organic food has never been easier in Jakarta.
The choices range from sublime specialties such as locally grown strawberries to, well … rice. However, although the growth of the organic farming industry in Indonesia has been gaining momentum over the last decade, currently there is no formal organization to supervise standards and establish the provenance of local organic produce.
While there are requirements laid out under the Indonesian National Standards (SNI) for running an organic farm, some
70 percent of such farms in Indonesia lack the necessary certificates proving their products are actually organic, according to the director general of stan- dards and consumer protection at the Trade Ministry.
With a little imagination we can create variety and introduce fresh ideas using familiar and local ingredients. Replacing rice, pasta or potatoes with sweet potatoes or corn as an alternative carbohydrate is one. Another is to incorporate local tropical fruits and vegetables into European dishes, for spectacular results. Exploring new ideas with local ingredients will surprise your guests – and the preparation is not difficult.