Bebongko – Bebongko is a kind of traditional Kalimantan street food or snack. This wet cake can generally be found in the areas of South Kalimantan and East Kalimantan, where the Banjar and Kutai tribes are located.

Bebongko is usually one of the dishes at breakfast. This snack is often served at big events, such as weddings or a big Kutai-style breakfast ritual called beseprah. In everyday life, this jajak is sold in various traditional markets or market hawker centers. One of them is around the bridge near the Tenggarong Art Market which is busy after dawn.

Bebongko are greenish lumps that feel soft and chewy when enjoyed. At first glance, it looks like hunkwe pudding, even though it’s actually made from rice flour. The lumps are coated with a thick, brownish white sauce. This sauce is made from brown sugar and coconut milk.

The clumps that have been given the sauce are wrapped in banana leaves which are shaped like a pyramid. At the top of the package, a piece of stick was pinned as a fastener. This form of packaging is similar to rice pulut. Even though the packaging of these two foods looks similar, they both have different tastes. The rice pulut is dominated by a spicy savory taste accompanied by a splash of distinctive peanut sauce, while bebongko is dominated by a sweet and savory taste.

Bebongko is made through two stages of the process, namely making flour dough and steaming. In the first process, thin coconut milk is cooked with salt and sugar until it boils. This material is then added to a mixture of rice flour that has been dissolved with coconut milk. After thickening and bubbling, the dough is removed and cooled for a moment. The next process, the dough is put into banana leaves with a spoonful of liquid brown sugar and thick coconut milk, then steamed until cooked.

Apart from rice flour, sometimes durian pulp is also added to the bebongko dough. Durian pulp is added when the flour is dissolved with coconut milk or as a filling in the dough before steaming. Durian pulp provides a more appetizing taste and aroma. Nothing wrong with this sweet-savory culinary must be the target of hunting when visiting Kalimantan. [Ardee / IndonesiaKaya]

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