Category Archives: Indonesia

Park Bench for One

Maximum occupancy: One person. Perfect for shy folks as it faces away from the street.

Bench for more than one and facing towards the street.

Pushcart Tire Repair Service

Pushcart tire repair service shop in Surabaya.

Beautifying the Ordinary Fire Extinguishers

These are just some of the noticeably many fire extinguishers at the new Terminal 3 of Soekarno–Hatta International Airport. All of them were transformed into art.

My favorite

Pedaled & Motorized Becak

Pedaled becak in Surabaya.

Motorized becak in Surabaya

No Dating

Arab Quarter

Sambal

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Chopped ingredients

Sambal is a Southeast Asian condiment, a sauce, an appetizer, or an accompaniment to rice or viands. And because it’s hot and spicy, it’s something I have dearly adopted. I have learned to prepare sambal in Yogyakarta through Made, a Balinese cook.

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Shrimp paste

There are several variations of sambal, and one can modify the proportions of certain ingredient to suit one’s taste. In a nutshell, here’s the process: chop shallots, garlic, chili peppers, and tomatoes, you may crush all together with a squeeze of calamansi juice, then saute everything with belacan (shrimp paste) in a small amount of oil. You’re done if you feel the urge to sneeze.

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Not the saucy version as I didn’t crush the ingredients. Perfect accompaniment to my weekend lunch of fried eggplant and fried fish

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Here’s Made, the Balinese cook

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Made’s recipes in our cooking class can be found inside this Javanese cookbook

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Here’s Made again

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Front cover of the cookbook. A souvenir from my Jogja trip

Womenfolk Knapsack

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Lady carrying a sack of goods in an alley in Jogja

Sounding Bamboo

An array of sound producing bamboo implements as traditional entertainment or toys of Java children.

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Flute, bird whistle, top (will make sound when spun) and the unidentified one as seen in Malioboro street, Yogyakarta

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Doing bird whistling by blowing and moving the stick at the same time

Wayang Kulit

The making of Indonesian leather (kulit) shadow puppets (wayang) is done by hand in several stages involving different artists just like the time-consuming and tedious process of making hand painted batik fabric.

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Punching holes one by one meticulously on the drawn outline in the buffalo hide

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Is there a word for extremely detailed?

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Putting on base paints

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Just an initial layer of paint and still more paintings to be done

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Layer upon layer of painting and then finishing it with gold leaf

This is how it looks like at the back of the white screen during the show. The stick attached in the middle is wedged to the banana trunk so that the dalang (puppet master) can move the other sticks attached to the limbs.

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By means of light behind the screen, the leather puppets come to life

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A dalang giving us a sample show in this puppet making place somewhere near kraton in Yogyakarta.

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His right foot has some kind of metal attached between his toes to hit a some kind of a tiny gong to produce sounds during the show

Lidded Enamel Mug

I’ve noticed merchants in the market in Yogyakarta have this lidded enamel mug with them, which is actually practical.

So find the mug:

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The mug has a character so I got one plus an enamel pot. 

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Local Market in Jogja

While shopping arcades/malls will draw the life out of me, local markets give the opposite effect. In a larger picture, Southeast Asian local markets look and feel the same though it’s just a generality. There are detailed contrasts between regions from the atmosphere, to the quantity of certain ingredients also the variety, the tools, the merchants and patrons, the layout, the arrangement, and even the ornamentation.

I went to this food market in Yogyakarta near Prawirotaman street and took joy (as usual) in my stroll within.
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Floor level seating is the norm.
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I’ve noticed that there’s no market type of shouting, a contrast to the palengkera manner of calling out to shoppers (in a good way) in the Philippines where that kind of market chaos (one that I love) is eternally present. These merchants were relatively quiet in Jogja.
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See the mangoes in that handsome timbangan (weighing scale). Also chilies, petai and sprouts in those flat round baskets.
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The chicken lady of the market and her timbangan. I like this photo.
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Spice pack of galangal, bay leaves and lemongrass. So unlike in the Philippines where one can see Knorr Cubes and Magic Sarap junk in the palengke.
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Those are palm sugar inside the clear plastic bags.
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The Indonesian cook who was with me the second time I went here says these are macadamia nuts commonly used in Indonesian cooking (but I think she meant candlenuts).
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Tahu Sumedang

Fried soybean curd block known as tahu, Sumedang-style and accompanied by green chili pepper when eaten.

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Padang

Assortment of fried or grilled stuff stacked on stacked plates by the display window. This buffet like arrangement looks better than the boring chafing dish.
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Not as well stacked as couple of hours earlier in this padang understandably because this was past lunch hour already.
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A look behind the display window where stacks of viand are almost gone.
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Tricolor Rice Eats

Rub-a-dub-dub, three sticky rice thing in a tub.
And what do you think they were?

This lady vendor in Prambanan Temple Compound has three appealing variations of sticky rice snack where the texture and taste are similar to a couple of glutinous rice based kakanin in the Philippines.
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The purple one taste like puto maya while the pink one looks like an odd-shaped mochi with no filling (I was too full of the purple and green stuff to try this one, and its color isn’t natural that’s why).
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The green thing that’s more visible in the photo below taste like suman sa lihiya but presented in tiny square bite size.

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Sticks as utensil and banana leaf as plate

Whichever color you’d choose, they’ll be served with that latik at the center of the tub (sugar-coconut syrup), and garnished with grated coconut meat.

Gorengan

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Assortment of fritters (such as tempe and tahu) for street snacking – Indonesian version.

Wonderful Indonesia

Teh Botol (bottled tea)
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Indomie
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Indonesian Yakult Lady

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Met the Petai Once More

My initial sighting of this bean was in a tamu in Sabah, Malaysia. Then spotted anew in a pasar and padang in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (where I had some boiled ones still in its pod). After that, a more than just a stumble upon story when I cooked sambal with petai (aka stinky beans) in a Javanese cooking class. My conclusion is that, Malays love petai.

Mostly I see this variety.
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But that brown one (in round tray) are also stinky beans says the cook.
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Same with these packed ones.
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Sambal with stinky beans in the bowl.
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Kerupuk Tin Can

A see-through tin receptacle for large kerupuk (starch/flour/rice crackers) that are oftentimes eaten as side dish to a rice meal, as in one would chomp on the crackers, then partake on rice with viand using hands, then chomp on the crackers again and so on in that manner.  I’ve easily acquired the taste and habit of having kerupuk in my meals and have simply adapted to this kind of eating while I was in Indonesia.

Keeping kerupuk close to the padang diners by having a can or two in every table
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Several cans within reach in this gudeg lesehan
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