6 Must Try Food and Drinks in Indonesia

Indonesia is a country brimming with sights, shopping, and fabulous food. As a country known for its diverse use of spices, its cuisine is one of the most colorful and vibrant of any in the world. Here is a quick overview of some of the most traditional and popular foods of Indonesia, and some of what you can taste at Go Eat Give Destination Indonesia on March 26th in Atlanta…

 1. Gado Gado

Gado Gado is a traditional Indonesian dish suitable for every foodie, including vegetarians. The dish, translated to “mix-mix,” is a blend of various vegetables, tofu, and tempeh in a peanut sauce. It is sometimes served with crispy crackers as a snack, or on its own as a side or entree with rice.


2. Saté

An Indonesian dish the is well known in the West and is similar to a shish kabob. Sate consists of different kinds of meat roasted over coals on bamboo skewers, and is often times paired with a peanut sauce. The meat may include chicken, beef, pork, tofu, and more. Saté originated in Java and was a creation of the Indonesian street vendors, but has spread around Indonesia and to neighboring countries.


3. Kerak Telor

This dish is a crispy Indonesian “frittata” made with sticky rice, shrimp, coconut, shallots, and spices. Duck or eggs are commonly added to the meal based on the customer’s preference. Kerak Telor is one of the most popular street foods in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, and derives from the Betawi culture. The dish also is said to resemble the western omelet though its spice and crispness set it apart.


4. Rendang

Rendang originated in Pandang, a city in Sumatra, and is one of the most flavorful and iconic dishes of Indonesia. It is referred to as “West Sumatran caramelized beef curry” by culinary experts and was named the #1 most delicious food in the world by CNN International readers. The dish is made with beef, which is marinated, in a special curry for hours. Rendang can also be served dry as a soft jerky, but this is reserved only for special occasions.


5. Cendol

Cendol is a traditional Indonesian dessert drink that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen or tasted before. The base is made up of coconut milk, palm sugar, and shaved ice, and is mixed with various kinds of jelly noodles. The noodles are made out of red beans, rice, or even grass jelly. Iced cendol with durian fruit and chocolate milk is also popular in Indonesia.


6. Bintang Bir Pilsner

If you ever find yourself in Indonesia during a night out, you’re bound to run into someone drinking Bintang Beer. It was introduced to the country by the Heineken brand during the 1930s under the original name Java Bier, and later took on its’ current name in 2006. Bintang means “star” in Indonesian, and the Bintang bottle features a red star that is reminiscent of the classic Heineken bottle. Additionally, the taste of Bintang is said to be very similar to Heineken with its’ malt and hop flavor.


12 Days of Christmas – Swan Cream Puffs

The historic St. Francis Inn (circa 1791) treats their guests 365 days a year to complimentary evening desserts that are homemade and uniquely created for a perfect ending before bedtime. After guests enjoy their dinner or activities throughout St. Augustine, they enjoy returning to the comforting parlor or dining room, sipping a beverage and indulging their sweet tooth on something yummy and surprising from cook Janice Leary’s kitchen.

For Christmas 2014, once again the Inn’s themed desserts will be paired with one of the 12 Days of Christmas. Each of the desserts below pays homage to the English Christmas Carol that represents a series of increasingly grand gifts presented on each of the 12 days of Christmas.

The song, first published in England in 1780 was without music and offered as a chant or rhyme. Representative of that era – the St. Francis Inn was built in 1791!

swan cream puffs


Pastry Puffs Recipe


1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
4 large eggs
Large zip-top bag

PREHEAT oven to 425 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. In a small saucepan, bring water, butter, and sugar to a boil over high.

Immediately REMOVE from heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in all-purpose flour. Continue to stir until mixture pulls away from sides of pan, about 2 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes.

ADD eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until batter comes together. Transfer batter to a large zip-top bag; twist and squeeze bag so batter is in one corner. With scissors, snip a 1/2-inch opening in corner (or use a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch round plain tip).

PIPE batter into desired size mounds, 1 inch apart, onto sheets. For heads, pipe candy cane shapes on to parchment paper. With a wet finger, smooth pointy tops. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until puffs are golden brown and feel light and hollow inside, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.


2 Cups cold eggnog
1 box white chocolate pudding mix

PREPARE according to pudding directions. Let set, then scoop into halved puffs.

~ Courtesy of Janice Leary at St Frances Inn, Florida. 

Agathe ́s apple and rhubarb cake

Agathe Devisme is an adventurers French lady married, who opened Ipiutaq Guest Farm at a remote location in South Greenland. She combines her French culinary heritage with farm grown ingredients, to create delicious homemade meals for her guests. Her passion for cooking and presentation is apparent on every plate she presents. The guest house sits on a sheep farm, with a backdrop of mountains and icebergs, and has only 2 rooms, so Agathe personally prepares all guest meals during their stay. While the scenery is breathtaking, the location remote, and the surroundings peaceful, Agathe’s food is enough reason to spend a few days in Ipiutaq!

agathe on her farm

Agathe has generously shared one of her recipes with us. This cake can be baked with apples and angelica sticks instead of rhubarb, depending on preference and availability. The recipe is below and you can see photos on her website.

