Minangkabau Cuisine

Padang Food ©veny/FLICKR

Padang Food ©veny/FLICKR

Better known as Padang food, the cuisine of the Minangkabau people is the Minangkabau cuisine. It was widely known across Indonesia as Masakan Padang, but because it was named after the capital city of West Sumatra province, it is thus Padang.

Popular in Malaysia and Singapore

The whole culinary traditions of Minangkabau people is the use of coconut milk and heavy use of spice mixture in particular chili. This rich taste is found within Indonesian cuisines, Sumatran cuisine, Indian as well as with a Middle Eastern influence. Many of the dishes are cooked in curry sauce too. Partly due to the fact that Minangkabau people are mostly muslims, their cuisine is following strictly to the halal dietary law.


For protein, they eat mostly lamb meat, beef, poultry and fish. They also eat water buffalo meat and cattle meat such as offal (internal organs and entrails). So they do eat the tongue, liver, brain, tripe, spleen, bone marrow, tendon, cartilage, skin, tail other than their meat.


Grilled or fried with spicy chili sauce is the way they prepare the popular seafood for those near the coastal West Sumatran cities. In curry gravy, you can find dishes that includes shrimp, cuttlefish or fishes. It can be very delicious if eaten with hot steamed rice. The other special rice is the Katupek. It is compressed rice or packed rice wrapped in woven palm leaf pouch which is like a dumpling which you can also find it in Brunei, Malaysia and Philippines.


Vegetables are boiled or simmered in thin curry. Normally they are served as side dishes such as cassava leaf, gulai (young jackfruit or cabbages). Cassava leaf is a starchy tuberous root and it provides a major source of carbohydrates.


Lontong ©little red dot/flickr

Lontong ©little red dot/flickr

Katupek deserves a special mention here since it is a type of rice specially eaten by Muslims. The concept of cooking it is to let the grains expand while boiling it, until it filled the square shape pouch made from the woven coconut palm leaves. It is the best accompaniment to rendang (a kind of beef curry) and satay, chicken curry, sambal goreng ati (spicy beef liver) and sayur labu siam (chayote soup). There is another variety made from glutinous rice and wrapped in triangular shape using the Licuala fan palm leaves. And Lontong is an Asian dish made of these compressed rice in banana leaf, cut into small cakes.

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