For generations, Indonesians have bought their food at traditional markets (pasar). The term pasar can refer to a gathering of vendors who sell off carts which go through residential areas, to a rough, temporary structure where sellers gather in the morning, to the large, multistory buildings.
Since refrigerators are too expensive for the poor and Indonesians like their vegetables and meat fresh, this necessitates a trip to the market each day to buy ingredients for that day’s meal. While shopping in supermarkets is popular amongst the middle and upper classes, supermarket prices are generally too expensive for the poor.
Prices are not marked on items at traditional markets. Therefore, the fine art of bargaining is taken to new levels as housewives and household help try to get the cheapest prices possible. True shopping savvy means that you already know what the price should be before you start shopping. Prices are compared & news is spread from friend to friend on today’s prices for various items.
Today, I’m gonna explore Pasar Raya, the traditional market in Salatiga. The items sold in this market are basically the same with others, such as fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, spices, dry goods and household items. Of course they also sell some local dishes and snacks/desserts.
First dish I wanna try is Nasi Jagung (corn rice). Price 1 K, extremely cheap! I’m shocked!
It’s made from pounded corn kernels, coconut, galangal, lemongrass and bay leaf. Wash crushed corn thoroughly then soaked for a night. The next day, make coconut milk from the coconut then boiled together with bay leaf, galangal & lemongrass. When boiling add corn rice. Stirred until coconut milk dried. Finally steam corn rice until cooked. It’s served with boiled vegetables, salted fish crackers, sweet grated coconut & spicy peanut sauce.
For dessert I bought assorted Javanese cakes. The white one is called Jadah. It’s made from sticky rice, grated coconut & salt. Next, with the dark brown color and taste chewy and sweet is called Jenang. The ingredients are rice flour, sticky rice flour, brown sugar, sugar & coconut milk. Then, there’s a cake called Wajik that made from white sticky rice, coconut milk, brown sugar & salt. The last is Krasikan. It’s made from sticky rice, grated coconut, brown sugar, coconut milk & water whiting. The combination taste of sweet and savory creates the pleasure sensation. I like it! Price for one portion is only 5 K.
Next dessert is Lopis. It’s made from sticky rice, coconut, salt & water whiting. Wrap it with banana leaf and tied up with strings and steamed it for 3 hours. After being cold, cut it in round shape. Then pour it with Kinca/Juruh (liquid brown/java sugar stir up with pandan leaves). I also bought Grontol. The ingredients are dry corn, water, salt, grated coconut & pandan leaves. It’s also pour with Kinca on top. Price 1 K, wow! Great! That’s why I really love traditional market. You can find the unique & authentic local dishes/snack/dessert with cheap price!
Jl. Jend. Sudirman