In term of number, Betawi is a relatively small tribe in Indonesia. They become more prominent because they are from Indonesia’s capital city area, Greater Jakarta. However, Betawi is rich in culture, including culinary. There are many traditional desserts and snacks from Betawi that you can enjoy.
Because Jakarta is a huge melting pot since centuries ago, it’s not surprising that you can find many influences in Betawi’s culinary heritage. That also allows Betawi’s foods are so rich in flavors. In light of Jakarta’s 492nd anniversary last month, here are some of the most delicious traditional desserts and snacks from Betawi.
Dodol is somewhat a ubiquitous cake in western and central Indonesia. Every region has its own version of this chewy cake. Just like in other places, dodol betawi is using sticky rice flour, sugar, palm sugar, and coconut milk. The arduous cooking process can last hours to create a perfect dodol. In Betawi, dodol is cooked in a brass cauldron. There are only a few flavor variants, mostly the original ones and durian flavor.
To oversimplify, Rangi is a pastry made from rice flour and coconut. The batter is pretty much bland with very little savory flavor. It is then baked on a circular mold with little fire. The result is an interesting savory cake. The lower part is smooth while the upper part is craggy. Rangi is usually enjoyed with thick palm sugar syrup. The combination of the cakes and the syrup also creates a tempting serving.
This dessert is a popular folk cake. In modern Jakarta, cucur is often served as a dessert in high-end restaurants. Traditionally, cucur has a dark pink color with a soft yet dry texture. However, many people have tried to reinvent this cake by using different colors and adding more flavors. The name cucur comes from the fact that the batter should be poured (cucur) onto the baking sheet.
Rangi and Pancong are really similar in many ways, the differences are in the details. The main difference is that pancong uses coconut milk as one of the main ingredients while rangi is not. The mold for pancong is also bigger and deeper. Pancong is also really savory, thanks to the use of coconut milk. On the outside, pancong has a thin crispy layer while the rest is soft and tasty.
As a coastal city, Jakarta can be really hot during the day. One of the best ways to quench your thirst in Jakarta is by drinking Es Selendang Mayang. It is a drink made from a special cake, kinca (palm sugar syrup), and coconut milk. The kembang mayang cake is made from starch and has three colors; green, white and red. It is a really refreshing cold drink, ideal for your desserts.