Some food are born lucky. They got immortalised in songs. Some songwriters must have been so overwhelmed by the taste of their favourite food that they penned paeans about them.
One of the few songs to make it to the Malay culinary honour’s roll is a dish called lontong. There are other songs about other dishes, of course, but they are other people’s favourite. I stand contented on lontong …
The title of my post, by the way, is taken from a song with the same name. Loosely translated it means ” Lontong, Lontong ~ Come, Come, Eat Lontong.” It’s a call to eat lontong. It is sung by A Kadir & the Breakthru. That they like lontong is very, very obvious – Hence the song.
That I like lontong is pretty, pretty obvious too but I don’t break out in songs. Hehehe … I just write about it … and I just cook it … pretty much “Cook, Eat & Be happy.”
So what is lontong? Lontong is a Malay/Indonesian traditional dish, made from rice, wrapped in banana leaf and boiled till they firmed up. Then the lontong is cut into pieces to go along with whatever gravy you have in mind. And there is a variety of gravy to choose from.
The gravy can consist of assortment of vegetables – cabbage, long bean, french bean, carrot, turnip, young jackfruit, sayur paku and corn. But don’t put all the vegetables at one go. Two or three will do. Remember: Less is more.
But If you like tofu & tempe, by all means, put them in the pot as well. Indeed, the gravy pot filled with the goodness of diversity will go down well with family members and friends!
Lontong goes well with kuah lodeh. It is good with gulai paku. It sits pretty in sambal kacang. And it is definitely a must with sate!
Need I say that lontong is very popular with the Baby Boomers?” I guess it’s quite understandable. That the dish is deliciously soft in a lot of ways helps.
But how does lontong stack up with the millenials? I think I fairly got the hint.
An amusing remark made sometime ago comes to mind. A young college student once commented “But oldies like lontong!” Hehehe …
Bluntness of youth aside, that can be a wake up call for traditional food. I think we need to “glamourize” our traditional food. Reinvent & repackage. Get a tip or two from the Japanese.
Maybe a new narrative could be made about lontong. If Popeye the Sailor Man can gain incredible strength from eating spinach why not lontong? Yes, why not?
Hehehe … My imagination must be in a super active mode …