Javanese Culinary Heritage: from Borobudur Temple Reliefs to Dinner Plates

Jakarta, CNN Indonesia —

What’s the simplest way to be happy?

Some people may think with a lot of money, traveling abroad and others. But, some things that are often not realized but in fact can make you happy, eat.

For some people, including me, eating can be a fun way to be happy. Enjoy a plate full of enjoyment and meaningful stories.



Food doesn’t just taste good and is beautiful to look at, but in fact various foods also have their own stories and history. Culinary also has a myriad of traditions that are worth mentioning because they are often forgotten and pushed aside by viral or contemporary foods.

“Young people must enrich themselves with heritage,” said Chef Petty Elliot during the Culinary Expedition to Java at the Amanjiwo Resort some time ago.

Petty and Reza Kurniawan from Amanjiwo Resort collaborated to create an experience of returning to the past, to a time when people in Central Java used to make their kitchens made of woven bamboo. Even to the moment when humans were still in the era of hunting and gathering which was carved on the reliefs of Borobudur Temple.

The chain of human culinary journeys from time to time is depicted in the ‘Jiwa Damai’ or peaceful soul during 3 days of a traditional dinner that amazes and brings the imagination to the past through a series of cultures, history that is full of manifestations in the life of the people of Central Java.

“Central Javanese people have a lot of rituals that are carried out. Some food is also served not only for food but also for various rituals that are attached to them,” said Patrick Vanhoebrouck Anthropologist Resident Amanjiwo.

Travel to the past

A journey to the past and exploring Javanese culinary traditions begins with a 5 course dinner from the collaboration of the two chefs.

The dishes served included mixed lettuce, chicken senerek soup, pepes farupe fillet, wagyu jerky yeast, and poor apple crumble.

It may sound like an ordinary dish, but both chefs Petty and Reza provide a contemporary touch without losing the characteristic taste that is familiar to the tongue. It’s undeniable that one thing that often makes us skeptical is that various Indonesian dishes that are claimed to be level-up, mostly give a taste that is off the mark and feels awkward on the tongue.

Chef Petty Elliot’s mixed lettuce looks beautiful on the plate, the sliced ​​fruit in small sizes and disappears in a few mouthfuls is mixed perfectly with the sesame sauce. Not many people know that sesame sauce is also a traditional Indonesian food, but they know more about sesame sauce salad dressings which are popular in the market.

One thing that tempts my tongue is Chef Reza’s Senerek Chicken Soup. Senerek soup is a typical Magelang culinary.

“Usually it’s made from sliced ​​beef and topped with red beans but now I’ve replaced it with chicken.”

If this soup is synonymous with a slightly cloudy broth because of the broth, this chicken senerek soup has a very clear broth (consomme) but the taste of the broth is thick and refreshing. Reza revealed that this consomme is made by boiling chicken bones using the slow cooking method for dozens of hours and then filtering it many times until the color is clear.

Another sensation is with the chicken. Not roasted or baked, these boneless chicken slices are actually brine to give them a super soft texture but not crumble and are more savory. After that, the chicken is pan seared to give it a slightly crunchy texture.

The Iconic Borobudur


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