What Indonesians Eat During Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

Updated: May 13

Culinary is arguably one of the most interesting things about a tradition. Just like every other seasonal tradition, there are also special cuisines that are common to be found during Ramadan. Each Muslim-majority country will have its own traditional cuisine that is awaited by its people every year, including Indonesia.


In Indonesia, there are several special cuisines ranging from desserts, snacks, fruits, and even meals that are being served during Ramadan. You can easily find them both in street food carts and five-star hotels. If you are interested in making one, the recipes can easily be found on the internet. Without further due, let’s take a look at them!


1. Kolak



Kolak is a dessert bowl filled with slices of bananas, sweet potatoes, or pumpkins along with coconut milk mixed with palm sugar and pandan leaves as its soup. Indonesians usually eat kolak as the appetizer of their breakfasting dishes. Not only has a sweet flavor, but kolak also has a very appetizing smell that came from its pandan leaves.


Kolak can be served in two versions: hot and cold. If you are a fan of cold beverages, feel free to put some ice cubes inside it and if you are in the mood for a hot dessert, go ahead and warm it a little bit. Whether it is hot or cold, kolak will still be a good option to start your meal!


2. Kurma



Kurma, also known as date palm or date fruit is a tropical fruit that is originally from Iraq but is being widely consumed in Indonesia especially during Ramadan. According to Islamic belief, Prophet Muhammad ate kurma to break his fast. Therefore, a lot of Indonesian Muslims are following his legacy to eat kurma when it comes to breakfasting.


In Indonesia, kurma is now being consumed all-year-round. You can find kurma in the supermarket or in fruit grocery stores. During Ramadan, kurma will be the first thing you see when you go to any food store. Other than religious reasons, Indonesians eat kurma because it contains rich nutrition that will help to gain more energy to stay fit and healthy during Ramadan.


3. Opor Ayam



Opor Ayam is the most popular food that Indonesians eat during Eid al-Fitr. It is the main dish that Indonesians have been waiting for throughout Ramadan. Opor ayam is a dish consisting of chicken that is cooked with coconut milk curry. The curry in opor ayam is rather soupy compared to other chicken curries. Families who love cooking usually make their own seasonings for their opor ayam.


Due to its popularity, some food companies make the instant seasoning for opor ayam where you can just put it in the boiling water along with your chicken and voila! You have your opor ayam ready to be tasted! Cooking opor ayam during Eid al-Fitr is like roasting turkey filled with stuffing during Thanksgiving.


4. Ketupat



On a daily basis, Indonesians eat a lot of rice. As a matter of fact, rice is Indonesia’s number one staple food. Surprisingly, during the week of Eid al-Fitr, most Indonesians eat ketupat instead. Ketupat is a diamond-shaped rice cake that is wrapped in coconut leaves. Nevertheless, ketupat is still made out of rice.


Ketupat is a perfect match for opor ayam. Indonesians eat opor ayam with cut ketupat on it as their main dish during Eid al-Fitr.


5. Kue Lebaran


Last but not least, cookies! Being the complete opposite of regular chocolate chip cookies, Kue lebaran or lebaran cookies is less fudgy and drier. If you prefer bite-sized cookies and pastries, then kue lebaran is worth a try! Kue lebaran came in various flavors, shapes, and textures. These are the three varieties that most Indonesians eat.



First, kastengel. Kastengel is a cheese-flavored cookie with a rectangular shape. It usually has a yellow color with a little sprinkle of shredded cheese on top. The flavor of the cheese dominates the cookies, so it is less sweet than other varieties.



Second on the list, putri salju. Have you ever heard of snowball cookies? If so, then that is exactly what putri salju is. Putri salju is a sweet ball-shaped cookie that is coated with refined sugar. It is best to enjoy this cookie with unsweetened jasmine tea to balance the flavor.



The third one, nastar! Nastar is more of a pastry instead of a cookie. It is a small-sized sweet pastry with a pineapple jam filling on the inside. It usually has a soft texture. Some people infused a lot of jam inside the pastry so when you take a bite, the jam will pop out.


Well, has your taste buds been indulged by getting to know these cuisines? Are you interested in tasting them? Let’s dive into this local Indonesian culinary culture by giving this food a try!

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