Experiencing different cuisines is part of the process of advancing your cultural understanding of different nations. We take you all the way to Indonesia to have a taste of their local food
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Justin Lim
18 February 2019
Tipat cantok is a traditional Indonesian dish. It originates from Bali and tasting it brings up associations of sun, softness and tropical experiences. Much like the land where it was created, tipat cantok has a very island look, as well as homely smell.
Essentially, all tipat is, is a mixture of rice and vegetables, finished with peanut sauce. What makes the dish so emblematic is the way it is served. Banana or coconut leaves have been carefully picked to be used as a base. The 'busung', the local word for the coconut leaves, are often prepared for wrapping before the cooking starts. The rice and vegetables are laid in the centre of the leaves, which are shaped as a diamond or a flower.
Considering the type of ingredients and the way of making, this dish is very light and healthy, matching the Indonesian lifestyle. There is nothing fried, the vegetables and rice are steamed as being prepared.
This Balinese food is preferred as it is cheap, and the ingredients are easy to find. It tastes delicious - if the island land could be described as a food, this would've been it. Not only a symbol of Bali, tipat cantok reflects the Indonesia's culture, summarising beauty, freshness and locally sourced ingredients, homegrown in the borders of Indonesia.
Indonesian food is exciting, vibrant and island-like. Expect to see lots of fruits and fresh herbs used in recipes such as coconuts, turmeric and ginger.