For Muslims, the suggestion is that they break their fast with sweet food or drinks. Fasting during Ramadan is mandatory for all adult Muslims. Usually, this yearly ritual is a source of happiness and that calls for a celebration. The smallest celebration is probably breakfast or iftar with takjil.
This feast is usually done during the dusk, but an hour or so before, people already hunt for sweet treats or takjil. Here are some of the most popular takjil in Indonesia.
For those who love sweet treats, kolak is a delicious dessert. Generally, kolak’s main ingredients are mostly of bananas, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, plantains, and cassava. The main ingredient is cooked into a soupy concoction of palm sugar, coconut sugar, pandanus leaves, and coconut milk. It is delicious whether you enjoy it hot or cold.
This sweet fruit is commonly associated with Ramadan because it has been mentioned in Islam’s literature quite a lot. Date comes from the Middle East and it’s very hard to cultivate it in Indonesia. Nevertheless, date is still a popular treat for iftar in Indonesia. Most of the supply are imported from the Middle East and North African countries.
Basically, cendol is a green rice flour jelly. It is usually shaped like a droplet or worm-like. It is rarely eaten solely because the taste is fresh but rather bland. Cendol usually comes with palm sugar syrup and coconut milk. Many sellers also put diced jackfruit, red bean, or even durian in the mix.
Historians say that cincau came from China and it is basically grass jelly. Cincau is usually dark brown and has a mild yet slightly bitter taste. Cincau is best when cold, and it is very versatile, you can combine it with many things. Cappuccino, bubble tea, green tea, you name it. Cincau is good with them all.
Blewah is some sort of cantaloupe or melon but with a shape like pumpkins. This fruit is somewhat juicy and is generally enjoyed cold with sweet syrup, other fruits, and sometimes also cincau. For some reason, Es Blewah is very popular during Ramadan.
This one is probably the most mysterious one. Kolang-kaling is from the young fruit of sugar palm. It will undergo burning, soaking, and fermentation process. The end result is elliptical, transparent, and watery jelly. These jelly can easily absorb colors, making it ideal to accompany syrup-based drinks. Usually, kolang-kaling comes with tutti-frutti ice mix.
You can easily find those sweet treats on the roadside during Ramadan. Usually, the takjil sellers open their stalls at 04.00 p.m., just a few hours before iftar.