Indonesian Traditional Use of Cassava

Who doesn’t know cassava? Every parts from its roots to its leaves can be processed into various food, which make it very popular in Indonesian dishes and snack. The root has a delicate flavour and can be turned into flour that can be used in cookies, cakes or bread. Cassava is the third largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics, after rice and maize.. Indonesia is the third largest producer of cassava, hence it is widely used in the local market as well.

For Indonesians, cassava is commonly used as a main source of carbohydrate to replace rice. Cassava can be turned into tiwul, which is made from dried cassava called gaplek. This was especially important during Japanese colonization in Indonesia when Indonesians mainly eat tiwul as the main source of energy.

The leaves of cassava is rather popular in Padang cuisine, to simply be blanched and served with sambal or turned into curried cassava leaves. Every Padang restaurant will have these dishes if you want to try.

If you ever go to the traditional market and see food vendor selling traditional sweets, you might came across sawut. This traditional sweet food is made from grating cassava, combining it with palm sugar and steaming it to achieve the final result. Usually it is served with grated coconut to balance the flavour. Another popular sweet food would probably be getuk, which most of you might know already. Getuk is rather popular in Java as a sweet snack. Its soft texture is created by mashing boiled cassava roots into a doughy batter.

Apart from that, a unique food that can be produced with cassava would be tapai or peuyeum in Sundanese language. Tapai is a kind of fermented cassava, which usually is used an ingredients for sweet dessert and alcoholic beverage.

Who would have thought that such a humble root vegetable plays a very important part in Indonesian society. Cassava itself is rather easy to grow and we have some at Blueboots Farm, which our farmers turn into yummy fried cassava when we harvest them.

Welcoming Butternut Pumpkin

Butternut pumpkin, which is known in some places as butternut squash, can be utilized in so many ways from roasting to incorporating it into sweet dishes like muffins. Technically, it is a fruit, but because of its versatility and wide range of usage, butternut pumpkin is very popular as an ingredient for cooking.

On top of that, this type of pumpkin is not a very fussy plant to grow either. They like to have their soil kept damp, which is not much of a problem during the rainy season, but definitely we need to keep an eye on them when we are growing them in summer time. At the farm, we built a strong trellis for the vine to grow over. This way, we save space and it’s easier for us to keep track of their growth because sometimes it can be tricky to see what’s underneath those massive leaves!

Butternut pumpkin is a great source of fiber and complex carbohydrates and also high in potassium, niacin, beta carotene and iron. They will fully grow in 110-120 days until they are ready to be harvested. In the meantime, we are watching them closely to make sure that the pollination process between the male and female flowers are happening naturally. Otherwise, we might have to do manual pollination, which should have been the task of those bees at the farm.
Stay tune for more updates about Blueboots Farm’s butternut pumpkin and hopefully we will be producing some fat and healthy pumpkin!

Happy Eid!

Happy Eid to all of our friends. Time to gather with the loved ones!

Surely/Someday + Kitchen

Not so long ago, we met with Sun Wahyu from Surely/Someday + Kitchen, a Jakarta-based creative baker. We discussed with him about his philosophy in choosing his ingredients and his creative process. Not so long after that, we were making small batches of pandan powder for Surely/Someday + Kitchen to be incorporated in his products. A rather insightful discussion, read through to find out more what goes inside his creative mind and considerations.


1. In your creative process of baking, how do you usually start? Does it begin from an inspiration? An ingredients you want to use? Or is there anything else that makes your creativity runs wild?

Proses kreatif bisa melalui cara yang berbeda beda. Kadang terinspirasi waktu berdiskusi dengan orang dalam bidang berbeda, kadang bisa juga dari melihat tekstur, situasi sekitar, sejarah atau bahkan memori. Kebetulan gue suka hal hal kecil yang meng-intrigue dan story telling, itu juga salah satu dasar saat gue mencoba untuk berkreasi khususnya untuk proyek Fable on The Table. Seklise kedengarannya, tapi penting untuk selalu  punya rasa penasaran dan keinginan tahu lebih, bahkan dari banyak bidang selain bidang yang kita geluti.

Creative process can be done in few different ways. Sometimes, inspiration comes when I am discussing with people from different backgrounds, sometimes it can be from observing texture, the surrounding, history or even memory. I happen to like little thing that is intriguing and telling a certain story, which also becomes one of my foundations when I try to create especially for Fable on The Table project. As cliche as it sounds, but it is important to have curiosity and willingness to learn more, even from other areas apart from the things that we are working on.


2. How do you usually choose your ingredients? What are the considerations?

Biasanya berdasarkan rasa ingin tahu dan mencoba kalau bahan A B C ini rasanya akan seperti apa, atau bisa diapakan. Kebetulan gue sangat menghindari menggunakan pewarna buatan, jadi dengan batasan itu, salah satu dasar gue memilih bahan tertentu kadang untuk mendapatkan warna tertentu juga.

