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What is The Gudeg – The Fascinating Cuisine from Yogyakarta

What is The Gudeg- The Fascinating cuisine from Yogyakarta

What is The Gudeg - The Fascinating Cuisine from Yogyakarta

What is the Gudeg? It is a traditional cuisine and one of the famous traditional foods in Indonesia

This food is famous for originating from Yogyakarta, but there are many variants of this food spread across Central Java, such as in Surakarta and Semarang.

The History of Gudeg

It has a long history that began in the early Mataram kingdom until the Dutch colonial period in the 19th century

Even this food was written in Serat Centini (a Javanese literature book) in the 14th century

written by the history of Gudeg related to the development of the Mataram Kingdom

The Mataram Kingdom, which was built in the 1500s, was in an area that had many jackfruit trees with abundant fruit.

As a result, the people of Mataram at that time began to look for ways to make dishes made from jackfruit, especially Gori or young jackfruit.

The word Gudeg itself comes from the word “Hangudek” which means to stir

It has a texture similar to meat and is usually used as a substitute for meat

Gudeg in detail

What is The Gudeg - The Fascinating Cuisine from Yogyakarta

as we mentioned before, Gudeg is a traditional Javanese cuisine from Yogyakarta and Central Java, Indonesia.

It’s a slow-cooked dish made primarily from young jackfruit (nangka muda), coconut milk, palm sugar, and a mix of various spices.

It is often enjoyed as a main dish and is typically served with rice, along with additional side dishes such as chicken, egg, and Krecek (a crispy beef or buffalo skin).

The preparation of the cuisine involves simmering young jackfruit for several hours in a mixture of coconut milk and palm sugar.

This slow cooking process allows the jackfruit to absorb the flavors of the spices and become tender.

The resulting dish has a sweet and savory flavor, with a rich and creamy texture from the coconut milk.

It is often characterized by its reddish-brown color, which comes from the use of palm sugar and sometimes teak leaves, which are added during cooking.

The dish can be customized to different levels of sweetness and spiciness, depending on personal preferences.

In Yogyakarta, Gudeg holds significant cultural importance and is often enjoyed as a special dish during various occasions, including traditional ceremonies and celebrations.

It has also become popular among tourists visiting the region, as it offers a unique and flavorful taste of Indonesian cuisine.

Gudeg is not only a culinary delight but also a representation of the rich culinary heritage of the Javanese culture.

It showcases the harmonious blending of sweet and savory flavors, as well as the art of slow cooking and the skillful use of spices in Indonesian cuisine.

Gudeg recipe

Making authentic Gudeg Yogyakarta requires a few key ingredients and a bit of time, as it’s a slow-cooked dish.

Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:


1 kg young jackfruit (nangka muda), cleaned and cut into chunks

400 ml coconut milk

200 gr palm sugar (adjust to taste)

2-3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon tamarind paste

Salt to taste


Banana leaves (for wrapping, optional)

Additional protein options: boiled eggs, chicken, or Krecek (crispy beef skin)

Spice Paste (Bumbu):

6 shallots

4 cloves of garlic

4 candlenuts

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

1  teaspoon seeds

4 gr galangal powder or fresh galangal

1  teaspoon turmeric powder or fresh turmeric

2 cm ginger

3-4 red chilies (adjust to taste)

3-4 dried chilies, soaked in hot water

How to cook

Prepare the jackfruit by removing the core and seeds, and then cutting it into chunks.

Soak the chunks in water with a bit of salt to prevent discoloration.

Make the spice paste by blending all the spice paste ingredients until smooth.

In a large pot, combine the spice paste, coconut milk, bay leaves, tamarind paste, and palm sugar. Mix well and bring to a gentle simmer.

Add the jackfruit chunks to the pot, making sure they are submerged in the coconut milk mixture.

If using, wrap the mixture in banana leaves to enhance the flavor.

Let it cook on low heat for several hours, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary to prevent burning.

The longer you cook it, the more tender and flavorful the jackfruit becomes.

As the jackfruit cooks, taste and adjust the sweetness, saltiness, and spiciness according to your preference.

You can add more palm sugar, salt, or chilies as needed.

If you’re using additional proteins like eggs, chicken, or Krecek, add them to the pot during the last hour of cooking so they can absorb the flavors.

Once the jackfruit is tender and the flavors have melded together, then it is ready to be served.

You serve it with steamed rice and any additional side dishes you prefer.

Traditionally, it’s accompanied by rice, hard-boiled eggs, shredded chicken, Krecek, and a sprinkle of coconut flakes.

Remember that is a dish that requires patience, as the slow cooking process is essential for achieving the right texture and flavor.

Adjust the ingredients and cooking time to suit your taste preferences.

Enjoy the rich and unique flavors of this traditional Yogyakartan dish!

The Different Between Gudeg from Yogyakarta and Surakarta

As mentioned before Gudeg is a traditional cuisine that originated in Java, Indonesia,

and it’s closely associated with both Yogyakarta (often referred to as Jogja) and Surakarta (also known as Solo).

While the basic concept of the food remains similar between the two cities,

there are some differences in terms of taste, preparation, and presentation that distinguish Gudeg from Yogyakarta and Surakarta.

Here are some of the key differences

1. Flavor Profile

Yogyakarta: Gudeg from Yogyakarta is generally sweeter compared to its Surakarta counterpart.

The use of palm sugar gives it a rich sweetness that is more pronounced.

Surakarta: Gudeg from Surakarta is usually less sweet and leans more towards a balanced or savory flavor profile.

The sweetness comes from the natural sweetness of the jackfruit and is often complemented by savory and aromatic spices.

2. Color

Yogyakarta: It tends to be darker in color, often taking on a reddish-brown hue due to the use of palm sugar and sometimes teak leaves during cooking.

Surakarta: is lighter in color, typically more yellowish, and doesn’t usually have the reddish hue that characterizes Yogyakartan Gudeg.

3. Presentation

Yogyakarta: In Yogyakarta, Gudeg is often served with a wider variety of side dishes, including Krecek (crispy beef skin), hard-boiled eggs, and shredded chicken.

The presentation can be more elaborate, with each side dish placed neatly on the plate.

Surakarta: In Surakarta, the focus might be more on the Gudeg itself, with simpler side dishes.

The Gudeg might be presented in a more rustic manner, highlighting the core flavors of the dish.

4. Texture

Yogyakarta: Gudeg from Yogyakarta is often cooked until the jackfruit is very tender and almost melts in your mouth due to the longer cooking process.

Surakarta: Gudeg from Surakarta can sometimes retain a slightly firmer texture in the jackfruit, as it is often not cooked for as long.

It’s important to note that these differences are not strict rules,

and there can be variations within each city’s style of Gudeg based on personal preferences, family recipes, and local variations.

Both Yogyakarta and Surakarta have their unique culinary traditions,

and It is a delicious representation of the flavors and cultural heritage of these regions in Indonesia

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