Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

‘Lemang’: a sticky treat for Ramadan

Mon, May 18, 2020   /   02:10 pm
  • /

    Sukri (left) inserts a ripe banana leaf and a young banana leaf into a bamboo tube. Meanwhile, his son Junet (center), pours glutinous rice into a tube. JP/P.J. Leo

  • /

    The tubes, which have been filled with glutinous rice, will be put in rows near an open fire. JP/P.J. Leo

  • /

    Sukri pours coconut milk into a line of bamboo tubes. JP/P.J. Leo

  • /

    Flames cook the glutinous rice and coconut milk inside the bamboo tubes. JP/P.J. Leo

  • /

    Bamboo tubes are piled beside the open fire. JP/P.J.Leo

  • /

    After the glutinous rice becomes sticky, the top of the lemang is tied. JP/P.J.Leo

  • /

    Marno, Sukri’s son-in-law, pulls out a freshly cooked lemang from the bamboo tube. JP/P.J.Leo

P.J. Leo

Now that the month of Ramadan has arrived, Sukri has the opportunity to make lemang (glutinous rice cake) again.

He has long been working for a lemang company in Kramat, Central Jakarta. The company supplies the West Sumatran sticky cake all year long to snack sellers in Kramat. However, its production came to an abrupt halt in March after many stores and markets temporarily closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company started making lemang again in late April after the Jakarta administration allowed snack sellers to operate throughout Ramadan.

Sukri, who is from Purwokerto in Central Java, starts making the cake by inserting two layers of banana leaves into each of the bamboo tubes. He proceeds to pour the main ingredients – glutinous rice and coconut milk – into the tubes.  

The bamboo tubes are put on an open fire for four to five hours. Sukri, together with his family, turns the tubes regularly to make sure that the lemang is cooked evenly.

Ramadan has brought a blessing to him and the company. They have received a lot of orders that will be enough to keep them busy throughout the Islamic holy month. [yps]