PETTY ELLIOTT’s Jakarta Experience

As a tribute for the city she calls home, Petty Elliott, seek to bring the flavors to stimulate both the palette and imagination through her interpretation as Anak Jakarta of Betawi street food.


As a tribute for the city she calls home, Petty Elliott, seek to bring the flavors to stimulate both the palette and imagination through her interpretation as Anak Jakarta of Betawi street food.

HAVING MOVED TO the Big Durian from Manado in North Sulawesi in her early teens, Petty have maintained a strong bond with both Betawi cuisine as well as street food; a bond she cultivated through sampling and enjoying the of food available in the capital city.

“Indonesian street foods are just amazing, but they aren’t as popular as the ones from Penang or Kuala Lumpur,” says the woman who began her fascination for cookery through teaching cooking classes and participating in the BBC UK masterchef competition in 2001.

“I have been living in Jakarta for more than 30 years; and in my heart, the city is a very special place,” Petty said.

Her eyes lit up and her smile widened as she delve deeper into the the cuisine of the Betawi people, the native of Jakarta.

“Contemporary Betawi cuisine is a mix of local, regional and global influences: the cuisine of natives of the Java Island and the neighboring islands as well as past migrants like the Arabs, Indians, Chinese and Europeans,” said the author of Papaya Flower: Manadonese Cuisine, Provincial Indonesian Food.

Petty is concerned that Betawi food is not better known, overshadowed by the many regional and international influences which have also called the capital home.

That concern and the love for the fascinating cuisine encouraged her to write her second cookbook, which titled “Jakarta Bites: Exploring vibrant street food from the heart of Indonesia.”

Having practically living and breathing the cuisine, Petty has always had the recipes in her mind.

“It took me a year to finalize the content. I keep revisiting the recipes over and over again because I want people, by reading the book, would be able to make these wonderful dishes easily,” said Petty, who professed that her passion for food came from Manado, where the food culture was influenced by the Spanish and the Dutch, and the cooking of her grandmother.

For FoodieS, Petty presented some her most favorite dishes from the cookbook and gave them a modern twist.

“I have been doing modern Indonesian cuisine to promoting it everywhere. But I tried very hard to keep them as much as possible authentic.

“By elevating the dish, I hope that people can appreciate the Indonesian cuisine. Having said that, food is very personal; some maybe don’t like my approach, but I like it this way.”

The dishes are Asinan Jakarta, Kerak Telor, Gabus Pucung, and Es Cincau

“They are all very authentic, but I gave modern presentation. I used scallop for the Kerak Telor for fun; and I also added roasted cashew nut in the dessert,” she said.

“I cannot recreate the complete experience, the sights and sounds of Jakarta food, but at the least I am able to introduce you to my Jakarta experience.”

Asinan Jakarta
Mixed vegetables and fruits with spice,
sour and sweet sauce
Serves: 4-6


2 pcs                  Medium carrot, peel, grate
2 pcs                  Medium cucumber, seed
100 g                 White cabbage, shred
50 g                   Bean sprouts, rinse, dry, remove roots
150 g                 White tofu, boil
100 g                 Jicama, peel, grate
100 g                 Pineapple, dice
50 g                   Roasted peanuts or cashew


3 pcs                  Large papaya chili, seed
2 pcs                  Bird’s eye chili, blanch
50 ml                 Vinegar
150 ml               Sugar syrup
2 tbs                   Dried shrimp, roast, fine ground


  • To make sauce: boil chilies for 10 minutes, drain and blend with sugar syrup. Strain into a bowl, add vinegar and salt.
  • To serve: place mixed vegetables and fruit in glasses or bowls. Add sauce. Sprinkle with ground nuts. Serve immediately.

