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Yoshimi Shimizu
Published: 20 May 2022

Let’s learn about top Indonesian spices!

Indonesia is known as a country rich in spices. Many Indonesian dishes have distinctive aroma and often feature rich tastes of spices. The secret recipe behind this delicious flavor is from the typical spices of Indonesia that became the seasoning ingredient of cooking. Here is the list of spices which used by Indonesian in making delicious foods.

1. Nutmeg (Pala)

Nutmeg is a spice made from the seed of the nutmeg tree (Myristica fragrant) and is generally used as a cooking spice. The spice has a distinctive pungent fragrance and a warm slightly sweet taste. It is used to flavor many kinds of baked goods, meats, sausages, potatoes, sauces, soup, vegetables, and such beverages as eggnog.

2. Clove ( Cengkeh)

Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a Clove tree. Cloves are used in the cuisine of Asian, African, Mediterranean, and the Near and Middle East countries, lending flavor to meats, curries, and marinades, as well as fruit. Cloves may be used to give aromatic and flavor qualities to hot beverages.

3. Cinnamon (Kayu manis)

Cinnamon skin is a spice used for sweet and savory dishes. If cinnamon is mixed with the dish, it will add fresh after taste but the amount needs to be exact. Cinnamon is processed into a cinnamon powder and bar. Cinnamon sticks are sometimes used to flavour soups and stews, and also in desserts and drinks.

4. Ginger (Jahe)

Ginger is common to Indonesian cooking, like most other Asian cuisines. In Indonesia, ginger is also often used in drinks, such as hot ginger water, and black coffee with ginger.

5. Lemongrass (Serai)

Lemongrass is an herb with a lemony scent. The culinary herb is produced from the stalk of the lemongrass plant. Lemongrass imparts a flavor of lemon with hints of ginger. It has the same essential oil as lemons and it is often used in herbal teas to give a lemon flavor. Fresh lemongrass can have floral and minty notes as well. Lemongrass is used in soup and dishes with meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables. It is also widely used in tea and other beverages.

6. Cardamon (Kapulaga)

Cardamom is a kind of fruit that is often used as a spice of certain dishes, and can also mix as a mixture of herbal medicine. Usually cardamom is widely used as a spice for curry because it can make the taste of food tasted more delicious.

7. Pepper (Merica)

In Indonesia, pepper is less acrid and a little sweeter than varieties grown in India or China, and is much fruitier as well. In Indonesian cooking, it’s often incorporated in traditional bumbus, which are the aromatic curry pastes made from dry and fresh spices. Long pepper is great just like black pepper - in dishes with red meat or in soups and stews.

8. Cumin (Jintan)

Cumin is a creeping plant whose seeds can be used for spices and medicines. Seeds of this plant are often used as a spice kitchen for Indian cuisine.  The aroma is very fragrant, suitable to be the mixture of seasoning traditional dishes in various regions. This spice often added into opor and curry dishes. 

9. Turmeric (Kunyit)

Traditional Indonesian cuisine can not be separated from this spice. This spice has a specific feature such as finger,  the skin has yellowish brown color, and it has a thin feature. Turmeric is used to color yellow rice, spice opor,  and curry.

10. Candlenut (Kemiri)

Candlenut is one of the Indonesian spices with seeds that are used as a source of oil and spice for cooking purposes. It is used for creating a creamy and umami taste in soups, gravy dishes, and sauces.

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