Betawi is an ethnic group that used to occupy the main area near the modern-day Jakarta. Even though their number is not great, compared to other big tribes in Indonesia, they are still an originally unique tribe. One of their uniqueness is reflected in the many delicious dishes from Betawi.
There is no common theme about dishes from Betawi. It is well varied and seems to be influenced by many other places. Having a traditional meal in this area can mean you enjoy a meaty dish or a salad-like fresh dish. Here are some of the most delicious traditional dishes from Betawi.
The name ‘tangkar’ means ribs. This soto was created during the Dutch colonial era from the leftover meats. When the rich Dutch want to enjoy meat, they only take the best parts. The rest, such as ribs, offal, head, and innards were given to the workers. With such ingredients, they create soto Tangkar.
Just like many other regions in Indonesia, Betawi also has its own type of soto. Soto Betawi is made from beef, potato, and tomato. The thick soup uses lots of coconut milk. This is a perfect complimentary dish for rice. This food is also called sorbet in some places.
Originally, Laksa is a dish that combines Chinese and Melayu cuisine. It commonly uses noodles as the main ingredient, with a heavily-spiced soup. In Betawi, laksa has rice vermicelli, mashed potato, basil, eggs, and leek. It is savory and a bit sweet and very popular among the Chinese community.
This is one of the most popular breakfast options in Betawi. Ketoprak is a simple dish. The ingredients are rice cake, rice vermicelli, beansprout, egg, and tofu. Peanut sauce is poured all over the main ingredients to create a really tasty yet quick breakfast.
Another breakfast menu, ketupat sayur sometimes also use lontong. Both are rice cake. It is also a really simple dish. The rice cake is cut into bite-size dices. This is complemented by a vegetable curry-like dish. The soup is strong with coconut milk and lots of spices. Sometimes you can also have meat, eggs, and crackers too with it.
This dish is almost similar to a salad. The main ingredients are fresh rice cake, lettuce, potato, beansprout, tofu, and eggs. The sauce is from coconut, slightly lighter than those of ketoprak. Gado-gado tastes fresh and filling. This is also a perfect dish for those who want to avid meat-based foods.
Betawi has a lot of delicious dishes in their culture. When visiting Jakarta, try to enjoy delicious traditional dishes from Betawi. The best time to do so is in the morning for breakfast or brunch.