Few days ago, we have 10 people over for sitting down dinner from various country. It took a while to think of suitable and simple menu with Indonesian theme. Eventually this "Nasi Tumpeng" idea came.
Wikipedia : Tumpeng is a cone-shaped rice dish like mountain with its side dishes (vegetables and meat). Traditionally featured in the slamatan ceremony, the cone shape of rice is made by using cone-shaped weaved bamboo container. The rice itself could be plain steam rice, uduk rice (cooked with coconut milk), or yellow rice (uduk rice colored with kunyit (turmeric)).
The cone shaped rice erected on tampah (rounded woven bamboo container) covered with banana leaf, and surrounded by assorted of Indonesian dishes
History and tradition
People in Java, Bali and Madura usually make Tumpeng to celebrate important event. However, all Indonesians are familiar with Tumpeng. The philosophy of Tumpeng is related to the geographical condition of Indonesia, especially Java as fertile island with numerous mountains and volcanos. Tumpeng dated back to ancient Indonesian tradition that revered mountains as the abode of ancestors and gods. The cone-shaped rice meant to mimics the holy mountain. The feast served as somekind of thanks giving for the abundance of harvest or any other blessings.
In gratitude ceremony (syukuran or slametan), after the people pray, the top of tumpeng is cut and delivered to the most important person. He or she may be the group leader, the oldest person, or the beloved one. Then, all people in the ceremony enjoy the tumpeng together. With tumpeng, people express the gratitude to God and appreciate togetherness and harmony.
An annual ceremony involving tumpeng is commonly called 'tumpengan'. In many Indonesian cities, such as Yogyakarta, a tradition has been developed, the tumpengan ceremony a night before 17 August, the Indonesian independence day. The event is meant to pray for safety and welfare of the nation.
The cone shaped rice surrounded by assorted of Indonesian dishes, such as urap vegetables, fried chicken, empal gepuk (sweet and spicy fried beef), abon sapi (beef floss), semur (beef in sweet soy sauce), teri kacang (anchovy with peanuts), fried prawn, telur pindang (boiled marble egg), shredded omelette, tempe orek (sweet and dry fried tempeh), perkedel kentang (mashed potato fritters), perkedel jagung (corn fritters), sambal goreng ati (liver in chilli sauce), and many other things.
Today the dishes which accompany tumpeng can be of the host discretion, it can be vegetarian, to bbq seafood. Traditionally there should be a balance between vegetables, meat, seafood. The composition of a traditional Javanese tumpeng is more complex because the elements must balance one another according to the Javanese belief.
This is my own version of Tumpeng, I make it individual, so everyone has the tip and the side dishes can be presented better. The guests do not need to que....
What's on each plate ?
Nasi Kuning (yellow rice)
Sambal udang pete ( Prawn sambal and stinky bean) (sambal paste, posted)
Kering kentang (Spiced potato crisp)
Kerupuk udang (Prawn crackers)
350 gr Rice
2 Salam leaves
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
125 ml Coconut milk
150 ml Water
1 Pandan leaf or 1 stalk of lemon grass (or you can put both)
Salt to taste
- Put all ingredients in a sauce pan
- Mix well and cook on medium heat until all the liquid absorbed
- Now, put the rice on a steamer, cook for 30 minutes or until rice is done.
- While it is hot, put it in the mold.
1 kg Medium size prawns, peel the shell and remove the vein
2 lines Stinky bean, peeled and halved
Enough oil for sauteing the paste
See the previous posting for the paste
- Shallow fry the prawns and mix with the paste.
- Add the stinky beans and mix well until all the prawn covered with sambal.
1/2 kg potato, peeled, quartered. Slice thinly and soak in brine, to stop colouring
Use the crispy spicy anchovy recipe for the paste, only replace anchovy with potato crisp
For the coconut dressing please see the previous posting
For the vegetables I used, bean sprout, iceberg lettuce and blanched cabbage
5 whole eggs
salt and pepper
- Beat lightly the eggs and add salt and pepper.
- Heat frying pan and smear with oil
- Pour enough egg mixture onto the pan and move it in such away, that it will cover the pan. We want to make very thin omelets
- when the omelet is ready, put it on a plate
- Repeat the process until the egg mixture finish
- Roll the omelets together and then slice, the result should resemble noodles.
Traditionally, tumpeng mold were made from bamboo. Today it is made of aluminium and comes in different sizes. A couple month a go, I came across with this mini tumpeng mold.Voila... It is very useful...
Individual nasi tumpeng with banana leaf cover (to keep the rice warm and moist), and look pretty on the plate too.....
(These pictures here are not the best photo I have, both were taken in my kitchen and rushing, did not want to serve the food cold for the guests)
Stinky Bean ( pete )