Nasi gandul, a special dish from Pati, Central Java

Nasi gandul, a special dish from Pati, Central Java

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Nasi gandul is a special dish from Pati, Central Java. In a second, it looks like nasi pindang from Kudus, but it doesn’t use melinjo leaf (gnetum gnemon). The difference between nasi gandul and nasi pindang lie on the ingridients. Nasi pindang is combination of soto(clean soup) and rawon. Meanwhile nasi gandul is combination of soto and curry. There are no doubt about the taste of nasi gandul.

Nasi gandul is composed of two main ingridients. First, it is called ’empal’. Empal is made from cow beef and it’s entrails. The taste of empal itself is so delicious because cooked with traditional spices, then it’s fried for a while. Second ingridients are cocoa milk as a sauce. The sauce uses cumin and coriander, like curry from India. Meanwhile, garlic and galangal strengthen the soto flavour from Java. That combination with many other ingridients make this cocoa milk sauce so tasty.

Nasi gandul is served in some different ways, according to creativities of the seller. But, special characteristic that will never be left is banana’s leaf as base of plate. Most of the seller use scissor to cut the empal and entrails. This way of cutting also popular in Kudus when the seller serve nasi pindang, and also in Medan when the seller of chicken curry serve their food. Some of nasi gandul seller pour the sauce above the rice first, then cut and place the empal above. Some else cut the empal first, then poured the sauce later. To complete the taste as a final touch the seller will spread the fried onion to make it tasteful.

Why is it called nasi gandul? There are no certain answer for this simple question. One reasonable answer is because the rice and the sauce look like hang up on the plate. Javanesse people say ‘gemandul’ for call the hanging object. The best couple of nasi gandul is fried tempe (soyabean fermentation). Texture of tempe which is thin, solid and crispy make the taste can’t be describe by thousand of words. When you are in Pati, this special dish will be more delicious when it’s accompanied with Kawista syrup ice.