Fillet Kakap Pucung
White snapper fillet with black nut sauce and pasta
Serves: 4-6



4-6 pcs                    White snapper fillets (each 120 g)
2 tbs                        Coconut or vegetable oil
2 pcs                        Lime, use the juice only
400 g                       Capellini
2000 ml                   Water
2 tbsp                      Sea salt
To taste                    Salt and black pepper

100 g                       Shallots, peel
4 cloves                   Garlic, peel
3 pcs                        Candlenut
5 cm                        Fresh turmeric, peel
5 pcs                        Curly red chili
1 tbs                        Ground coriander
5 pcs                        Black nuts (keluak), crack open
1 pcs                        Lime, use only the juice
2 tbsp                      Coconut or vegetable oil

2 stalks                    Lemon grass, use the white part only, crush
4 pcs                        Lime leaves
2 pcs                        Daun salam
2 pcs                        Tomato, seed, dice
500 ml                     Water
1 tsp                        Sugar (optional)
To taste                    Salt and   pepper


  • To make the paste: blend all paste ingredients. Sauteed with oil. Add water, lemon grass and all other ingredients (except diced tomatos), simmer for 30 minutes or until thick. Season with salt.
  • To cook the capellini: Boil water in a medium pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Cook capellini for two minutes, strain.
  • To make the fish: season fillets with salt and lime juice. Sautee on hot frying pan with oil for 3-5 minutes. Season with black pepper.
  • To serve: Put pasta, top with fish. Garnish with tomatoes, pour enough sauce. Serve immediately.

Es Cincau
Jellied leaves and coconut ice cream
Serves: 4



250 ml                     Milk
60 pcs                      Cincau leaves

Coconut ice cream:
3 pcs                        Whole young coconut

Cashew brittle:
100 gr                      Cashew
nuts, unsalted,
roasted,   ground coarsely
100 gr                      Sugar

1 pcs                        Papaya chile, seed, chop finely


  • To make jelly: Wash leaves. Pour milk into a bowl, crush leaves with your hand in the milk for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid with fine strainer, transfer into four small ramekins or molds. Refrigerate for 4 hours or, better, overnight.
  • To make coconut ice cream: blend coconut flesh, transfer to a container, put in freezer to set. Stir every hour for the first 3 hour for smooth texture.
  • To make cashew brittle: heat sugar in sauce pan to melt. Add ground cashew. Stir quickly and well. Transfer to parchment or baking paper, spread evenly. Allow to cool completely then break into small pieces or crush with food processor.
  • To serve: sprinkle cashew brittle on a plate. Remove cincau from mold, strain excess liquid, lay on the plate. Add a scoop of ice cream. Sprinkle with chili. Serve immedieately.

Kerak Telor Modern
Betawi omelet with ginger and turmeric broth
Serves: 4



4 pcs                  Whole eggs
4 tbs                   Serundeng
50 g                   Beansprout, remove roots
1 tbs                   Deep-fried sliced shallots
celery, chop
2 tbs                   Coconut or vegetable oil

Ginger broth:

600 ml               Water
50 g                   Fresh ginger
30 g                   Fresh turmeric, slice thin
Salt and pepper


150 g                 Coconut, grate fine
10 g                   Fresh ginger, grate
10 g                   Fresh galangal, grate
10 g                   Fresh turmeric, grate
1 tsp                   Chili flakes
2 tbs                   Dried prawns, roast, ground
3 tbs                   Deep-fried sliced shallots


  • To make the broth: put water and ginger in a medium pot, bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • To make serundeng: heat frying pan, add spices and coconut, mix. Roast for 30 minutes. Add prawn and shallots. Mix well. Set aside to cool.
  • To make omelet: crack one or two eggs, add 2 tbs of coconut and spices, beat gently. Heat oil in frying pan. Pour the egg mix. Tilt the pan and cook the omelet into a crescent shape. Roll omelet to cook the other side. Transfer cooked omelet into a baking dish in the oven at 150 °C.
  • To serve: place omelet in a dish, add warm broth, add bean sprout, sprinkle with chopped parsley and shallots. Serve warm.

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Written by Andre Arditya Photographs by Dennie Ramon February 26, 2017.