Manado Porridge, Porridge with Assorted Vegetables

Manado Porridge, Porridge with Assorted Vegetables – Almost all regions in Indonesia have their own special porridge. In Jakarta there is ase porridge, Cirebon has chicken porridge, in Aceh it is served with rumbi starch porridge, in Maluku there is sweet potato sago porridge, and in Kalimantan spicy porridge is served. Not to forget also in North Sulawesi. Here you can find the famous Manado porridge.

Manado porridge is made from rice mixed with various spices and vegetables such as kale, spinach, long beans, basil leaves, red sweet potatoes, shelled corn, and gedi leaves (shaped like papaya leaves but not bitter) which are only available in Manado.

  • Manado Porridge, Porridge with Assorted Vegetables
  • Manado Porridge, Porridge with Assorted Vegetables

This porridge is usually eaten with complementary dishes such as tuna or salted fish with Bakasang or dabu-dabu sauce. Besides being delicious, this porridge provides a lot of nutritional intake because of the various and healthy complementary ingredients. Manado people usually eat this porridge while it is warm on a banana leaf base.

William Wongso, a culinary expert, said that porridge actually came from China. Chinese traders introduced porridge since the trade network between the archipelago and China was formed in the 5th century.

William added that the porridge implies the value of the struggle for the lives of Chinese people overseas. Because porridge is usually eaten for breakfast before work. “So they eat the porridge because the side dishes don’t need a lot, just a little and can be slurped straight away,” William told Republika, April 13, 2019.

Gradually, people in the Archipelago made porridge according to natural conditions, traditions, and local beliefs. This makes the porridge in one area different from another.

In North Sulawesi, the porridge contains boiled vegetables or is called tinutuan. This is the name of the dish for the origin of Manado porridge. Gabriele Weichart, a German anthropologist, said that choosing vegetables as a side dish for porridge cannot be separated from the perspective of people in the Minahasa region about themselves and their environment.

Minahasa people identify themselves as people who are close and attached to nature as their ancestors. They process food from ingredients that they get directly from nature. These include vegetables, corn, rice, and tubers. “As hunters, food gatherers, and farmers, the Minahasa people continue the (culinary) traditions of their ancestors, who also inhabited mountainous areas,” notes Gabriele Weichart in “Identitas Minahasa: A Culinary Practice”, published in the Indonesian Anthropology journal No. 74 of 2004.

Food ingredients from nature are then processed into tinutuan. This food is a unifier among the various groups of the Minahasa community. This is because this food does not contain the meat of the game eaten by the entire Minahasa community.

As the population grows in North Sulawesi, Manado has become a bustling city. People from all over North Sulawesi came to this city and brought customs from the interior. One of them is the habit of making tinutuan. This is where the name Manado porridge sticks out.

R.Z. Leirissa, a historian who wrote the Minahasa book at the beginning of the War of Independence, highlighted the role of zending or the spread of Christianity in the early 19th century. According to him, “Manado porridge is said to have been created by zending-zending.”

Food is one of the tools to familiarize yourself. The zending try to find the right food recipe to serve to the local community. The food must not violate local customs or go against the tongue of the residents who are familiar with the spicy taste of chili. That’s why they make porridge with boiled vegetables and spicy taste.

In addition to the two stories above, there is another unique story about Manado porridge. Narrated in the Regional History of South Sulawesi by A. Sigarlaki and friends, the Manado porridge was included in a satire for the colonial government in 1934.

The poem describes a national movement figure who asks for good food but is given porridge by the government. Porridge was considered as food for the poor. This continued until the arrival of the Japanese. Often people think of porridge as an emergency food.

But as times change, porridge has returned to being a daily food consumed by various groups of people in normal times. “The townspeople have slowly come to regard it as a delectable dish suitable for a second breakfast. In this way, the status of tinutuan increases to become a regional specialty,” notes Gabrielle Weichart.

Now Manado porridge is sold in various corners of Manado city. If you visit Manado, come to Jalan Wakeke. Almost all houses along this road open Manado porridge stalls. No wonder if in 2001, this road was named a tourist area for traditional tinutuan food.

Of course, you don’t have to go to Manado to enjoy this dish. How to make it quite easy. Boil rice with water; stir until half cooked. Add salt and lemongrass – plus, if you like, ginger, pandan leaves, and turmeric leaves. Then add the pieces of cassava, pumpkin, and corn until soft. After slightly thickened, add spinach or kale, melinjo leaves, and gedi leaves. You can also complete it with chickpeas and long beans according to taste. Finally, add the basil leaves until the leaves wilt and then remove. Serve with roa fish sauce, corn cakes, salted fish, tofu, or chili paste.

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