Ketupat is the most favorite food in festive occasions such as Idul Fitri (the day right after a month of Ramadhan fasting) In Indonesia.
Javanese people believe that ketupat is one of Sunan Kalijaga’s Islamic preaching medium. Remembering about telupat (similar sound with ketupat) telu ( third) and papat (fourth) in 5 Pillars of Islam, paying zakat and Ramadhan fasting. If you do your fasting well and also paying your zakat you will get the light, a holy light. Light in Arabic means nur (light) so Javanese choose jaNUR (young yellow coconut leaves) to make this ketupat pouch. I got this information from this site, Prof. DR. Damardjati Soepadjar said about philosophy of ketupat. He is a tremendous philosopher from Gadjah Mada University in Jogjakarta.
Hmm..okay let’s talking about making this food. Ketupat sometimes are boiled in thin coconut milk and spices to enhance the taste, but this time I’d rather make the plain one.
5 ketupat pouches
A cup of rice, washed
A teaspoon of salt
Boil the water
Fill the rice into ketupat pouch . Add the rice until a half of the entire ketupat’s volume
Add salt to the boiled water
Put the ketupat in the pan with the boiled water. Set them all under water
Keep boil them with medium heat for about 2 hours or until the rice become densely tight and the yellow turn into brown coconut leaves
Keep watching the water level. Pour hot water into the pan if the water level becomes lower
Take ketupat out of water, drain and hang them
Slice the ketupat, and serve it with various dishes
In Lebaran day or Hari Raya Iedul Fitri, Indonesian people usually combine it with Opor Ayam (Chicken in Coconut Gravy) and Sambal Goreng Hati (Beef Liver in Chili and Coconut Milk), Rendang and Sate(Satay).
If you want to know how to weave ketupat from coconut leaves you can go here