Perhaps the most distinctive feature of Indonesian cuisine is the blending of seasonings, be they fresh herbs, spices or a host of aromatics to produce some of the world’s most flavoredful food. Some of the spices are familiar to cooks around the world but some others are indigenous to the area.
One day, when discussing about Indonesian cooking with a Canadian friend, I found out that as an expatriate living in Indonesia, she wish she could find a list of Indonesian spices and cooking ingredients available both in English and Bahasa Indonesia. She said she loves Indonesian dishes but the difficulty of cooking Indonesian dish is to find the right ingredients. Many times she knows the name of the ingredients in English but does not know how the Indonesian call them or read recipes of Indonesian dishes with list of ingredients in Bahasa without the English translation. I can understand her frustration.
To help my Canadian friend and also other expatriates in Indonesia who face the same situation, in this post I list downs some basic and often used Indonesian spices and cooking ingredients in English and also what each ingredient is called in Bahasa Indonesia.