The Eid al-Fitr festivities are upon us, and it is a delightful time for not just our Muslim friends but also for foodies, what with the many Lebaran delicacies on offer. Rather than your usual Beef Rendang or Opor Ayam (chicken in coconut milk), however, our editorial team has opted to throw the spotlight on dishes that originate from Manado instead. With the capital city of North Sulawesi and its surrounding region not known for dishing out halal food, we took a look at those that are suitable for your Eid al-Fitr celebrations.
A much-loved dish that can be found at the many Manadonese restaurants in Jakarta, this soupy delight consists of beef ribs, red beans, leek slices and celery – all served in a bowl of zesty beef broth. The rich texture of this beef soup is derived from the red beans, which sets it apart from your middle-of-the-road beef soups. Some people are known to prefer eating it with noodles, while to make it even fresher, a few extra slices of cayenne pepper would do the trick.
Ayam Bumbu Paniki
Sharing similarities composition-wise with Opor Ayam, Ayam Bumbu Paniki is a Manadonese dish that is essentially chicken braised in coconut milk with chayote slices. As it is with most food coming from this region, it comes with dense coconut milk and packs a spicy punch. Kaffir lime is usually added into the mix to up the freshness level of the proceedings. A variation of this delight that you may encounter features a rather reddish tone in colour and comes chayote-less with dried-up coconut milk.
Consisting of chayote slices and red beans that are served in coconut milk, one could only find this exact concoction in a small village in Tondano – a district in North Sulawesi – called Kampung Jawa Tondano. You could still sample it in Jakarta, but the joints here replace the red beans with tempeh, long beans, or both at the same time.
Bebek Bumbu RW
This refreshingly hot dish comprises chilli-braised duck meat with shallot, leek slices, lemongrass, celery and kaffir lime leaves. Now, the main showpiece of this delicacy is its spiciness, so if you have a taste for such spicy food, then you’ll be having the time of your life. Its name, though, could cause a bit of confusion. RW refers to dog meat in Manadonese, which is used its main ingredient. However, recent iterations of Bebek Bumbu RW have ditched dog meat in favour of duck meat, which makes it safe for Muslims to devour.