Enjoy the Spice-rich Delicious North Halmahera Dishes

Heri Sisworo

Heri Sisworo

On English

North Halmahera is a great place to visit. There are so many wonderful spots that you can enjoy, especially the magnificent beaches and exotic islands. However, North Halmahera is not just about that. You might be surprised at how delicious North Halmahera dishes are.

Pisang mulu bene and air guraka. via Instagram/lannysalaka

This area, along with many other islands in the region, used to be the center of the spice trade in the world. You can still see that those spices are still an important part of Halmahera life. They especially love their local walnut (kenari). It is reflected in the foods they consume every day. Here are some of the authentic North Halmahera dishes.

Kopi Sibu-sibu

The unique Kopi Sibu-sibu. via Instagram/spicaarumning

This popular coffee in Halmahera is really unique. As you might expect, there are spices involved in this drink. They use dark roasted robusta coffee, grilled cloves, and walnut. It tastes very unique, unlike any other coffee in Indonesia. From the aroma to the first sip, you will understand why they love this coffee so much.

Sayur Lilin

Delicious dish sayur lilin. via Instagram/verachen._

This dish has many names. They call it sayur lilin (candle dish), terubuk, or sayur bunga tebu (sugarcane flower dish). It indeed uses the inner-upper part of the sugarcane stem. It is actually quite good raw. It has a spongy texture and will absorb the spices’ taste well. They usually cook it with coconut milk and lots of spices.

Gatang Kenari

Wonderful Gatang Kenari. via Instagram/kepitingkhaskalimantan

It is a delicious crab dish. Halmahera loves to make sure that the meat of the crab can absorb the spices and herbs well. They crack open the head of the crab, clean it, and then fry it till it becomes red. They then stir fry the seasonings and spices and then put the cracked crab into it. It tastes heavenly.

Air Guraka

The warm air guraka. via Instagram/rikawidhiana

This is the spiced drink from Halmahera. This drink uses lots of herbs and spices. For example, you can taste ginger, nuts, palm sugar, and of course walnut. This is delicious when hot or warm. It also has good nutrition value as well as warming properties.

Pisang Mulu Bebe

Deep fried banana. vai instagram/ternatekuliner

Basically, pisang mulu bebe is fried banana. However, they choose half-ripe banana and the slice it rather thinly lengthwise. The slices are then deep-fried until it is hard enough. Usually, they will look bright yellow. Pisang mulu bebe is usually enjoyed with sambal or chili paste. This is a favorite snack of Halmahera.

Sayur Garu

This one is made for papaya leaves. via Instagram/warungrasasayangesolo

This side dish is actually stir-fried vegetables. However, they only use banana blossom, papaya leaves, or cassava leaves as the main ingredients. It is usually part of a larger meal which includes rice or papeda. It tastes savory and a little bit spicy, depending on the preference of the cook.

the delicious crab. via Instagram/foodrecipesindonesia

North Halmahera dishes are as wonderful as its natural beauties. They really make use of their rich soil by involving local spices in almost every dish they make. This place is truly remarkable.