Usually it’s from curiosity and willingness to experiment what flavours do certain ingredients bring or what can I do with it. I try to avoid artificial colouring, so from that restriction, one of my considerations in choosing ingredients are also to achieve certain colour.


Photo courtesy of Surely/Someday + Kitchen.

3. We know that lately you have been playing around with local ingredients, what made you to do so?

Gue selalu tertarik dengan perasaan nostalgia, dan gue rasa banyak yang menganggap sepele beberapa bahan lokal, hanya mungkin karena kita terlalu familiar dengan bahan tersebut atau belum digali lebih dalam lagi.

I am always intrigued with nostalgic feelings and I think lots of people look down to local ingredients just because we are too familiar with local ingredient or we have not dig deeper about it.


4. Which Indonesian ingredients is your favourite?

Pandan, gula aren, jahe dan kelapa. Ada 4 mah ga favorit yah, hahaha. Oh gue juga suka belimbing wuluh!

Pandas, palm sugar, ginger and coconut. And belimbing wuluh is also another favourite of mine!


5. What are the challenges in using local ingredients?


It’s availability.


6. You have used Blueboots Farm’s pandan powder in some of your creations, what’s the story behind it?

Sebetulnya waktu itu hanya ngobrol santai sama Sam tentang Blueboots Farm ada bahan apa saja, dan Pandan itu kan sangat mudah dibudidayakan sebetulnya, dan gue memang pengen pakai pandan sebagai bahan cookies, tapi kendalanya dulu adalah untuk menggunakan pandan metode paling familiar itu adalah dengan di ekstrak sarinya, dan kalau bikin cookies gue lebih prefer sebisa mungkin ga terlalu banyak liquid, jadi gue tanya ke Sam, memungkinkan ga sih kalau Pandan dikeringkan dan di jadikan bubuk, dan ternyata bisa.

Actually at that time I was just chatting casually with Sam about Blueboots Farm’s produce and how pandan is actually really easy to grow. I have always wanted to use pandan as an ingredient for my cookies, but the restriction before was the most commonly available substance is pandan extract. When I’m making cookies, I prefer not to use too much liquid, so I asked Sam, is it possible if pandan is dehydrated and turned into powder and Sam said yes.


7. Do you think that Indonesian ingredients have been exposed a lot or do you think there is a lot of work in introducing local flavours?

Mungkin beberapa sudah familiar yah, tapi sewaktu gue ikut salah satu event di coffee shop, gue baru sadar kalau latar belakang elu sebetulnya cukup mempengaruhi akses elu dengan bahan lokal, sebagai contoh sewaktu Blueboots membawa pisang ambon lumut (pisangnya mentok cuma hijau ga bisa kuning, cuma super manis dan wangi), ternyata banyak yang belum tahu, kalau asumsi gue, mungkin ada beberapa orang yang terbiasa membeli pisang cavendish, jadi hanya tahu varian pisang  seperti itu, dan padahal ada banyak varian pisang yang berbeda di Indonesia, dan masing masing pisang punya fungsi sendiri. Tapi bagi yang masih suka beli ke pasar, mungkin udah familiar dengan pisang ambon lumut tadi. Ini salah satu contohnya. Tapi gue rasa dengan adanya anak anak muda yang tertarik bergerak di bidang agrikultur, mungkin ke depannya bisa meng-introduce bahan lokal.

Perhaps there are some that’s already familiar. However when I joined one of the events at a coffee shop, I just realized that your background is affecting your access to local ingredients. As an example, when Blueboots brought pisang ambon lumut (the banana can only goes green – not even yellow – but it is super sweet and has a strong fragrant), apparently a lot of people didn’t have any idea about it. In my assumption, perhaps people are too used in buying cavendish banana, so they only know that variant of banana although there are lots other variants of banana in Indonesia and each of them has their own usage. But for those who still go to traditional market, I think they are quite familiar with that pisang ambon lumut. That was one example. But I think with lots of young generation with interest in agriculture, hopefully in the near future they can help to introduce local ingredients as well.


8. How do you marry modern way of baking with local flavours?

I’m not sure what i do is something modern though, karena sejujuranya gue lebih tertarik gimana mengangkat nilai yang sudah ada, tapi tidak mendeskontruksi terlalu jauh sampai jatuhnya gimmick. Terus terang gue sendiri masih mencari tahu bahan bahan lokal yang menarik untuk dikembangkan. Tentunya gue rasa pasti tidak jauh jauh dari media cookies, tapi tidak menutup kemungkinan untuk dikembangkan ke arah yang lain juga.

