Saturday, October 12, 2013

Indonesia Nasi Tumpeng

Since i have seen, eaten, made and experienced so many Nasi Tumpeng from our homemade.  So i decided to dedicated an article for Nasi Tumpeng.

Nasi Tumpeng is a special dish served for special occasion.  Back in my country Malaysia as I am a chinese malaysian.  We grown up celebrating our special occasion with cakes.  For me is definitely something surprise to learn and to be amazed with their food and culture alike.  I wasn't really into cooking and preparing Nasi Tumpeng in the beginning of few years while my MIL was so busy cooking all by herself in the kitchen.  But recent years, i was so into cooking, so i observed and help her making Nasi Tumpeng when we travelled back to Jakarta holiday and there would always be a special Nasi Tumpeng made just for us.

I Remember i make my first Nasi Tumpeng all by myself for my son 1st Birthday in Brunei.  It didn't really look so beautiful and presentable just with a fried chicken, egg roll and some garnishing.  But the 2nd year and 3rd year getting so much better.  But i still have some hard time of making the most important dish, the Nasi kuning. I saw how my MIL cooked her nasi kuning for tumpeng, definitely a lot of work there, is not as easy as it seen.  so much work, at first have to soak the rice with fresh kunyit few hours or overnight, the rice later steamed with a special white cloth but not directly cook with a rice cooker.  For my nasi kuning, i just cooked with a rice cooker, because i don't have whatever she used for her cooking and mine taste so much different and not as delicious and original as my MIL way.  However, still looks good.. LOL..

I have nothing much to say about as i have gather the most important fact, history and understanding about Nasi Tumpeng from Google Wikipedia for you to read.

Nasi Tumpeng is a cone-shaped rice dish like mountain with its side dishes (vegetables and meat).  Traditionally featured in the slamatan ceremony, the cone shape of rice is made by using cone-shaped weaved bamboo container. The rice itself could be plain steam rice, uduk rice (cooked with coconut milk), or yellow rice (uduk rice colored with kunyit (turmeric)).

The cone shaped rice erected on tampah (rounded woven bamboo container) covered with banana leaf, and surrounded by assorted of Indonesian dishes.

This is consider my 1st Nasi Tumpeng, on our Wedding Day 25.09.2005, especially made for us from Sheraton Utama Hotel, Brunei.  This is a huge and a special made 2 tier Nasi Tumpeng.

History and tradition

People in Java, Bali and Madura usually make Tumpeng to celebrate important event. However, all Indonesians are familiar with Tumpeng. The philosophy of Tumpeng is related to the geographical condition of Indonesia, especially Java as fertile island with numerous mountains and volcanos. Tumpeng dated back to ancient Indonesian tradition that revered mountains as the abode of ancestors and gods. The cone-shaped rice meant to mimics the holy mountain. The feast served as somekind of thanks giving for the abundance of harvest or any other blessings.

In gratitude ceremony (syukuran or slametan), after the people pray, the top of tumpeng is cut and delivered to the most important person. He or she may be the group leader, the oldest person, or the beloved one. Then, all people in the ceremony enjoy the tumpeng together. With tumpeng, people express the gratitude to God and appreciate togetherness and harmony.

An annual ceremony involving tumpeng is commonly called 'tumpengan'. In many Indonesian cities, such as Yogyakarta, a tradition has been developed, the tumpengan ceremony a night before 17 August, the Indonesian independence day. The event is meant to pray for safety and welfare of the nation.

Surrounding dishes

The cone shaped rice surrounded by assorted of Indonesian dishes, such as urap vegetables, fried chicken, empal gepuk (sweet and spicy fried beef), abon sapi (beef floss), semur (beef stew in sweet soy sauce), teri kacang (anchovy with peanuts), fried prawn, telur pindang (boiled marble egg), shredded omelette, tempe orek (sweet and dry fried tempeh), perkedel kentang (mashed potato fritters), perkedel jagung (corn fritters), sambal goreng ati (liver in chilli sauce), and many other things.

Today the dishes which accompany tumpeng can be of the host discretion, it can be vegetarian, to barbecued seafood. Traditionally there should be a balance between vegetables, meat, seafood. The composition of a traditional Javanese tumpeng is more complex because the elements must balance one another according to the Javanese belief.

Contemporary tradition

Because of its festivities and celebrative value, up until now tumpeng sometimes used as Indonesian counterpart of birthday cake

In 2009 Garuda Indonesia started offering Mini Nasi Tumpeng Nusantara as part of its new concept to highlight Indonesia's hospitality.

The building of Suharto's Purna Bhakti Pertiwi Museum in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah Jakarta, took shape of tumpeng.

Here are some of my Mother-In-Law and my Nasi Tumpeng that we have made throughout the years celebrating different occasions, prayer syukuran ( give thanks ), gatherings and birthdays.

2 tier Nasi Tumpeng specially made for our wedding on the 25.09.2005 by Sheraton Utama Hotel Brunei, location at Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, which we made a history on our wedding day. 

Welcome Nasi Tumpeng for our arrival back home in Jakarta short holiday 2006

22.03.2009, Lunch with Orphanage and Prayer for our departure to Vanuatu South Pacific the next few days.

 On my Birthday 14.12.2010

25.09.2011 Celebrating our 6th Years Wedding Anniversary, good timing we were in Jakarta holiday so my MIL made our this lovely tumpeng

10.02.2011, I made Deedat my son 1st Birthday in Brunei, a simple and small Nasi Tumpeng Indonesia Style Souvery Birthday Cake LOL..

23.01.2012, Me and my husband made our cousin a big Nasi Tumpeng surprise for her Birthday in KK, Sabah. 

10.02.2012 Make another lovely Nasi Tumpeng for my son 2nd Birthday in Brunei, same size simple and small.  But this time i put more effort of making this Tumpeng more presentable.

23.03.2012, Jakarta MIL made this lovely tumpeng for a special prayer for our new destination heading to Batam 

10.02.2013, this is the most simplest Tumpeng i think i have ever made, celebrate my son 3rd Birthday while CNY holiday in KK Sabah. 

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