Indonesian cuisine is richly-flavored with exotic spices, herbs and other Asian seasonings. That guarantees to both surprise and satisfy your tastebuds. And, what is important in the world we live, it is a very healthy cuisine, basing on a great range of fresh, rich in vitamins and nutrient, ingredients like vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, legumes, seafood and fish.
Did you know that Indonesia is the only country in the world where they serve rice in McDonalds? And that must stand for something! The foundation of an authentic Indonesian meal is rice (nasi). In fact, rice is such an important part of an Indonesian meal that all other foods served with it are simply seen as an accompaniment. Rice is usually plainly boiled or steamed, or is sometimes cooked with coconut milk and spices. The Indonesian version of fried rice, called Nasi goreng, is another, worldwide popular, way to enjoy rice (national dish).
The main meat source diet mostly are poultry and fish, however meats such as beef, water buffalo, goat and mutton is commonly found in Indonesian marketplaces. As a country with muslim majority population, Indonesian muslim follows Islamic halal dietary law which forbid the consumption of pork. As an archipelagic nation, seafood is abundant and commonly consumed especially by Indonesian resides in coastal area. Popular seafoods in Indonesian cuisine among other; mackerel, tuna, wahoo, milkfish, red snapper, anchovy, cuttlefish, shrimp, crab and mussel. Seafood is commonly consumed across Indonesia.
Known throughout the world as the "Spice Islands", the Indonesian islands of Maluku contributed to the introduction of its native spices to world cuisine. Spices such as pala (nutmeg/mace), cengkeh (clove), and laos (galangal) are native to Indonesia. It is likely that lada hitam (black pepper), kunyit (turmeric), sereh (lemongrass), bawang merah (shallot), kayu manis (cinnamon), kemiri (candlenut), ketumbar (coriander), and asam jawa (tamarind) were introduced from India, while jahe (ginger), daun bawang (scallions) and bawang putih (garlic) were introduced from China. After that hot and spicy sambals have become an important part of Indonesian cuisine. Sambal evolved into many variants across Indonesia, ones of the most popular is sambal terasi (sambal belacan) and sambal mangga muda (young mango sambal).
The most common and popular Indonesian drinks and beverages are teh (tea) and kopi (coffee). Indonesian households commonly serve teh manis (sweet tea, with a minimum of five spoons of sugar :)) or kopi tubruk (coffee mixed with sugar and hot water and poured straight in the glass without separating out the coffee residue) to guests. Since the colonial era of Netherlands East Indies, plantations, especially in Java, were major producers of coffee, tea and sugar. Since then hot and sweet coffee and tea beverages have been enjoyed by Indonesians. Jasmine tea is the most popular tea variety drunk in Indonesia, however recent health awareness promotions have made green tea a popular choice. Usually coffee and tea are served hot, but cold iced sweet tea is also frequently drunk. Kopi Luwak is Indonesian exotic and expensive coffee (considered the most expensive in the world) beverage made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet
Indonesian markets abound with many types of tropical fruit. These are an important part of the Indonesian diet, either eaten freshly, or made into juices (such as jus alpukat), desserts (such as es buah and es teler), processed in savoury and spicy dishes like rujak, fried like pisang goreng (fried banana), cooked into cakes (such as kue pisang or bika ambon), sweetened and preserved such as sale pisang and manisan buah, or processed into kripik (crispy chips) as snacks like jackfruit or banana chips. Many of these fruits such as mangosteen, rambutan, jackfruit, durian, and banana, are indigenous to Indonesian archipelago; while others have been imported from other tropical countries, although the origin of many of these fruits might be disputed. Today, Indonesian markets is also enrichen with selections of home-grown non-tropical fruits that is not native to Indonesia. Strawberry, melon, apple and dragonfruit are introduced and grown in cooler Indonesian highlands such as Malang and Lembang near Bandung, to mimic their native subtropics habitat.
Some popular dishes that originated in Indonesia are now common across much of Southeast Asia. Indonesian dishes such as satay, beef rendang, and sambal are also favoured in Malaysia and Singapore. Soy-based dishes, such as variations of tofu (tahu) and tempe (javanese invention), are also very popular.
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