Betawi are ethnic groups originating from various regions in Indonesia, such as Malay, Sundanese, Javanese, Balinese, Minangkabau, Bugis, Makassar, and Ambon; also included foreign ethnic groups such as Mardijker, Portuguese, Dutch, Arabic, Chinese, and Indians, who were originally brought to or attracted to Batavia to meet labour needs. The history of Betawi itself is very complicated and dynamic, and it also influences the Betawi culinary heritage.
Delicious Betawi CulinaryOver time with the advent of modern food, many Betawi dishes became extinct. Thankfully, many Betawi people continue to introduce, produce and sell these dishes so that everyone who comes to Jakarta can taste this delicious dish. Here is a delicious Betawi culinary that is special if you miss it.
Soto BetawiSoto Betawi is the "Queen" of Betawi cuisine. You can find Soto Betawi almost everywhere in Jakarta, from street vendors to high-end restaurants. Soto Betawi is very different from other types of Soto because the soup is made from coconut milk. Cow offal is usually the main ingredient of Soto Betawi, but some people also use chicken as an ingredient.
Uduk RiceRice Uduk is made from rice cooked in certain spices such as coconut milk, bay leaves, and lime leaves. Usually, Uduk rice is enjoyed with the sliced omelette, jengkol stew, fried chicken, empal or fried meat, orek Tempe or tempeh sauteed with chilli seasonings and palm sugar, and peanut sauce. You can find Shrimp Rice in almost all the neighbourhood areas in Jakarta every morning (some also sell Shrimp Rice at night).
Egg CrustThe Egg Crust is also a popular Betawi snack, especially during the Jakarta Fair. This is not a daily snack that you can find easily on the side of the road, but you can find this snack at Ragunan Zoo or Setu Babakan. The main ingredients of Egg Crust are sticky rice and duck eggs. It was tasty, slightly crispy on the outside and crust inside but chewy. What makes the Egg Crust unique is how it is made. Sticky rice and eggs are mixed in the pan, and then the pan is turned over so that the Egg Crust has direct contact with the heat.
KetoprakKetoprak is also one of the most favourite street snacks in Indonesia. Derived from Betawi, Ketoprak consists of pieces of rhombus or rice cake, boiled bean sprouts, fried tofu, vermicelli, and topped with peanut sauce. At first glance, it looks like a Gado-Gado, but Ketoprak doesn't use boiled vegetables like Gado-Gado.
Kabuli RiceKabuli rice is strongly influenced by Arabic culture and also the influence of Indian cuisine (Biryani rice). Nasi Kabuli is a spicy steamed rice dish cooked with goat broth, milk and ghee. Goat meat is then cooked and mixed with stir-fry seasoning in ghee oil. In Betawi culture, Kebuli Rice is usually served during Islamic religious celebrations such as Lebaran. But now you can also find Kebuli Rice in several food stalls in Jakarta.
Ulam RiceNasi Ulam is one of the Betawi dishes that is influenced by Chinese culinary culture. Nasi Ulam has spices that are similar to Nasi Uduk but served with basil leaves, fried onions, and bean sprouts. There are two types of Ulam rice in Betawi culture. First is the wet (concentrated) Ulam Rice in the north and centre of Jakarta, and dry in the south of Jakarta.
Vegetable KetupatVegetable Ketupat is also a typical food from Betawi. Together with Nasi Uduk, Ketupat Sayur is one of the favourite breakfast menus for Jakarta residents. As the name suggests, Vegetable Ketupat is made from rice cake or rice cake (rice cake) with savoury Papaya Vegetables (raw papaya in coconut milk) or Vegetable Tewel (raw jackfruit in coconut milk). It tastes better with fried onions, fried soybeans, and crackers or chips.
Semur JengkolSemur Jengkol is one of the all-time favourite Betawi foods for some people, although many people hate it because of the unique aroma of jengkol. Usually, raw jengkol will be boiled in lime water to get rid of the smell. Jengkol then sauteed with special soy sauce seasoning
Pindang MilkfishPindang Bandeng may not be as popular as Soto Betawi, but if you like seafood, you should try this dish. Milkfish or milkfish are cooked in a dark, sweet and sour soup. Pindang Bandeng is also considered a special food during Chinese New Year celebrations because milkfish symbolizes prosperity.
Betawi LaksaBetawi Laksa is a kind of noodle dish. Usually, Laksa consists of wheat noodles or vermicelli, served in thick coconut milk and shrimp soup. Ketupat is also usually added to Laksa, along with eggs, basil leaves, bean sprouts, leeks, and fried onions. Nowadays it is quite difficult to find Laksa, but some Betawi restaurants still serve this menu.
Those are some delicious Betawi culinary that you should try. If you have time to visit Indonesia, do not miss to enjoy the special Betawi food.