5 Unique Betawi Dishes You Have to Know

5 Unique Betawi Dishes You Have to Know


There will be like something missing if you go to Jakarta without tasting the tempting traditional dish from Jakarta’s origins, which is Betawi dish. For you who are not a Betawi tribe but living in Jakarta, you may already know the name of Gado-gado or Ketoprak. But maybe you have not heard these names of Betawi signature dish:

1. Nasi Ulam
Nasi Ulam (nasi: rice) has a taste like Nasi Uduk. The difference is the Nasi Ulam uses pegagan leaves which give this dish a special aroma. Nasi Ulam is usually eaten with sprinkles made from grinded peanuts and serundeng made from roasted shredded coconut. Nasi Ulam can also be served with various side dishes such as egg, tofu, or tempeh. The rice is topped with traditional emping to add savory taste. Usually, Nasi Ulam is served wrapped in banana leaves to be sold. This makes the Nasi Ulam feels iconic.

2. Nasi Kebuli
The Arabian influence feels so strong on a plate of Nasi Kebuli. Nasi Kebuli has a nearly same taste with Nasi Briyani, the Middle East signature rice dish. What is inside this rice? Goat broth, goat milk, and samin oil are the ingredients to cook the rice. Then, the rice is stir-fried with the seasonings such as garlic, pepper, cloves, coriander, caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and samin oil. Not only that, but Nasi Kebuli should also be eaten with the other side dishes such as fried goat meat with shredded dates or raisins.

3. Gabus Pucung
Like its name, maybe you can already guess what Gabus Pucung is made of. Yes, it is made of gabus fish cooked with soup. The word “pucung” itself comes from pucung fruit or known as kluwek used in this dish. This pucung makes the soup of Gabus Pucung colored black. The mixture of the soup ingredients such as turmeric, garlic, kluwek, red curly chili, candlenut, and shallot, with the savory taste of gabus fish will give unique sensation to your tongue.

4. Pecak Tembang
In Betawi language, “pecak” means grilled food and “tembang” is a name of salty fish. Although the serving process looks like Gabus Pucung, the taste of Pecak Tembang is a lot different than Gabus Pucung. The tembang fish is not fried, but grilled. The soup is also not a light soup, but a little bit heavier because it is processed like making a chili sauce. The soup, or the sauce, comes from a mixture of grilled shallot and ginger, then grinded with Bird’s eye chili and salt. In order to be easily poured, the sauce then diluted in hot water before served with the fish.

5. Sayur Babanci
Sayur Babanci (sayur: vegetables) sounds like a unique name. So does the taste and the presentation. Although it is named as “sayur”, but Sayur Babanci itself does not have any vegetables in it. The dish name comes from the word babah and enci because the creator is a crossbreed of Betawi and Chinese. When you taste Sayur Babanci, it will remind you of another Indonesian dish named Gulai. But the uniqueness of Sayur Babanci is it uses rare spices such as kedaung, botor (fried winged beans), tai angina, lempuyang, Mango ginger, Chinese ginger, and banglé. For the filling, it only uses beef and ketupat.