Residents living around the Darussalam Mosque in Jayengan, Surakarta, Central Java, have a unique tradition of eating Samin porridge during Ramadhan. Every day of the holy month, the mosque’s Ramadhan committee cooks Samin porridge to be distributed free of charge to residents of nearby areas.
The name of the porridge is taken from ghee, clarified butter used in Arabic cuisines that is locally called samin. The Samin porridge is also called Banjar porridge as it comes from Banjar city in South Kalimantan.
Locals say that many years ago, a community from Banjar city who moved to Surakarta, also known as Solo, to make a living as precious stone sellers would gather in Jayengan to celebrate their traditions, including eating Samin porridge to break their fast.
“They came to Solo around the early 1900s, trading precious stones in groups and eventually stayed here,” head of Darussalam Mosque committee Rosyidi Muchdlor said.
Bubur Samin consists of coconut oil, various vegetables and spices, milk, ghee and slices of beef. The mosque’s committee spends Rp 3 million (US$225) from donations to make around 1,000 portions of porridge from 50 kilograms of rice.
Residents from various areas arrive at the mosque at 4 p.m. carrying their own plates and food containers, ready to devour the porridge once the fast breaking time comes.