Agathe’s Apple and Rhubarb Cake Recipe


  • 2 or 3 apples
  • 250 grams rhubarb sticks (or angelica sticks)

First dough

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3  tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 75 grams butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk or cream
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Second dough

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 40 grams melted butter

Wash the rhubarb sticks and cut them into small pieces. Peel the apples and cut them into thin slices.

If you use angelica sticks, you have to slice them finely and boil them for approximatly 30 minutes, and then, cook them with sugar (half of angelica ́s weight) for approximatly 30 minutes.

Mix the egg, the butter and the milk or cream. Then add progressively the flour and baking powder until you get a smooth dough. Add the pieces of fruit to the mix.

Pour the dough in a round greased and floured cake tin and cook for 20 minutes in 225oC oven.

Take the cake out of the oven and pour the second dough on top. Bake for 10 minutes until golden.

Serve warm with vanilla custard or vanilla ice cream.

agate's cake recipe

~ Recipe courtesy of  Agathe Devisme, chef and proprietor of Ipiutaq Guest Farm in Greenland.

Chocolate Bread Pudding with Clear Caramel

Here is the delicious chocolate bread pudding recipe that SOHO American Bistro has generously shared with you readers. It is by far, my favorite dessert in Atlanta! The moist rich bread pudding has a velvety texture and melts in your mouth. It is served warm with a dollop of cold vanilla ice cream and rightly balanced caramel sauce. If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself. Continue reading “Chocolate Bread Pudding with Clear Caramel”

Panna Cotta two ways

mango panna cotta

This Easter I decided to experiment with a couple of panna cotta recipes. If you are not familiar with panna cotta, it is a light Italian pudding commonly found at Italian restaurants. The basic panna cotta is made with milk or cream, sugar, gelatin and vanilla. Fruit toppings are then added to enhance the flavor and presentation.

I tried two versions of the panna cotta and both of them turned out to be delicious. If you are looking for an easy to make dessert to serve on warm summer nights, these are your go-to recipes. Prepare the night before and serve chilled for best results.

Panna cotta with fresh mango coulis (Serves 4)

This recipe for the base has been adopted from David Lebovitz’s web site. I used fresh mangoes I found at my local farmer’s market. For this recipe, you want to use ripe mangoes that have a lot of pulp and flavor.

2 cups heavy cream
mango panna cotta1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 packet powdered gelatin
3 tablespoons cold water
1 cup fresh mango pulp, from 2 mangoes

Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan or microwave. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Lightly oil four custard cups with cooking spray.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
Divide the Panna Cotta mixture into the prepared cups

2 tablespoon sugar
1 packet powdered gelatin
1 tablespoon dark rum

Cook the mango pulp with the sugar on low heat in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved.
Add the gelatin, rum and a pinch of chili powder and continue to cook for 2 more minutes stirring continuously.
Take off from heat and allow to cool completely.
Divide the mango coulis equally over the prepared cups. Chill until firm, at least four hours or overnight.

Read more for Low-fat sugar-free panna cotta with blackberry compote

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Bite size art in the city

While walking down the streets in Manhattan yesterday, my eyes were magically drawn towards rows of colorful teeny tiny sugary treats against the backdrop of a stork white store. With the doors wide open inviting me in, I was intrigued and had to look closely at what I was seeing. There were cupcakes, but not just any cupcakes. These very colorful, tiny, piece of art cupcakes!

Melissa Bushell, the founder of Baked by Melissa questioned why should one settle for only one dessert and not have them all? So she ingeniously invented “mini cupcakes” which would satisfy the sweet-lovers appetite for a variety of flavors without packing all those extra calories. (See how tiny it is?)

When you walk into the store, it feels like an art gallery. With 12 flavors to chose from, you actually don’t really have to chose. A dozen of these mini melt-in-your-mouth in one bite cupcakes cost only $10. Or if you are really the decisive kinds, you can get 3 for $3, or 6 cupcakes for $5.50. Whatever you choose – cookies and cream, peanut butter and jelly, red velvet, smores, or tie-dye…you will not be disappointed! The cake is fresh and the icing not too sweet. The entire concoction is just enough for you to be able to enjoy the layers of flavors an d still satisfy your sweet tooth.

The cupcakes are individually suspended in a small white box. You wouldn’t want to carry your precision art any other way.

They have three stores in New York City and ship nationwide. Did I mention you can create your own cupcake at Baked by Melissa‘s web site? There are 10k submissions on the web site to get you inspired.

Summer in a Trifle

This colorful trifle will get you in the mood for summer and is a sure crowd pleaser. It is not too rich or sweet, with just the perfect balance of flavors. A layer of strawberry mousse made with fresh strawberries, a layer of lemon curd for that tangy taste and coconut cream to bring it all together. Garnish with meringue cookies and you will hear “oohs” and “aahs” as you bring it into the room!

I invented this recipe while thinking of Easter colors and combined some of the flavors I love, but I am sure you and your families will enjoy it all summer long.

