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Your Guide To:
What To Bring for Iftar Potluck

Your Guide To:
What To Bring for Iftar Potluck

Danti Tarigan
29 March 2023


In this list, we have curated some of the best dishes you can bring to the iftar potluck, from takjil to shared main, dessert to drinks.


Fundamentally, the act of breaking bread has been an important human ritual for centuries to form bonds; and in the holy month of Ramadan, the ritual has become a household tradition in Indonesia where people would go out to break fast together with friends and family. 

If you’re looking for a more flexible, intimate gathering, holding a potluck can be an exciting alternative. With the simplicity of a potluck, you don’t have to race for a spot in the up-and-coming restaurants or wait until someone volunteers to cook an elaborate dinner for everyone. The load of preparing food can be shared with every participant, and it’s also a considerably cheaper way to experience a spread of dishes in a single meal. Just invite everybody to bring a dish, and enjoy the great time with your loved ones in a more relaxed and candid setting.

The only hold-up with a potluck is the question, “What do I bring? Do I need to cook something myself?” You can, but if you wish to steer clear of the hassle, buying is not a choice to shy away from. Just make sure to buy dishes that are easy to carry, don’t need much preparation to serve, and do not easily melt or spoilt.

If you need some ideas, here are some of the things you can bring to the next iftar potluck!

Starter (Takjil)

Pisang Goreng Madu from Waras Warung Tradisional

When planning a get-together, ‘gorengan’ (a variety of Indonesian fritters) is the safest bet there is, and fried banana is one of the best kind (even became the runner-up in the world’s best deep-fried dessert list). This affordable and sweet snack is universally loved by Indonesian and is especially popular for breaking the fast during Ramadan. There is a lot of variety of fried bananas known in Indonesia. The one from Waras Warung Traditional though, fall under the category of “pisang goreng madu” (honey banana fritters), made with thinly sliced saba (kepok) bananas mixed with honey batter, providing a unique taste and crispy texture when fried until golden brown.

Samosas from Masti

In Indonesia, Indian-Arabic-inspired flavors are commonly associated with the Holy Month, and what’s more fitting for a quick bite of takjil than Samosas? No need to look far! Masti, the grab-and-go Indian food, has delicious Samosas on its appetizer menu. The iconic triangle snack is filled with potatoes and green peas, so they are fit for vegetarians, yet the delicious crispy dough and richly-spiced filling will even lure the meat-eaters to grab some. PS: Don’t forget to bring enough green chutney for everyone to dip in!

Martabak Pecenongan 43

Martabak’s dense texture instantly fills an empty stomach after fasting, making it sufficient to sustain you before you eventually get to supper. The infamous Martabak Pecenongan 43, in particular, has long been a favorite for martabak lovers, standing strong since 1988 when it began as a humble food tent at the corner of Pecenongan street. The martabak here is different for a bigger and thicker body. With the savory one, the crispy martabak skin contrasts beautifully with the soft egg mixture. At the same time, the generous meat filling makes the bite satisfying, providing a comforting start to your iftar potluck.

Shared Main Dish

Whole Roasted Chicken from Atung

For a potluck that many will enjoy, a chicken dish is must have! The Atung chicken, in particular, is the right choice to wow the crowd. The name Atung or Ayam Tungku comes from how the chicken is cooked (roasted whole in a furnace or known as tungku), a cooking method common in Taiwan, producing a moist chicken with crisp golden skin. The whole roasted chicken comes with a savory dripping broth, signature sauce, and pepper and is typically served with Hainanese rice. However, during this Ramadan season, they also offer a package with nasi bakar (grilled rice) option as the side.

Nasi Sumsum Ibu Nia

With beef bone marrow as its main ingredient, Nasi Sumsum Ibu Nia presents a delicious and savory Nasi Liwet cooked with rich spices. The rice also comes with a variety of side dishes, such as balado chicken skin, fried salted squid, dendeng (sweet jerky), and many more. Although Nasi Sumsum Ibu Nia can be ordered in individual portions, it is also available to order in large quantities. The rice will be served in tampah (traditional rattan platter), which is an excellent way to serve the dish on a center table of a potluck, allowing guests to take a scoop and choose their favorite sides freely.

