Every region in Indonesia has its own traditional food. Kerak Telor is a famous delicacy of Jakarta city, formerly known as Batavia. The native of Jakarta known as the Betawi has made this food since hundreds of years ago.
What is Kerak Telor?
Kerak Telor is a snack mainly made of glutinous rice and duck egg. It is served with dried shrimp topping and shredded coconut.
The ingredients are glutinous rice, duck egg, fried onion, dried shrimp, shredded coconut, salt, chili, pepper and sugar. The method of cooking is as follows: first, the glutinous rice is half cooked in a small pan. Pleasenote that no cooking oil is used. The egg is then added. Other ingredients follow. If you like it hot, you can add extra chili and pepper. After a while, add the shredded coconut and dried shrimp and the omelet is ready to be served. The texture is crispy on its edge but soft in the middle. Kerak telor is best enjoyed with hot cup of black Java coffee.
One interesting fact, the traditional vendors still cook the omelet using charcoal. This method of cooking only made the taste richer and more delicious.
The story behind Kerak Telor
In the Colonial era, kerak telor was a privileged food. It was served in big parties held by colonial government as well as rich Betawi. The recipe as well as the profession as kerak telor vendorhad been passed from generation to generation. The most skillful kerak telor vendors usually come from Mampang, a small area in South Jakarta, called Betawi Mampang.
It is a sad fact that the Betawi is gradually push out of the centre of the city, mainly due to economic reasons. Most of their land had been sold to property developer and on that land now stand many skyscrapers. Along with the diminishing Betawi community, the real original kerak telor is becoming harder to find. Many of the vendors now start taking over family business of selling kerak telor at a very young age, sometime right after finishing high school.
Where to find Kerak Telor
Kerak Telor usually sold during Jakarta anniversary festival. The festival held in Kemayoran area, starts in mid June and ends in mid July. Beyond this festive season, it is rather difficult to find. However, part of a tourism campaign, the Governor of Jakarta has recently established a Betawi Conservation Village in South Jakarta. There are around ten vendors in this village who sell kerak telor near a lake in the village area. Mostly are native Betawi. The price is around US$ 1-2 per pax.