Rich but simple
What I mean here is a plate of pecel. Pecel is typical Indonesian dish which has similarities to salad. But the difference is you can eat it with rice and become your breakfast. Pecel comes from Java and consists of various cooked vegetables with peanut sauce. The vegetables can be chosen based on preferences, but typical ones are bean sprout, cabbage, long bean etc. Do not forget to give its sauce. Ordinary, semi-spicy or hot and spicy, all you can choose by yourself. Pecel is traditional favorite breakfast, from poor to rich and does know nothing about social class. From pedestrian food stalls until luxurious restaurants.
Every regions has its own style for serving pecel. Some regions provide cut fritters and rice crackers as its complementary. While some others give a fermented tempeh as its condiment. Even in Nganjuk, pecel is served with 17 types of vegetables. So nutritious, right? But above all, much alike salad, Pecel is vegetable-based dish. You can choose whatever you wish and it represents liberalism as you can express yourself in it. If you do not like particular vegetables, you can omit it. Without condiment, pecel will taste nothing but plain. You need to add combination between garlic, ground peanut, red chili, bird-eyed chili, salt, palm sugar etc in order to make pecel ‘raises up’.
Unity in Diversity. The slogan we adhere since 1945 has actually been seen in a plate of pecel. Besides vegetables and peanut sauce, we need also additional things such as side dish. For pecel, once more, it is up to you. You may choose sunny side up egg, various savory fritters, sweet cooked tempeh or tofu and along with rempeyek (a type of cracker) or you don’t choose any side dish at all. It’s okay and acceptable. Pecel from Madiun (East Java) is famous, pecel from Blitar (East Java) is sweeter, pecel from Nganjuk (East Java) is famous of its 17 veggies, from Kediri add fermented tempeh. In conclusion, anything goes in pecel as far as it doesn’t change its essential, as vegetable dish.
Pecel is very nutritious, and you can omit its sauce if you dislike it. It is very ideal for breakfast as it contains various nutrition along carbohydrate which can be gotten from rice and fritters, protein from egg and vegetables and various vitamins such as vitamin A from carrot slices. All are collaborating to create new energy for facing today’s activities.
Pecel looks simple, but it is very rich inside. It is made of economical ingredients, and though some ignore its importance, but pecel is much better than hamburger even than salad itself. But from this simple article, we can see that pecel represents simplicity, our live is much more easier if we can accept what is happening on us. Sometimes I consider it as God’s gift, as not all area in the world recognize this type of dish. Live simple but rich in nutrition, this is what I can get from a plate of pecel.
Semarang, 5 June 2013
Photo courtesy : dibali.web.id