Babanci, Jakarta’s Unknown Dish

Submitted by indohoyindohoy on 6 November 2011   •  Destination

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Of the 9 years I’ve been living in the city, only a few months ago I found out about one of Jakarta’s special delicacies from a friend of mine who contributed this picture, a Betawi descendant (the original Jakartans). It’s called ‘babanci’, which means something like ‘bisexual’, referring to the taste that resembles several other foods (like curry, soto, or gulai), as a result of combining so many kinds of spice and ingredients like beef, coconut milk, coconut, galangal, turmeric, ginger, fermented shrimp paste, etc. It used to be a delicacy that only the elite Betawi people had in the old days, hence now there’s not a lot of Betawi families that still cook them, and usually it’s for a special day like the Idul Fitri.


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