Brulee Pasta from Burnt Butter

After going viral during the pandemic, ‘spaghetti brule’ has become very popular in Indonesia. The dish is made up of spaghetti bolognese topped with bechamel sauce, then piled high with cheese and baked into a creamy pasta dish with delicious burnt edges. Sure, this dish can be found in many brands nowadays, but few can compete with the taste and richness of Burnt Butter. Aside from the classic Spaghetti Bologna Brulee, Burnt Butter offers a variety of unique pasta dishes, including ‘Not Your Mac and Cheese’, which uses macaroni instead of spaghetti as well as a crunch layer of puff, and Rendang Brulee, which blends the iconic Indonesian flavors with the western-inspired dish.


Tiramisu from Oma Elly

Although loved by most, finding a good tiramisu in Indonesia can be a hit or miss. Sometimes it’s too sweet; sometimes, it tastes more like chocolate, or worse, cream cheese, rather than the exact balance of bitter espresso, creamy mascarpone, and a dust of cocoa. But if I could just tell you one thing, it is to trust your tiramisu business to Oma Elly. Made with an authentic recipe handed down from the chef’s late Italian grandmother, their Tiramisu is incredibly luscious yet balanced. Typically a shared one-pan dessert, it only requires plates and a large spoon to scoop up, and voila, everyone gets to indulge in this bittersweet pick-me-up. They also come in a non-alcohol version, so it’s suited for an iftar potluck!

Lukumades Indonesia

Doughnuts are crowd-pleasers; we all know that. Made it mini and easily thrown down the gullet, you got a show stopper for your next iftar potluck. Lokma or Loukoumades is the Greek version of donuts, made in little bite-sized balls. You can get the taste of these tasty desserts in Lukumades™, an Australian brand now easily found in Indonesia. Whether you like your donuts smothered in Nutella, sprinkled with crushed Oreos, or enjoyed authentically with honey drizzle, these Greek donuts can be served with many toppings to suit everyone’s preferences. Its small size can also be the ideal sweet ending for guests to enjoy without having to feel awfully full after break-fasting.

Pudding by Pudding Christy

For a shared meal, a good tip is to stick to comforting and familiar desserts, and pudding is undoubtedly one of those sweets that everyone knows and loves. Having been around since 2005, Pudding Christy won’t have you playing a guessing game with their quality. Although they appear simple, the homemade pudding is a slice of heaven. They are light yet packed with decadent flavors that are hard to find in any other ready-to-eat pudding out there. For a potluck, you can either purchase a whole pan to share or bring the mini cups version with a bunch of different flavors for everyone to choose from.


Ice Coconut Shake from Coconaj

Usually, when we fast, it’s easy to get dehydrated; and coconut water is proven to be beneficial to quench your thirst as it contains electrolytes that would help the body to rehydrate. One of the most delectable forms to do so is the ice-cold coconut shake, a refreshing drink that has slowly replaced the popularity of the bubble tea trend recently. Coconaj, in particular, wins us over with its smooth icy texture, authentic coconut flavor, and balanced sweetness level. They also conveniently come in a liter bottle or huge bundles of the small ones; perfect for a potluck.

Es Campur from Kedai Es Jadoel

Es Campur would be an exciting addition to your potluck as they are packed with many flavors and textures in one drink! This traditional Indonesian cold and sweet dessert is ubiquitous, and can be found on humble traveling trolleys to fancy Indonesian restaurants. But now, you can find the simpler, more modern take on the dessert at Kedai Es Jadoel! Their Es Campur has all of the classic concoctions of fruit cocktails, tapioca pearls, grass jelly, and everything else we all know and love, but packed in ready-to-serve cups that require little to no preparation. They also come in a special bundle package, perfect to buy for a crowded gathering like potlucks.

Es Cendol from Healthy Cendol 18

Cendol is the beloved South East Asian iced sweet dessert containing droplets of green rice flour jelly, coconut milk, and palm sugar syrup. Although it’s tasty, this drink has a high sugar level and calories, mainly from coconut milk and rice flour. If you want to provide delicious yet nutritious options to consume during this fasting month, Healthy Cendol 18 brand does offer a healthier version of the drink, made with almond or soy milk, seaweed, and organic brown sugar. Their cendol comes in four tempting flavors, namely vanilla, salted caramel, original, and Emirate dates.

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