Ketupat: Traditional Indonesian Rice Cakes


Ketupat is a rice dish that’s served on special occasions, most commonly Idul Fitri, Eid ul Adha and also on birthdays or weddings.

It’s a special way of cooking rice. Coconut or pandan leaves are used to create little woven containers into which the raw rice is packed and cooked. On boiling, the rice expands and becomes compressed, making a solid cake. After it’s cooled it can be cut easily into slices or cubes – it’s normally eaten cold, and can be stored for a couple of days in the fridge.

Making the Ketupat

The making of a traditional ketupat casing is an interesting origami using palm leaves. View a good YouTube video on tutorial below:

Cooking the ketupat rice

Once the ketupat casings are ready, raw rice is inserted into the casing and boiled for 3 – 5 hours. As the rice cooks, it will expand and fill up the palm leaf casing into a compressed rice cake.  Using a knife, the casing can be cut open in halves and the rice cake cut into cubes.

Cooked Ketupat

Ketupat rice is served usually with spicy vegetables in coconut milk gravy, chicken curry and spicy peanut sauce.

More about Indonesia food here