Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Lemper, Punten, Getok and Ketiwol - Javanese Delicacies in Selangor

A history that is very new to me.

My first time attending Travel. Eat. Write Fam Trip was an overwhelming experience, this Fam Trip brought us media to Sabak Bernam and Kuala Selangor to sample the local blend of Javanese-Malay delicacies as well as to experience staying in an agricultural homestay. As much as I know there are certain districts in Selangor that are populated with Javanese and Minangs, I knew very little of their history and background, let alone their heritage, culture and customs.

Seeking for a brighter future and from being colonized by the Dutch, the Javanese or masyarakat Jawa migrated from Java, Indonesia, to Malaysia. During this period; from 1880 to 1930, the Javanese population grew and migrated from Melaka to other state such as Perak and Kedah, while majority moved to Selangor, populating areas such as Tanjung Karang, Sabak Bernam, Kuala Selangor, Kelang, Banting and Sepang. Today, their livelihoods highly depend on agriculture; paddy field, coconut farm and coffee plantation. What makes it interesting is, up until now, the Javanese in Kuala Selangor still converse in Javanese language, upholding and practicing their Javanese culture and customs. These can be clearly seen in their ceremonies and delicacies especially, traditional art such as ‘kuda kepang’, ‘silat’ and ‘gamelan’ are the few example of Javanese culture. 

The earliest Javanese settlement in Selangor was in early 1900 at Kampung Sungai Haji Dorani, in Sabak Bernam district, Selangor. And here, where the culture and custom is strongly upheld, I get to sample some of the most authentic Javanese delicacies. Proud of their heritage, we were promised unique dishes that will make our mouths water and new craving created.

Normally served during festivities or as afternoon snack, lemper is made of glutinous rice with chicken or beef floss filling, sometimes grated coconut, it is then wrapped with coconut leaf. Some lemper in Java island is served as it is, grilled or fried.

A favourite breakfast food; nasi impit (compressed rice) served with sambal (chili paste). The different with this breakfast set is that the nasi impit is cooked with santan (coconut milk) unlike our usual nasi impit. It is also served with sardine, depending on one’s area or custom.

Getok Ubi
Made from pounded tapioca or cassava (ubi kayu) with brown sugar and grated coconut, it is one of the popular light snack in Sabak Bernam. This delicious delicacy is also popular in Singapore and readily available. A few other traditional getok that is also common in its native country is getok pisang, getok goreng, getuk lindri etc. 

Ketiwol, tiwul, or thiwul is the staple food substitute for rice made from tapioca or cassava, similar to getok ubi. It is believed to prevent disease heartburn , stomach rumbling, and been used as staple food during the Japanese occupation.

The success of Dorani Homestay, Kampung Sungai Haji Dorani has created massive opportunities not only for the locals’ livelihood but also to highlight their exquisite heritage and culture. This great accomplishment has brought respective ministries together with Ministry of Tourism to assist in building and upgrading few new communal facilities such as the activity center for events of homestay program’s purpose, training the locals on tourism and hospitality management as well as educating them on agricultural development; a concerted effort to establish and for the betterment of the villagers, homestay and the wondrous state of Selangor.

Travel. Eat. Write Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with #TourismSelangor with #GayaTravel as media coordinator

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