Nasi Ambeng in Jakarta

In Eating out, Indonesia, Outside Dubai on August 14, 2012 at 00:18

Nasi Ambeng, a traditional and authentic Javanese feast served on a ‘dulang’ (big serving tray) and lined with banana leaves. More than 7 delectable dishes are stacked on a bed of steamed rice in a mountainous display. It truly is a feast!
Nasi Ambeng is a festive dish of Javanese origin. Note that it’s pronounced “um-bng”, and does not rhyme with kambing (goat/mutton). At weddings and festivals, it’s usually served communal style in a big heaping stack, on a serving tray called “dulang” lined with banana leaves. The name “ambeng” apparently refers to that round tray. The dulang can be a large silver or wooden platter, the use of which celebrates abundance and sharing.

Traditionally, four to eight people sit on the floor around the rice-stacked dulang and share the feast. They eat using their hands as they banter and bond over the delicious food. Leftovers are packed for guests to take home. In fact, historically the nasi ambeng takeaway was evidence for husbands to prove to jealous wives that they were indeed at a kenduri (feast), and not elsewhere.

Authentic Nasi Ambeng is truly a feast of many toppings – sambal goreng (fried sambal vegetables and beancurd), serunding (fried grated coconut), acar (mixed pickles), urap (salad with spicy grated coconut), bagedil (potato cutlet), beancurd and fried tempeh (fermented soya bean) plus a choice of a main dish – mutton, chicken or beef rendang, or fish. Some versions even include noodles as a side dish.
Ambeng rice dish is typical of Java in the form of white rice that is placed on Tampah and side dishes were all around. Side dishes may include cakes , salted fish fried, peanut brittle , chili fries , eggs boiled, tempeh fried, ointment , fried noodles , and fried chicken .

Ambeng rice dish is served in salvation as a symbol of good luck. Rice is eaten by a gang of four to five adults. Rice is eaten by wearing with bare hands, without a spoon and fork . Presentation ambeng rice contains a request that all parties who participated endowed much sustenance.
This is one version I had in Jakarta recently.


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