Prior to Indonesia’s independence in 1945, Jakarta was known as Batavia – the recognised trade and administrative centre of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). Jan Pieterszoon Coen, who was the VOC’s governor general at the time, founded Batavia for the purpose of trade, with the city’s inhabitants taking care of the production and supply of herbs, spices, fruits and everything in between.

As the VOC preferred to maintain complete control over its business, a large number of slaves were employed. Batavia became an unattractive location for people who wanted to establish their own businesses.

These days, though, we are grateful that some of these super ingredients were brought here by the Dutch.

 

1. Lemongrass

A staple ingredient of the Asian cuisine, lemongrass is a tall, perennial grass that is native to the tropical regions of Asia – including India – and features a citrusy flavour with a hint of tanginess, thus making it suitable for soups, teas, and curries.

 

2. Mangosteen

Mangosteen originates from Asian countries and was once brought all the way around the world just so that it could be sampled by Queen Victoria. With its sweetness, it may be suitable for more exotic dishes.

 

3. Cocoa Powder

Like chocolate, cocoa powder contains flavonoids, which are known to help lower blood pressure to the brain and heart. An ideal ingredient for smoothies.

 

4. Blueberries


Blueberries are the king of antioxidants. They protect our bodies from damage done by free radicals and unstable molecules that contribute to aging and chronic diseases.

These superfoods are available in most supermarkets across the city.

 

by Stevie Chantanu. Original article can be found at Good Indonesian Food. Reproduced with permission.