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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Vegetarian Food in Indonesia

Are you “Saya Tidak Makan Daging”? That means are you a vegetarian in Bahasa Indonesia. Well, if you are you need to know certain Bahasa Indonesia words and also the dishes that you can eat as Indonesia is a country that fiercely loves its meat. Be it fishes, white meat or red meat, the people of Indonesia likes it in all their meals. At first, this might seem like a big problem for vegetarians traveling to Indonesia, but once you understand the system, you will also find out that they have some of the best vegetarian foods too. It is better if you as a vegetarian can consume eggs (Telor) and peanuts (kachang). If you have an allergy to nuts and are a true vegetarian, then your options will be limited.

Gado Gado_ One of my favorite Indonesian dishes
Below are the list of vegetarian (sometimes with eggs) dishes that I have been sampling in Indonesia over the past 2 weeks in this country. Since I am a strict egg-atarian, I have had to dig deep.

1) Gado Gado: This is my absolute favorite: This assorted vegetables with rice dumplings and one egg in a peanut sauce is the best lunch I have had in Indonesia. The rice crackers and a cold iced tea (Es Teh Manis) go perfectly with it.

2) Lotek: This dish is pretty similar to Gado Gado, but is pure vegetarian and comes with more greens, tofu and no eggs. Again, this is created in a peanut and chilli paste.

3) Cap Cai (pronounced Chap Chai): This is an assorted set of vegetables and mushrooms with or without eggs in either a fried form (goreng) or as a broth (kuah). This is best had with plain rice (nasi).

4) Nasi Goreng: This is your stereotypical fried rice with vegetables. If nothing works for you, this should definitely come in handy.

5) Nasi Gudeg Telor: One needs to acquire a taste for this traditional food from Yogyakarta, Java. It is  rice and jackfruit served with egg curry. Cooked jackfruit always has an indifferent taste, but I like it.

6) Nasi Rica Rica (pronounced as Nasi Richa Richa): This is rice served with eggs in a spicy onion and tomato sauce.

7) Nasi with Sayuran and Sambal: If you wish to create your own food, then ask for Nasi (rice), Sayuran (vegetables) and Sambal (spicy onion and tomato paste). This will ensure that you have no need to consume any animal products.

8) Martabak Telor: This is a thick egg pancake that is perfect as a evening snack or on a rainy day.

9) Martabak Manis: This is a sweet egg pancake served with lots of sugar and sometimes chocolate or other flavors.

I hope if you are a vegetarian who is interested in traveling to Indonesia, this list gives you a fresh breath of life.



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