A taste of Indonesian Iftar

Just as the holy month of Ramadhan advocates upholding relations and cementing human bonds with each other, Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-populated country celebrates the month with a lot of piety, bonhomie and of course, some exclusive Ramadhan dishes.

This year, although coronavirus has stolen the gatherings and people are deprived of the festive events like they normally would, Indonesians are making the most of their iftars within the four walls of their homes in the company of their immediate family members.

“Usually Indonesians hold iftar gathering with their peers which can happen almost every day with different groups. However, we are celebrating the holy month with our immediate family members, probably the first of its kind as I can remember”, says Pilar Ayu, an Indonesian official who was stranded back home during her holidays.

The opening of fast at sunset in Indonesia is called “Buka Puasa” or Iftar. Usually, people first take a hot or cold drink and eat sweet snacks to allow the tummy to slowly get adjusted to food again after abstinence of overlong 13 hours, and take sweet drinks to supply energy.

“In Muscat, we also hold such iftar event every year to uphold the tradition, followed by prayers and networking. But we don’t do any of those this year due to the social distancing instruction.”

Obviously no gathering at all this year. Especially outside the house because all restaurants in Indonesia only cater for takeout orders or even closed. So people only do iftar at home with their family alone.

For iftar, no specific dishes are important and it can be anything and is not limited to a particular dish alone.
Although for the takjil (fast-breaking snacks), people tend to eat traditional snacks, like fritters (banana, tofu, tempeh), serabi (rice cakes taken with palm sugar syrup and coconut milk), and the like depending on each family’s tradition and what’s currently trending.

Kolak (chunks of banana and sweet potato, boiled with coconut milk and palm sugar and pandan leaves) served warm or cold is another inevitable dish from Indonesian iftars.

Must-Try Dish

Sop Buah

Literally translated as ‘fruit soup’, Sop Buah is a dessert consisting of tropical fruits in a bowl of condensed milk and its taste is a unique combination of the freshness, the sweetness, and the natural sourness of fruits.
This dessert is sold in almost every street of Indonesia, especially in big cities or warmer regions. Sop Buah is traditionally eaten to break the fast during the holy month of Ramadhan, but you can make it at home and have it anytime you want because the ingredients are easily available at your nearest store. Plus, it’s so versatile that you can make your own variations.

 

Fruit Ingredients (you can adjust with any fruits):
Avocado, as desired
Watermelon, diced
Strawberry, cut it into 4
Pineapple, cut into small triangles
Melons, make a circle like a marble
Longan, remove the seeds
Papaya, diced
Mango, diced
Grape, halve

Soup Ingredients:
1 glass of boiled water
5 tablespoons of coco pandan syrup
1 sachet of white sweetened condensed milk
Shaved ice

How to Make:
Put all the fruit ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Blend a glass of boiled water with condensed milk; then stir well and pour it into the bowl of fruits. Add some shaved ice and pour the coco pandan syrup over it. Sop Buah is ready to be served.