Thursday, 02 December 2021 09:35 GMT

Qatar - Indonesian cuisine: Local taste, global palate

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Expand your tasting experience on an Indonesian culinary trip.

Last Monday, the Indonesian Embassy in Doha held its first-ever Culinary Night in Kempinski Hotel in The Pearl-Qatar. Dignitaries, hotel managers and guests were treated in a perfect gastronomical adventure that captures the taste of Indonesia in one sitting.

Indonesian Ambassador H E Ridwan Hassan told The Peninsula:“Culinary is part of culture and this is borderless. We can bond from different nationalities to know more about Indonesia and you can start from culinary, cultural things.”

A live cooking demo in progress. 

Indonesia is the second-largest biodiversity in the world, with its over 17,000 islands, no wonder that even its cuisine is a journey to explore on.“The biodiversity, as well as cultural diversity, very much affect Indonesian culinary. Culinary is an important part of our daily life, as we believe, it is a reflection of our heritage, diversity, and most importantly true Indonesian hospitality,” the Ambassador explained.

The country has food ingredients consisting of at least 77 sources of carbohydrates, over 400 types of fruits, more than 273 vegetables, and 65 types of herbs and spices. A big player in the world's culinary arena.

H E Hassan added:“Indonesian cuisines is not only the product of the nation's own ancient recipes, but also refined by influences from other cultures seen throughout India, China, the Middle East and more as you can see from many of our foods that has characteristics similar to those cultures.”

The culinary trip has a three-meal course accompanied with cultural performances from the Indonesian community. The experience took us to a new height where we didn't even feel we are in Doha.

Kempinski Hotels General Manager, GCC, Karim Tayach, said the foods in Indonesia and generally in Southeast Asia has an“explosion of flavours,” and in“every single island, or city has a twist.”

Pempek Palembang or fish cake.

Each dish that the Indonesian chefs prepared burst in our mouth, not literally. The flavour and spices were outpouring, every savor is breathtaking. 

The first course is the appetizer which is Pempek Palembang. Pempek is Indonesian fish cakes considered as the signature dish of the city of Palembang in South Sumatra. It is served with saus cuko or spicy tamarind sauce. Also a soup called Soto Ayam Lamongan, one of Indonesia's most popular chicken soup served with glass noodles and a delicious broth flavoured with turmeric, coriander, lemongrass, ginger and galangal.

Salivating? Main course is next.

Indonesian Rijsttafel or rice table was served. This is composed of Rendang Daging which is a slow cooked beef braised in coconut milk seasoned with a herb and spice mixture. Rendang, a delectable dish from West Sumatra is CNN's number one on World's 50 Best Foods in 2011 and 2017. This food is definitely a must-try.
Opor Ayam – a mild and fragrant Indonesian chicken curry; Pepes Ikan – fish rubbed with spice paste/mixture, wrapped in banana lead and steamed; Acar Kuning Sayur – pickles of cucumber, carrot, shallot mixed with yellow spice paste made of ground turmeric, candlenut, ginger, garlic, and shallot.

Also Urap Urap – mixed cooked vegetable salad with grated coconut dressing, and Nasi Kuning – a cone-shaped rice considered a symbol of Indonesian celebrations. The yellow rice symbolises good fortune, wealth and dignity. 

Get ready for the dessert, not one but three! 

Es Teler – a refreshing fruit drink containing avocado, jackfruit, simple syrup, coconut milk, shaved ice, and topped with condensed milk. Dadar Gulung, an eye-catching green rolled coconut pancake with pandan extract and filled with shredded coconut sweetened with golden palm sugar, and Bika Ambon – a honey comb cake with Pandan flavour.

Indonesia hopes to bring the taste of the region to the world. As Ambassador Hassan narrated:“Indonesia, with its rich spices and endless regional variation, goes with the saying: Local taste, Global palate. It is our hope that in the future with that characteristics and your help—our culinary will be easily found anywhere in the world.”



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