Written By

Bondan Winarno & Linda Adimidjaja


Photo Credit: Omar Niode Foundation

Photo Credit: Omar Niode Foundation



Indonesia, Culinary Heaven. 

Indonesian culinary is bestowed with a very unique profile and covers a wide spectrum. There is no other country in the world with such culinary resplendence. From Sabang to Merauke, from Talaud to Rote Island, Indonesian culinary is innumerable. Judging from its vast variety, it would be unfitting to claim any dish as purely Indonesian. True Indonesian culinary is marked by cuisines of Aceh, Melayu, Palembang, Java and dozens of other “originating cuisines”. Just as Indonesia recognizes a wide variety of local dialects, so too the originating cuisines lend a hand to its many derivatives. For instance, Pariaman cuisine is known to have different characters from Kotogadang cuisine, and nothing in common with Kapau cuisine—even though they all belong to the genre of Minang cuisine. 

The visionary Empu Tantular, a 14th century poet sage of Majapahit Empire, wrote the sacred phrase which then became Indonesian national motto: Bhinneka Tunggal Ika. Unity in Diversity! 

Whereas Bhinneka Tunggal Ika originated from the principle tenet of gotong-royong (working together towards a common goal), Indonesian culinary stems from the tradition of communal eating. One dish for all. In the past, the Dutch discovered this principle and created the rijsttafel tradition. We now bring you closer to the onset of the tradition: Tumpeng Nusantara. With cone-shaped rice in the middle, Rendang Padang sits in state with Ayam Goreng Lengkuas from Bandung, Urap Sayuran from Yogyakarta and Sate Lilit from Bali. Tumpeng Nusantara is proof that elements Indonesian culinary can meet together beautifully in a state of harmony. 

The 30 INDONESIAN TRADITIONAL CULINARY ICONS featured in this book is an important first step toward a thorough compilation of the richness and variety of Indonesian culinary. It is a duty we owe Motherland.


Asinan Jakarta Jakarta Fruits and vegetables pickle salad
Tahu Telur Surabaya East Java tofu omelet serve with bean sprout and peanut sauce
Soto Ayam Lamongan Lamongan East Java rich Chicken Clear Soup
Rawon Surabaya black nuts beef soup
Gado - Gado Jakarta Jakarta Vegetable salad with peanut sauce
Urap Sayuran Jogjakarta Vegetables salad serve with spicy coconut grated
Orak Arik Buncis Solo Sautéed green bean mixed with seafood
Sate Ayam Madura East Java chicken saté with peanut sauce
Sate Maranggi Purwakarta West Java beef / lamb saté marinate in sweet soy sauce and coriander
Sate Lilit Bali Balinese minced spice tuna saté
Nasi Kuning Jogjakarta Jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk and turmeric
Nasi Goreng Kampung Traditional Fried Rice
Nasi Liwet Solo
Central Java, culinary a rich, savory, aromatic rice steam in coconut milk and aromatic herbs served with side dish

Ayam Panggang Bumbu Rujak Jogjakarta Central Java Chicken simmer in spicy coconut sauce and grilled Ayam Goreng Lengkuas Bandung West Java Fried Chicken
Asam Padeh Tongkol Padang
West Sumatra Tuna simmered in hot and sour broth with turmeric leaf and asam kandis
Pindang Patin Palembang South Sumatra Catfish simmer in fresh herbs leaves and sour bilimbi
Rendang Padang West Sumatra caramelize beef curry
Sayur Kapau Padang West Sumatera Vegetables in curry spice
Laksa Bogor West Java unique noodle serve with rich coconut milk and vegetable
Serabi Bandung Rice soufflé pancake served with coconut milk brown sugar sauce
Kolak Pisang-Ubi Bandung Banana simmer in coconut milk and brown sugar / palm sugar
Srikayo Minangkabau
West Sumatra dessert steamed glutinous rice, served with srikayo dipping sauce
Klappertaart Manado Sweet Manadonese dessert young coconut , raisin , egg and coconut milk
Nagasari Jogjakarta Central Java type of dessert steamed banana cake wrapped in banana leave
Kue Lumpur Jakarta Jakarta Rice soufflé pancake with raisin on the top
Lunpia Semarang Java spring roll with shrimp and young bamboo shoot
Es Dawet Ayu Banjarnegara rice jelly drops with sweet jackfruit , coconut milk and brown sugar syrup
Bir Pletok Jakarta Jakarta traditional non alcohol unique beverage with aromatic herb
Kunyit Asem Solo Central Java herbal beverage squeezed grated turmeric mixed with tamarind water