“Indonesian Wonder,” a daily segment featuring tourism, culinary arts, fine arts and culture from various regions across Indonesia. In today’s edition, we will introduce you to food which is easily found in Banten in the month of Ramadhan, namely Ketan Bintul.
Hunting for Iftar menu becomes an interesting activity in Ramadhan. In Banten, there is a tradition which has been conducted since the 15th century and this is difficult to be forgotten, namely by presenting special food when breaking the fast with Ketan Bintul.
For Banten people, the existence of Ketan Bintul in Ramadhan is a main part which cannot be separated. Even, in Banten, there is proverb which has ingrained “without Ketan Bintul in Ramadhan, like does not fast”. According to the history, Ketan Bintul was favorite food of Sultan Maulana Hasanuddin, namely a prince who became a role model of the people of Banten kingdom at that time. Whereas, the food was typical food of common people and was considered too simple for Sultan. Because a Sultan had high moral character and always became a role model for his people to love Ketan Bintul. So since that time, it has become culture, if someone breaks the fast by eating Ketan Bintul to honor the Sultan. for Banten people, especially Serang who have many families and relatives, are accustomed to making their own food. They sometimes use sticky rice for their harvest. Definitely, this is to give typical treatment to the guests and families when breaking the fast.
Ketan Bintul is made from sticky rice which is steamed. To get savory flavor, when steaming the sticky rice, is mixed with grated coconut and a little bit salt. After well done, the sticky rice is put on a container. In the past, the container was from ex-rice sack which was made from plastic, then it was laid on the floor. Thus, the hot sticky rice is pounded smoothly by using wood pestle whose tip is covered with plastic to avoid being sticky. To pound the sticky rice needs great power. It should be noted that the sticky rice should not lose its hot, so when being pounded, it can be refined and soften quickly. It needs speed, accuracy, and understanding where the part is not pounded yet. To pound the sticky rice is needed at least two persons, one for pounding it and another for turning again and again the sticky rice in order to get good result. After it is refined, it is formed square and wrapped by using banana leaf in order to be durable and still looking white.after the sticky rice is done, grated coconut is provided and it is fried without vegetable oil. If grated coconut is getting brown, this is pulverized until smooth. And then it is added with sugar and salt. To arouse appetite, it is added red chili which is sliced small and elongated. Fried red onion is also given.
Towards breaking the fast, the Ketan Bintul is served by spreading fried grated coconut slices of red chilly and fried red onion, while being accompanied by a glass of sweet tea or coffee. Surely, this typical food is able to relieve hunger and thirst after all day fasting. In Ramadhan, you can find Ketan Bintul vendor as long as outskirt of Serang old markets.