With the end of the holy month of Ramadan just around the corner, the excitement surrounding the arrival of Eid al-Fitr is growing with each passing day. While young children are thrilled with the prospect of being handed extra pocket money, we are more concerned with the wide array of dishes specially made for the occasion that will be present on the dining table. Here are a few special Eid al-Fitr delicacies that are usually dished out across the archipelago.
Bebek Gulai Kurma
Despite its name, this Acehnese dish doesn’t contain any kurma (date) at all. Regardless of the unknown reasons why they gave it such a moniker, we really couldn’t care less as Bebek Gulai Kurma is just too delicious. The various spices that it is normally seasoned with – including coriander, garlic, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg – gives it a rich flavour, which is just perfect when eaten with ketupat (rice cake).
Tailor-made to accompany ketupat, Ayam Gagape originated from Makassar in South Sulawesi. Although it is regarded as the equivalent to the Javanese Opor Ayam, Ayam Gagape features a different cooking method. Most cooks would begin by boiling the chopped chicken meat in plain water. They would then add a mixture of galangal, cumin, bay leaves and coconut milk. Even with the dissimilarities between them, we can guarantee that Ayam Gagape packs as much flavourful punch as an Opor Ayam.
Kella Pate Kopeteng
Due to its geographical condition – an island encircled by the deep – getting seafood in Madura is as easy as ABC. Hence it’s no surprise that food made from creatures of the sea are the main stars of an Eid al-Fitr feast in Madura. One of them is Kella Pate Kopeteng, which is made from mackerel or small crabs cooked in coconut milk and various spices, including coriander and terasi (shrimp paste). Some tend to fry the fish before boiling, while others do the opposite. Whichever method they choose, the dish would always be topped with slices of chillies.
While most Eid al-Fitr dishes show a tendency to be made using coconut milk and oodles of spices, the making of Soto Banjar takes a simpler approach. A local dish in Banjarmasin – the capital city of South Kalimantan – it consists of shredded chicken meat, rice noodles, hard-boiled eggs, ketupat, and perkedel (potato fritter). Served with soup and some fried garlic, Soto Banjar is the ideal light alternative to celebrate Eid al-Fitr.