Nasi Padang in Jakarta

Nasi Padang in Jakarta was scary. Wanted to buy my local driver dinner since it was my last day. It was just me and him (seen here in blue) and the restaurant brought out enough dishes to feed a village. Was relieved they only charge for plates that were partially consumed or touched.

Nasi Padang gets its name from the West Sumatran town of Padang, famous for the culinary rice dish or buffet. Turned out to be an awesome experience.

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Rendang

Historically, the Minangkabau people of Sumatra were of a migrating (merantau) culture. Many left home to start new lives in other Indonesian cities, as well as at regional countries. Soon, Padang restaurants were everywhere.

But there was one problem when they wanted to take food along their long journeys through rivers and oceans. Refrigerators weren’t available in the 16th century.

So the enterprising Minangkabaus came up with Rendang, a form of drier curry meat. The special recipe used a combination of spices and cooking methods that resulted in a dish that will last when stored for weeks at room temperatures.

There are now, of course, many regional and different adaptations in both dry and wet versions. The rendang curry, be it chicken, beef or mutton, goes very well with lemang.

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