Local Fave Dish

On my last three weeks hiatus, I spend one week in my parent house in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan ( Two hours flight from Jakarta, capital city of Indonesia).  It’s a small and crowded city, with a lot of small canals turned into sewerage.

Traditional trader, sail their boat selling vegetables right to customers house (Photo by aik)
source: photobox flickr
source: photobox flickr

When I was in college and studying architecture and urban development, I was having a huge dream to see a better look of my city. I proposed ‘River Corridor Development Plan’ for my thesis to get bachelor degree. As the time goes by I’m tossing that dream into dumpster. Loosing hope? I don’t know, maybe because I’m not living my life there anymore, and I feel more like an outsider when I came back.

It’s kind of sad actually…

Okay let’s talk about other things… Since yesterday I preoccupied my self for posting about recipe. I’m going to post a recipe of one very popular dish from Banjarmasin. This dish is hardly find inJakarta, and probably you won’t find it in any other city anywhere in the world either ^_^

It’s called Masak Habang. If I translated it literally in English it called Red Dish. I don’t know why they love using color as name of the dish. Yes they have dish called ‘Green Duck’ (Green chili pepper as core ingredient) and ‘Yellow Dish’ (off course with a lot of turmeric)

Masak Habang is a spicy and sweet dish. Dried chili pepper is the core ingredients, but it’s not hot at all. I think they use the kind of less hot chili from all those chili pepper families. Confused? Me too ^_^

Well, here’s the recipe. (I’ve tried to cook  my own but I was failed to fully remove the ‘hotness’ of this dish. Not as sweet as the one I ate in my hometown. But I love hot dish so… ^_^

Masak Habang

(Banjarmasin local dish)


      -Catfish/ Egg / Chicken

      -2 tsp Salt

      -2 tbs lemon juice

      -Oil for frying chicken/fish or water for boiling the egg

For the Sauce:

-1 onion, chopped (people actually using shallot, but I don’t find any big differences)

– 5 garlics.

-20-25 Dried chilies

-2 tomatoes

-1 cinnamon stick

– 1/2 tsp ground cloves (or about 8/9 if u using whole cloves)

– 1 tsp salt

-100 gr palm sugar


1. Prepare catfish or chicken, cut into smaller pieces, marinated with salt and lemon juice, fried in cooking oil until half-cooked.  Set aside. For egg, cooked it in the boiled water, probably about 15 minutes. Wait until it’s cool before removing the eggshell.

2. For the sauce.

a. Remove the core seeds of dried chilies. Rinse it with boiling water. (This will soften the chilies and make it less hot.)

b. Chopped the tomatoes

c. Slice palm sugar block, skip this step if you using ground palm sugar.

d. Put chilies and tomatoes into blender.

e. Put cooking oil in a pan, fry the garlic and onion. Add chilies and tomatoes puree. Add cinnamon, cloves and salt. Lastly add palm sugar.

3. Mix in fried fish/chicken and eggs into the sauce until it well combine.


Note: We usually eat this with yellow rice. (Rice cooked in coconut milk, plus 1 tbs turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon salt, lemongrass  and pandan leaf for the aroma). But having this dish with plain rice will do fine.


3 thoughts on “Local Fave Dish

  1. Pingback: Rainbow « spasi
  2. Oh, my ! How could I have missed reading this! There’s a recipe! I’ll show this to my mother and maybe she can try cooking this. Right now we have catfish fillet in the freezer, but no turmeric. Can I leave that out? And what is palm sugar?

  3. Well the turmeric is for the yellow rice… plain rice will do fine with. Palm sugar is a sugar made from coconut palm.. i heard Philiphines has it’s local name (are you still speaking Philipnines?) it called: Pakaskas. Asked your mom…

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