indonesian food spices

Indonesian food spices are always catching everyone‘s attention. Have you ever wondered what special seasoning are sprinkled on your favorite? Indonesia’s diverse cuisine is heavily influenced by Indian, Arabic, and Chinese traders who came to Indonesia long ago.

It brought in the necessary ingredients. However, there are some seasonings grown and discovered in Indonesia that are exotic to foreigners but considered calming by Indonesians. Indonesian cuisine is rich in seasoning and herbs.

From the simplest of dishes like sambal to the slow and intricate rendang, herbs are certainly key ingredients in adding flavour and aroma to any dish. You may think that Indonesian food is very difficult, but it really is not.

The Most Used Indonesian Food Spices

There are so many seasonings used in favourite meals. Some of them are cloves, ginger, and pepper. You can easily find these spices which make the food taste good.

Cloves are easily found in Ambon and Maluku. It is also knowns as Chenke which is the favorite spice of European and Asian peoples for its unique flavor. It is also used as an herbal remedy to combat cold allergies.

The Portuguese once valued cloves as highly as gold. Meanwhile. Chinese emperors believed that chewing cloves would help them breathe better.

The next most used Indonesian food spices is ginger. It has a warming effect, especially when you have a stomachache or a cold. One of its most popular drinks is bagged or homemade wedang jahe. There are three types of ginger.

White ginger or jahe emprit for cooking and traditional herbal drinks. Eat yellow ginger or jahe gajah. Red ginger is used for medicinal purposes and to make ginger oil.

Then, there is pepper which is always in the cuisine of Indonesia. Lampung is a city with most producing pepper in Indonesia. 80% of pepper in Indonesia is exported from this city. It makes the country to be the second-largest pepper exporter in the world.

It is said that the spice that originated in Indonesia warms the body and is effective against influenza. There are two types of pepper, which are white pepper and black pepper. However, Indonesians mainly use white pepper or American pepper.

Indonesian Food Spices for Health

Cinnamon and Kayu Manis, like other ubiquitous Indonesian spices, can be used to promote health. It is said to control blood sugar levels, relieve headaches in rheumatoid arthritis patients, and prevent infections.

There are four types of cinnamon. You will easily find Cassia, Ceylon, Saigon, and Corniche. Cassia cinnamon is mainlu produces by Indonesia. The characteristic of this cinnamon is spicy, hot, and very bitter variety. 

Then, there is nutmeg which is also part of Indonesian food spices. Its plantations on Maluku’s Banda Island were managed by the Dutch during the Indonesian colonial rule. Nutmeg or pala is grown only in fertile and fairly dry soils in tropical climates. It is used as a culinary ingredient and as a traditional medicine.

After saffron and vanilla, cardamom and caplaga are among the world’s most expensive spices, fetching the same price as gold in international trade. Black cardamom is usually founs as basic ingredient in curries. Meanwhile, the green cardamom is used as an additional ingredient in making biscuits, coffee, and tea.

For over 10 years, Indonesia has successfully supplied high-quality and rare varieties of spices to European, North American, Australian, and Japanese spice companies. Not only for food, but Indonesian food spices are also good for your health.

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