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Rare Betawi Cuisine

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Aside from the many original  ethnic Betawi dishes that are still popular and easily available in many restaurants such as soto betawi, nasi uduk, gado-gado, there are still a number that have become rather rare. But it is interesting to add these to the menu. These are:


Gabus Pucung

This dish used to be an inseparable part of traditional events known as nyorog such as at  births, circumcisions,  and others.  Traditionally this dish is also given as gifts to parents or from daughters to parents-in-law during  the Ramadan fasting month and at the Eidul Fitri festivities.


This is a fish dish consisting of the  fresgwater gabus fish drenched in keluak sauce that has been mixed with lemon grass, ginger, shallots and chilli pepper. In the Betawi dialect the black sauce known as rawon (fruit of the kepayang tree) is called pucung. The result is a taste that is salty, fresh and tangy.

Today, you can still find this dish at :


Gabus Pucung Pak Misan Warung
Jalan Lapangan Tembak 21 RT.003/10, Cibubur,
Jakarta Timur (East Jakarta)

And at :

Betawi Haji Nasun Restaurant
Jl. Moh. Kahfi II No. 21 Srengseng Sawah, Jagakarsa,
Jakarta Selatan (South Jakarta)


Ketupat Babanci

This dish has a quaint name that shows the fun-loving and jocular character of the Betawi people. The word Babanci combines "babah" and "enci", meaning father and sister in the Chinese-Peranakan lingo.  In the old days, only the well to do could serve this dish on the table at community events.


The base of this dish  is  the meat of a cow's head excluding its brains and tongue.  The meat  is immersed in a bowl of coconut milk mixed with strong aromatic herbs. The dish is eaten with Ketupat, -  rice cooked in pandan leaves, and sprinkled with fine serundeng (fried rasped coconut meat).


This dish can still be had at:

Warung Nurhayati RT 001/01,
Kebon Kosong Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.


Sayur Besan

This culinary dish normally forms an inseparable part of gifts presented by the family of a young man when they formally visit the prospective parents and family of the girl for the official marriage proposal. The word besan means: parents of son or daughter in law. Sayur Besan therefore, expresses respect for future in-laws.


This is a soupy dish with potatoes, vermicelli, petai, shrimps, fish roe and sugarcane flower. This combination makes the Sayur besan both tasty and crunchy.


Today this dish is difficult to find, but the following small restaurant still cooks it to order at Pondok Cabe, Jalan Karang Tengah Raya near the Puri Cinere hospital:

Dapur Betawi
Jalan Cabe V No. 9




Related Event


Oct 2015

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Rare Betawi Cuisine

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