East Nusa Tenggara is predominantly an arid province, but that doesn’t stop the people there to have absolutely wonderful dishes. This southernmost province of Indonesia is surprisingly rich in culinary delights. Here are some of the most delicious dishes from East Nusa Tenggara that you can try.
Karmanaci is made by boiling beef meat with sugar, salt, soybean sauce, ginger, and nutmeg. After the meat becomes tender, it is then chopped and stir-fried with special spices. The result is slices of tender meat with several layers of taste. Truly delicious.
Originally pelepah manuk was made using bird meat, but nowadays people just use chicken instead. The whole cooking process is still the same, though. Chicken is roasted first and then boiled with spices and coconut milk. The end result is almost similar to curry but with another layer of taste, thanks to the roasting process.
Similar to common lawar in Bali, the main ingredients of lawar ikan is vegetables. Basically, this is a fish salad with a local touch. Fish meat is usually cut into small pieces and then soaked in vinegar and lime. This will kill any microorganism and reduce the fishiness of the meat.
This is NTT’s answer to rice. Corn is one of the staple food in NTT and Jagung Bose is one of the most common dishes made from corn. The process is really simple; corn and red beans are boiled together in coconut milk until it is soft.
This is probably the most popular dish in this province. Se’i Sapi is made from beef, almost similar to smoked beef. Se’i mean thin yet long meat, presumably, it should look like thicker bacon. The meat is smoked using only kosambi wood that gives its characteristic delicious taste.
Kolo is roasted rice. The technique used in making Kolo can also be found in many parts of the county. Raw rice is wrapped into the banana leaves and then inserted into a bamboo tube along with water and spices. The bamboo then roasted evenly until the rice inside is cooked.
Ikan Kuah Belimbing
This literally means ‘fish with tree cucumber soup’. They commonly use tuna for this dish. Belimbing wuluh, the fruit of cucumber tree, is a great counter to eradicate fishiness. The fish is cooked into a soup with belimbing wuluh, coriander, galangal, chili, pepper, salt, sugar, ginger, shallot, garlic, and lemongrass.
This is another corn dish. This is a very simple dish and doesn’t require lots of techniques. You just need to boil corn, green bean, peanuts, and sometimes also solid vegetables together. Add some salt and a little seasoning, and it’s done. Catemak Jagung is a dessert dish.
Sambal (loosely means chili paste) is ubiquitous in Indonesian culinary. You can find many kinds of sambals in virtually all part of the archipelago. Sambal teri is chili paste with anchovies. Chili pepper, tomato, salt, and sugar are ground together until it is mixed well and soft. The paste then stir-fried with anchovies. You can add lime if you prefer.
This is a unique dish made mostly from papaya leaves and flowers. When those ingredients aren’t available, you can use different leafy vegetables. The process is actually quite simple. The vegetables are mixed with seasoning and spices like garlic, shallots, chili, salt, and sugar. They all then stir-fried together until done. Voila! That’s your Rumpu rampe.