Jakarta. As part of their mission to revive almost-forgotten culinary traditions, high-end Indonesian restaurant Kaum in Jakarta is bringing Pasar Papringan – a traditional market in Temanggung, Central Java – to the capital city.
"Papringan" is the Javanese word for "bamboo garden." The original Pasar Papringan is a traditional-style outdoor market hosted in a bamboo garden in Ngadiprono, a kampung in Temanggung.
The market only opens once every fortnight, just like the way it used to be in the old days, and is now a popular tourist site.
Pasar Papringan is the brainchild of Singgih Susilo Kartono, more famous as the inventor and maker of the hip and eco-friendly wooden radio Magno.
Singgih said he opened up Pasar Papringan to bring people back to Indonesian villages.
There tourists now flock to buy handcrafted bamboo bowls, kitchen utensils and authentic Indonesian food.
Singgih, whose Magno radio workshop is also located in Temanggung, has been telling locals that their products are as good as those produced by their competitors in the city.
Kaum's brand director Lisa Virgiano said the Pasar Papringan concept suits the restaurant's mission to promote an image of a progressive Indonesia to a global audience.
"Villages are being abandoned by their own residents. We're caught up in the hype for urbanization, transmigration – of people flocking to cities. But we see now that the real jewel of Indonesia is its villages," Lisa said.
This is why Kaum, an upmarket restaurant in the heart of the capital, is now offering "Pasar Papringan Go[w]es to Kaum," a daily spread of takjil, traditional appetizers and desserts, and a selection of main courses. These include traditional dishes such as lesah ayam (chicken soup with turmeric and coconut milk), kue kacamata (steamed cassava roll with plantains), gethuk (boiled and mashed cassava mixed with grated coconut, sugar and salt) and many other Javanese delicacies. The buffet is available at Kaum from May 18 to June 12, 5 to 8 p.m., and costs Rp 185,000 ($13.5) per person.
During a cooking demo on Tuesday (22/05), the restaurant demonstrated how to cook two traditional desserts, bajingan and serungkulun.
"Bajingan" (bastard) is a popular swear word in Indonesian, but is also a dish eaten on special occasions in Temanggung.
The recipe for this gluten-free and dairy-free dessert is quite simple and doable for beginner cooks. All you need is ripe cassava, coconut milk, water, brown sugar, salt to taste and pandan leaves.
Cook the coconut milk with the pandan leaves until the liquid becomes fragrant. In a separate pot, cook the chopped cassava with water and brown sugar, and when the cassava is tender, pour in the coconut mixture little by little.
Bajingan is ready to serve when the liquid has reduced into a thick sauce.
When the cassava is perfectly braised, the savoriness of the coconut milk and sweetness of the brown sugar makes it a filling, healthy, dessert-meal.
The second recipe for the serungkulun was copied straight from a stall at Pasar Papringan, where the chef personally traveled to last month.
Serungkulun is a steamed glutinous rice cake that contains shredded cassava and coconut meat. Kaum's take on this traditional dessert features coloring from the vibrant pink dragonfruit. The chef glazes the top of the freshly steamed cake with dragon fruit juice before letting it cool.
Kaum's coconut bread and fermented cassava pudding, meanwhile, is served with caramel sauce and a perfect example of a modern cassava-based dessert.
Bread pudding is not a typical Indonesian dessert, but the fermented cassava makes it taste "local" enough.
Lisa hopes Pasar Papringan can offer a taste of traditional Indonesia for people who are more used to a modern food culture.
"We want to go all out to present the best of Indonesia," Lisa said.
Address: Jalan Dr. Kusuma Atmaja No.77-79, Thamrin, Central Jakarta.
When: 5.00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. (Every day until June 12)
Price: Adult Rp 185,000++ per person || Children 6-12 years old Rp 92,500++ per child
RSVP: (021)22393256 or WhatsApp: 0813 81715256