As a country with 16.5 million Christians and 6.9 million Roman Catholics, Christmas in Indonesia is celebrated with traditions that are very different in various regions.
In areas with large Christian / Catholic populations, Christmas celebrations are characterized by special rituals and local specialties. In big cities, shopping areas are often decorated with plastic Christmas trees and Santa Clauses. In addition to the unique attributes of Christmas, Christmas culture in Indonesia also fuses with Indonesian indigenous culture. The food served at Christmas also varies. Then, what are the Christmas foods in Indonesia?
- Ayam Rica Manado
This food is a typical Christmas dish Manado, North Sulawesi. The word Rica itself comes from the Manado language which means spicy or chili. Chicken rica-rica is usually served with rice sprinkled with fried onions and has also been supplemented with cucumber.
Food that has spread throughout Indonesia is indeed right for Christmas. The spicy taste makes it a food that is always awaited at the dinner table at Christmas.
- Kue Bagea from East Nusa Tenggara
Not only heavy food, cookises also become a must-have meal at Christmas. Bagea cookies are usually round with pale brown color. It is also made for Christmas gifts in East Nusa Tenggara. Some people of Indonesia usually pack this cake into unique stuffs then send it to their colleagues when Christmas comes.
Bagea made from Sago is added with refined sugar, starch seeds, sago flour, vegetable oil, flour that has been sifted before, plus fine starch nuts, cinnamon spices, and clove powder. Using lots of ingredients and quarters makes these snacks taste delicious and just right mix with tea or coffee.
- Ikan Kuah Kuning
This food comes from Ambon, the name is Ikan kuah Kuning (fish with the yellow broth). This fish is usually served with papeda, Ambon’s staple food made from sago. However, if you are not used to eating papeda whose texture tends to be thick and sticky, you can eat this yellow broth fish with a plate of warm white rice.
Yellow broth fish made from tuna or muba fish. Fresh fish is cooked with turmeric and lime. The sauce itself feels a little sour and fresh. If you like spicy, just add some cayenne pepper when cooking this yellow broth.
- Lampet traditional cake
In Batak Land it turns out that the people there have very interesting Christmas specialties in Indonesia, called cake lampet. This cake is shaped like a pyramid and wrapped in banana leaves. This cake is quite popular among the Batak tribe and is always a compulsory food that is served at Christmas.
Cake lampet made from rice flour mixed with grated coconut. Then, this cake is filled with brown sugar and wrapped in banana leaves. Next, the cake will be steamed until cooked. This cake is very suitable to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.
- Ikan Woku Belanga
One more Christmas food originating from Manado, the name is woku belanga. This fish is made from fresh grouper fish cooked with typical Indonesian herbs and spices. The woku belanga sauce is yellow and the texture of the sauce is thicker than the yellow Ambonese soup.
What makes this fish sauce fragrant and delicious is a mixture of basil leaves, pandan leaves and lime leaves to make the sauce. Woku belanga is usually served with chicken rica-rica and white rice. Christmas meals were more delicious with a treat of this spicy rich woku pot.
- Ayam Budu-budu
In Indonesia, chicken is a substitute for roasted turkey at Christmas. What makes it different is just the way to cook and the spices used. The typical Christmas food in Indonesia that we will discuss below is a budu-budu chicken from Makassar.
To cook chicken budu-budu, you should choose chicken. Next, the chicken is cooked along with lime juice, Javanese tamarind water, ginger, and leeks. Ayam budu-budu is a healthy and tasty food. You can enjoy this budu-budu chicken with warm white rice.
- Proporcis Cake
Did you know that this Ambonese cake is actually a cake adapted from one of the Dutch foods? Yes, Proporcis is an adaptation of Poffertjes. The shape of this cake is similar to pancakes or dorayaki. This cake is usually made to be served as a snack at Christmas meals.
The basic ingredients for making proporcis cakes are wheat flour and pumpkin. After the cake is cooked, you can sprinkle fine sugar on top. Popcorn cake is better to eat when freshly cooked because it still feels warm and very delicious.
Still discussing about Christmas specialties in Indonesia, this time we return to Manado. Besides being famous for its chicken rica, it turns out Manado is also popular with Klappertaart. Cakes made from coconut, flour, milk, butter, and eggs are already sold in almost all parts of Indonesia.
The origin of Klappertaart was actually inspired by the Dutch occupation in Manado. The Dutch colonialists distributed recipes to make this cake to the people of Indonesia. As a result, until now Klappertaart remains a Christmas dish that can be found at any time even if it is not on its day.
- Babi Guling
If you are traveling in Bali, this Babi guling menu is very easy to find on every corner of the Island of the Gods. However, this one food is also often eaten by Batak, Minahasa, Dayak, and Toraja Christians. In fact, pork rolls are also quite well known in a number of countries such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and Miami.
The process of making pork rolls involves a male or female piglet. Then, the inside of the pork belly is filled with herbs and vegetables. After that, a pig is baked by rotating it until all the parts are cooked.
This one-of-a-kind Indonesian cookies is actually not only available at Christmas. When Lebaran arrives, Nastar is also always a pleasant sweet treat. Christians in Indonesia seem to be very fond of presenting pineapple jams to their guests who visit at Christmas.
Nastar cake spoons will make the gathering or food-eating event at Christmas even more enjoyable. Especially, if you enjoy nastar with a cup of sweet tea, of course it feels more delicious!
Those are the list of Christmas food in Indonesia. Which one is your favorite? You can also see Where to Spend Christmas in Indonesia to know some recommendations.