Like some of my foodie blogger friends, I found it a bit hard to decide what the (almost) forgotten Indonesian culinary heritage is. The main reason is because geographically I have not resided in Indonesia for almost 5 years and I am not sure whether what I thought to be an (almost) forgotten is almost forgotten and that indeed it is hard to find there in its origin. Even though at heart I am still attached to Indonesia. Thus I just go with memory of my childhood.
I was born and raised in a small village in Pati, Central Java until finishing my high school and then moved to Yogyakarta to study. When I was studying in Yogyakarta, my family decided to moved to Solo, which is an hour away from Yogyakarta. Since I spent my life time longer in Pati than in Solo, I have more fond memories of my home and childhood in Pati. Even though Pati is at coast, it can get a bit cold and wet during rainy days. I remember my Mom used to make this hot ginger drink for us to keep us warm and to comfort us when we had cold or flu. It is called cemoe. It is not just a hot ginger drink, but the uniqueness is on the other ingredient/s added.
In Pati, normally young coconut meat is the only additional ingredient, whilst in Kediri it can be roasted peanut, sago pearls, bread, glutinous rice and coconut milk that are added.
Cemoe is mentioned in a literature and fiction book written by Umar Kayam "Para Priyayi" as a drink of Para Priyayi which has been hard to find. Therefore I believe, this hot drink is an (almost) forgotten Indonesian culinary heritage. The reason why it is (almost) forgotten may lay on practical things. As modernization comes along the way, people choose every thing instant and ready to use. They do not bother to cook/prepare it from scratch. There is instant ginger drink and people can just add some hot water and stir and drink it instantly, no need to peel, no need to boil water nor to add sugar...it all comes in one small package and it is widely available at stores. As for me, the one from real ginger is still the best. So let me share the recipe which used to be our family favorite drink during rainy days.
- 150g ginger roots, peeled and bruised
- 500ml water
- 1 block of coconut sugar (Indonesian-gula jawa)
- 1/2 can of young coconut meat, cut into small squares
- 3Tbsp of sugar
In a pot, bring water into boiling. Then add ginger and continue to cook for another 3minutes. Add coconut sugar and sugar and stir it well until all dissolved. Remove it from stove. To serve, place 2Tbsp full of cut young coconut meat in a cup/glass. Pour the ginger drink in it and serve immediately.
Source: Mom's recipe