Summer Trifle

Prepare the night before and chill overnight for best results. This recipe can easily serve a crowd of 12-15 people.


  • 1 prepared angel food cake
  • 16 ounces frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  •  juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 6 lemon cookies, crushed gently
  • 2 cups vanilla frozen whipped topping, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon coconut essence


To make the strawberry mousse:

  1. Combine strawberries, 1 cup cream, ½ cup sugar and corn starch in medium saucepan. 
  2. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and chill.
  3. In a blender, grind the strawberry mixture until smooth like a smoothie consistency.

For the lemon curd:

  1. Beat eggs and ½ cup sugar on high speed of an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Stir in 1 cup cream, lemon juice, butter and lemon peel. Beat on high for 5 minutes or until mixture is thick and creamy.
  3. Add the crushed cookies into the curd mixture. Set aside.

Coconut cream:

  1. Mix the coconut essence into the whipped topping until fully blended.

Arrange the trifle:

  1. Cut the angel food cake into ¼ inch slices.
  2. In a large (8-inch) trifle bowl, layer the angel food cake slices till the bottom is covered. Pour the strawberry mousse over it.
  3. Add another layer of angel food cake, followed by the lemon curd. Use the remaining angel food cake to layer above it.
  4. Top it off with the coconut whipped topping.
  5. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight. 
  6. Before serving, decorate with meringue cookies or toasted coconuts and lemon slices.

Pancakes round the world

My favorite thing to eat for breakfast is a homemade, fresh of the griddle pancake. I don’t particularly like the ones at restaurants and hotels. In my opinion, they probably have a lot of butter or oil that make them taste very rich and leaves me with an overstuffed belly.

I try to make my pancakes as healthy as possible, by adding fat free milk and frying with Pam (vegetable spray). Here are recipes for three versions of pancakes that I make at home. These are great for breakfast, lunch, snack or dessert.American pancake



American – These are classic American, fluffy and thick pancakes. Use low-fat Bisquick to make the job easier and serve them with low-calorie maple syrup. Take it a step further by using whole wheat flour (instead of white) and serve the pancakes with lots of fruits and berries.

Another twist is adding mashed bananas or a cup of fresh blueberries into the pancake batter. It takes your ordinary pancake to “gourmet” and everyone loves it.

swedish pancake



Swedish – Prepared almost the same way, but much thinner and lighter. Swedish pancakes look almost like mini crepes but are soft and have a slight saltiness to their taste. Stack up 3-4 pancakes and serve on a warm plate. These savory pancakes can also be served for lunch. I use the Lund’s mix, but a runny pancake batter would do too.







Hungarian – When I first tasted Hungarian pancakes (Palacsinta) served in a rich creamy sauce as dessert in Budapest, I felt like I died and went to heaven! Once I returned home to the US, I recreated this recipe with my own inspiration. The pancakes themselves are extremely thin, thinner than a crepe, so you need to make 8-10 for each serving. Add a teaspoon of Nutella and sprinkle poppy seeds between each layer. Finally, top it all with a Bourbon sauce. I have to warn you this dish is far from health but worth every calorie!

Best Friend’s Chocolate Cake

I attended high school in a small town in northern India. It was an all-girls Catholic Convent school, right across the street from where I lived. Our school was considered to produce polished, well-spoken, and smart girls who were quite successful in whatever path they chose after graduation.

From sixth grade until now, I have been best friends with two of my classmates. We use to hang out together all the time, be it sitting in class, having lunch during break, going for movies on the weekends, to spending all festivals and holidays together. All three of us moved to different parts of the world after college, but still managed to remain in touch and keep the friendship alive.

When my friends would come over, my mom would sometimes bake cakes and make noodles (my two favorite eats growing up). Since she could not find bags of chocolate morsels in stores, she would buy bars of Cadburys chocolates and melt them into the cake batter. It would be so delicious and rich!

One of my best friends from high school came to visit me at my home in Atlanta, back in 2005 while she was in New York for an assignment. Needless to say, I showed off my culinary skills by baking a chocolate cake for her. She fell in love with it and asked me to make it every time she visited then on.

It’s a very simple velvety chocolate cake with no layers or icing. I like it because it’s not too sweet and can be had at any time of the day. It serves well at tea or snack time so you don’t have to wait for dessert to enjoy it.

Chocolate Cake RecipeDan's Chocolates

1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate morsel

½ cup butter, at room temperature

16-oz brown sugar

3 eggs

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

8-oz sour cream

1 cup hot water

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoon powdered sugar

Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave for 1 minute or until smooth. Stir gently.

Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed for 5 minutes, and then add eggs, 1 at a time. Beat until just blended. Add the melted chocolate and beat for another 30 seconds.

Mix together flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Now, gradually add the flour mixture to the chocolate base, alternating with sour cream. Beat at low speed during this process. Add the hot water in a low steady stream still blending on slow. Stir in the vanilla.

Spoon batter in a prepared (floured and greased) angel cake or a 10-inch round pan. Bake at 350F for 55-65 minutes or until wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely, sift powdered sugar on top and enjoy.