Indonesian Ramadan Food

by Ezra Arsajaya

The majority of the Indonesian population is the Muslim religion. I will talk about the traditional food that the Indonesian people usually have during their most important Muslim celebration called Idul Fitri, which is more commonly referred to in Indonesia as Lebaran. It is the celebration that comes at the end of the Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan. The Arabic meaning of Idul Fitri is “becoming holy again”.

The dates of the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, Ramadan, vary from year to year, as the Muslim calendar (Hijrah) is based on a lunar cycle of 29 or 30 days. The exact date is determined by the sighting of the new moon. These lunar calculations lead to an official announcement by the government on the eve of Ramadan and Idul Fitri so that the faithful know when to begin and end the fasting month. In 2009, Lebaran will fall on 21-22 September, with "collective leave" on September 18 & 23, 2009.

During Lebaran, the Indonesian people will serve a food called ‘Ketupat’. It is firm rice cakes that are usually cooked in individual baskets of woven coconut leaves so that the rice swells until it fills the basket and becomes firmly compressed.

This is the image of Ketupat and the instruction on how to make it.

ketupat ketupat

Ingredients: · 500g Short or medium grain rice · 4 cups of water · Banana leaf or aluminum foil Method:
  • Bring the water and rice to the boil.
  • Cover tightly with lid.
  • Turn heat very low and cook for 35-40 minutes until all water is absorbed.
  • Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon.
  • Then press rice into a cake tin or pie plate to a depth of about 2.5 cm (1 inch).
  • Use a piece of washed and greased banana leaf or greased aluminum foil to cover the surface of the rice and put another plate on top.
  • Press down very firmly the plate.
  • Put a weight on top and leave at room temperature for a few hours, until very firm.
  • Remove weight, plate and banana leaf and use a wet knife to cut rice into 5 cm squares.
  • Serve with spicy peanut sauce.
The Indonesian people usually eat Ketupat with chicken, meat, egg or vegetables. Indonesian Ramadan Food - Nutrition for the World

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