This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrations for the end of the year may have to be put to a halt. One way to celebrate the end of this year with your families at home and make social distancing interesting could be to try some traditional Indonesian sweets.
Start the new year off by broadening your palates and sharing delicious desserts with your friends and family. Below are a few of our favourite Indonesian sweet treats.
Klepon is a traditional Indonesian sweet that consists of green rice-cake balls. They’re filled with liquid palm sugar and are coated with soft, grated coconut flakes. The green colouring comes from the colour of pandan leaves which is used across many Indonesian dishes. Klepon is usually served wrapped in banana leaf. If you’re trying this, make sure to be careful as the liquid palm sugar might squirt out!
Spekkoek, also known as lapis legit, is an Indonesian layer cake. It’s highly influenced by Dutch culture; it was first developed during colonial times. The cake is filled with a mix of Indonesian spices such as cardamom and is generally served as a holiday treat. Baking spekkoek is most often a time-consuming process since the cake usually consists of 18 layers.
Kue Bugis is a soft, green rice flour cake that’s commonly found in markets around Indonesia. Similar to klepon, it’s sweetened with liquid palm sugar. However, kue bugis is filled with grated coconut, salt, and pandan leaf. There are many variants to this dish to try, such as one with black rice flour or one that’s served with coconut milk.
Kue talam is an Indonesian snack that’s molded with rice flour, coconut milk, and other ingredients. The snack often consists of two layers, the top one being made from coconut milk. The bottom layer can be filled with anything, most commonly flavoured with pandan, yellow yam, or brown coconut sugar.
Lupis is a traditional Indonesian triangle cake that’s made of rice and is filled with liquid palm sugar. It’s coated with grated coconut and is most commonly served with banana leaf. Nowadays, there are many contemporary variations to this dish like ones filled with oreo or cheese.
In the hot climate of Indonesia, there’s no doubt that there’s a high demand for iced sweets to cool you down during the day. Es campur is the perfect sweet, consisting of shaved ice, syrup, and condensed milk. Toppings may include various fruits, tapioca pearls, grass jelly, and more. It can be found anywhere as there are often multiple street vendors around Indonesia selling the delicious sweet dish.
Dadar Gulung is one of the most popular Indonesian desserts. It’s a green pancake that’s rolled and filled with grated coconut and palm sugar. The snack is found all over Indonesia, most commonly in markets. The pancake is green since it’s made with, you guessed it, pandan leaf. Dadar gulung is the perfect sweet if you’re looking for a quick snack that energises you. It’s similar in flavour to kue bugis and klepon but is easy to eat if you’re in a hurry.
Though martabak originates in Yemen, this sweet was brought to South East Asia and remains a popular snack in Indonesia. Martabak is a pan-fried cake that’s filled with numerous toppings. Though there are many variants to the snack, Indonesia is the only country that serves a sweet version of martabak. Sweet martabak, or martabak manis, is baked in a pan and is filled with butter, crushed peanuts, chocolate sprinkles, or other toppings. Savoury martabak may be filled with vegetables and in Indonesia, is mostly served with pickled condiments on the side.
Pisang Goreng Keju Chocolat
If you are looking for a delicious snack that can be made easily at home, turn to pisang goreng keju cocolat. Consisting of fried banana, it can be topped with chocolate sprinkles and cheese. The toppings are a perfect balance of sweet and savoury, making this a great snack to enjoy with your family.
Es cendol is a sweet, iced dessert with droplets of long, green rice flour jelly. Though visually, it might be a bit daunting to try at first, the amazing flavours of the coconut milk and palm sugar syrup melt in your mouth to satisfy your tastes. Many shops around Indonesia add other toppings to the dish such as fruit or red beans. This sweet is usually served in a tall glass, whereas countries like Malaysia or Singapore serve it in a bowl.