Indonesian cuisines are delicious. What is the secret? Local people use different types of Indonesian spices and herbs on their dishes. Therefore, the foods are rich in flavor. Learning Indonesian cooking is easy. What you need are the right ingredients and spices. That means you should learn the types of Indonesian spices. Not to mention you should only use fresh herbs and spices. The best spices are originated from Indonesia. Make sure that you find the best ones.
Indonesian Spices are Easy to Find
If you visit Indonesia, it’s easy to find various spices. You can buy them at local markets. Big supermarkets also provide them to customers. What about foreigners? Some supermarkets sell Indonesian spices nearby. However, the prices are more expensive. It’s due to the tax and import fees. Some spices can only grow in Indonesia. That means other countries need to buy them from this nation. This elevates the prices of the spices.
Popular Types of Indonesian Spices
Merica is a well-known spice of Indonesia. It’s a vital part of Indonesian cuisines. You can buy pepper in bulk. They come in a bottle, after all. There are two types of pepper. They are black and white pepper. Both of them are important. Actually, they have the same effect as chilies. They improve the spiciness in foods.
Local people call it Cengkeh. When it comes to cooking, cloves are useful to improve the scent of the dishes. In terms of health, it can reduce some health problems. These include nausea, gastric irritability, dyspepsia, flatulence, etc. Cloves also have antibacterial properties. Not to mention they are good to fight early stages of cancers. In order to lessen its smell, you need to remove the head of the cloves.
Screw Pine Leaves
It’s also called Daun Pandan. The use of screw pine leaves is quite significant. It can improve the flavor to both savories and dessert. It also acts as a natural food coloring. In terms of flavor, it’s a replacement for vanilla extract. People believe that screw pine leaves are able to overcome diabetes. It also becomes a natural treatment for high blood pressure.
The prime use of a bay leaf is to improve dishes’ flavor. It’s used in many Indonesian cuisines. The best thing about bay leaves is their durability. They can be stored in a freezer for months. They don’t lose the flavor, too. What are the health benefits of bay leaves? They are good for dieting. Daun Salam is useful to reduce cholesterol.
The local name for ginger is Jahe. Fresh ginger is famous for its antioxidant. It prevents the spreading of cancerous cells. People in Indonesia use it for soups, beverages, etc. Some of them use ginger in Jamu tea. Ginger is also useful for reducing pain. For instance, you can eat fresh ginger to soothe your headache. It also has a good anti-bacterial property.
Kaffir Lime Leaves
Do you know what kaffir lime leaves are? People in Indonesia call it Daun Jeruk Purut. The leaves have a unique fragrance. It provides a different taste to dishes. It’s a good replacement for bay leaves and curry leaves. You can find kaffir lime leaves in some Indonesian cuisines like Rawon and Soto Ayam. Daun Jeruk Purut has a significant antibiotic. The fragrance can also eradicate stress.
Cumin is often sold in powdered and dried form. You can buy it at the supermarket. Since it has a strong smell, it’s often used for seasoning. In Indonesia, it’s called Jinten. It smells good. It’s usually used for curry, Gulai, and Opor. In terms of health, Cumin has an antiseptic property. It’s used as a stomach ache treatment.
Local people call it Kemiri or Miri. Commonly, people use kemiri in Soto Ayam. They ground kemiri with other spices. Sambal kemiri is also popular. What’s more? Kemiri is a good ingredient for hair treatment. It stimulates the growth of the hair. Some people believe that kemiri can cure a stomach ache, tooth pain, fever, etc. Thanks to the polyphenol, flavonoid, and other components.
It’s also known as Ketumbar. Coriander is famous for its smell and taste. It improves foods’ flavor as well. You don’t need to ground it manually. It’s because you can buy a powdered form of Ketumbar in the market. It’s used almost in any Indonesian cuisine. There are many health benefits, too. These include pimples removal, curing diabetes, soothing stomach ache, etc.
Kayu Manis is a famous spice in Indonesia. It’s used to improve the flavor in foods. Apart from being a useful spice, it also offers numerous health benefits. According to the experts, cinnamon can help reduce pains. These include vertigo, hernia, diarrhea, and much more. Kayu Manis gives a fresh and good fragrant to Indonesia cuisines. It’s also suitable for a bakery.
The local name is Kunyit. It’s an important ingredient in Indonesian cooking. You can use either powdered or fresh turmeric. Fresh Kunyit has better benefits but it takes a time to prepare. For an instant preparation, you can use the powdered form. The yellow color and fresh smell of kunyit become significant improvements in foods. What is the health benefit of turmeric? It’s famous for its anti-microbial property.
What is it? People often call it Lengkuas. It gives a fresher smell to the foods. Not to mention it has many health benefits. For instance, it can improve your stamina. Thanks to its resin and alonin. Galangal is also good for treating fever and diarrhea. Lengkuas is used in different types of foods. Fried chickens aren’t the exception. Both domestic and foreigners love it.
The other name is Asam. You can find it in local markets. Usually, tamarind is sold in a dried form and packets. It’s a basic ingredient for Sayur Asam. It’s a famous spice in South Asia. Indonesia is one of the best producers of tamarind. It contains lots of tartaric acid. That means it has powerful antioxidant benefit to the body.
Final Words about Indonesian Spices
Overall, Indonesian spices come in many varieties. Indonesia is a rich country. In the past, there were many invaders such as Japan, Portuguese, and Netherland. They had a common goal. It was the dominance of the spices. Most of the regions in Indonesia are good for growing spices. The thing is there are many types of spices in the market. Those 13 Indonesian spices are the most famous ones. That means you can explore the remaining spices. Each of them has a unique benefit for health and culinary, too.