I’m not sure what I do is something modern though, because to be honest I am more interested in how to elevate the existing value but not deconstructing it too far until it becomes a gimmick. To be honest I’m still looking for local ingredients which are interesting to be developed into my products. Of course I think it’s not going to be far from cookies, but it doesn’t restrict any opportunities for it to be developed to another direction as well.


9. Lastly, you also have your own garden at the back of your house, do you use those plants as your ingredients too? What grows there?

Iya ada beberapa bahan yang gue tanam sendiri, mostly herbs and spices. Sereh, pandan, thyme, mint dan yang terakhir lumayan sering gue pakai, bunga telang.

Yes I do have some ingredients that I grow on my own, mostly herbs and spices. Lemongrass, pandan, thyme, mint and the last one is something that I commonly use lately, telang flower.


Watermelon Pizza

This time of the year, it is the best season to enjoy this fresh fruit, the watermelon! Blueboots Farm have come up with a special recipe to enjoy watermelon at its best, while keeping its freshness and adding it with a bit of a crunch for your homemade cocktail party. So here goes the recipe.


Watermelon Pizza

Nuts of your choice such as cashew, almond or macadamia
Chocolate nibs
Blueboots Farm micro basil


  1. Cut watermelon into bite-size triangle pieces about 1.5-2 cm thick.
  2. Chop your choice of nuts roughly.
  3. Sprinkle some creamy nuts such as cashews/almonds/macadamia and chocolate bits on top of the pizza.
  4. Lastly, we add Blueboots Farm micro basil on top of each pizza to give aroma and freshness to each bite.


Akmal’s Favourite Plant (Which Now Becomes Our Favourite Too!)

One of our latest acquired talents at the farm is Akmal, who just recently started to help us at Blueboots Farm. Akmal is only 23 years old and currently studying at Institut Pertanian Bogor. Although no one in Akmal’s family is in agriculture but we know that he has a deep passion in farming! We wondered why… Apparently it started when he joined the national science competition in junior high school and was competing in biotech area. From there his interest in agriculture grew and he decided to do it seriously.

From his journey surrounded by plants and the amazing produces that we have here in Indonesia, which one is it then that amaze him the most? Akmal confessed that coffee would be his favourite plant. Not because of all the hype that coffee has been getting lately, but he thinks that coffee has such a unique character which is quite different from any other plants.

Akmal has worked with coffee before while he was studying at IPB where he studied the theories and planted coffee to be learned from. Coffee’s special character is that it has to be grown in 800m minimum elevation. Pre-nursery is rather difficult because coffee requires delicate care especially Arabica. Akmal’s favourite coffee would be Sidikalang coffee from North Sumatra. It is rather a famous one especially because it’s grown in a high altitude above 1500m.

Now that we know more about Akmal and his favourite plant, we are hoping that we can all learn together. Watch this space to see more progress at Blueboots Farm.

Growing This Funky Plant

This is the first time Blueboots Farm tried planting Daikon radish and we are pleasantly surprise how easily and quickly they grow. We started planting the radish seeds in seed trays filled with good compost, cocopeat and rice husks. After 2 weeks, the seeds sprouted baby seedlings ready to be planted into the soil. Alternatively, you can also plant the seed directly into the soil 1.5 cm deep.

Daikon radishes need more space than garden radishes. About 15 cm apart from seedling to seedling and 50 cm apart between rows will give sufficient space and nutrition for the radish to grow up 40 cm long and 8 cm wide!

The picture shown above is about 40 days old daikon radish. We are planning to harvest the daikon radishes when they are 60 – 70 days old. Let’s see how much bigger and bolder they will grow up to!

Daikon radish can be turned to many versatile dishes. From eating it raw in salads, boiling it in soup, roasting it with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper to pickling and fermenting the radish for tangy and crunchy accompaniment to that Korean fried chicken. Oh, the list go on… how can you not love this wonderful produce?

The Season’s Best Produce

We have about 60 trees of clove trees in our mini forest. In June, the forest will be infatuated with the smell of cloves. It takes skills and experience to harvest cloves as the tree is tall and we do not want to break its branches. Farmers uses wooden ladder and a basket trap to collect the cloves. After harvesting, we will dry the freshly-picked cloves under the sun for about a week.

Clove has been an important commodity for Indonesia since the trading era. It is one of the most sought after spices for its usage as medicine to cigars. Native to Maluku island, which commonly called as the Spice Island, we are lucky to have clove in our mini forest to learn from.

Gooey Peanut Butter Cookies

Been wanting to try a gluten free cookies? Try it with our flourless peanut butter cookie recipe! We recommend dipping it in hot milk if you need some midnight snack.
1 cup Blueboots Farm Peanut Butter
¼ cup mix of brown & white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Yield: ~ 1 kg cookie dough

Preheat oven to 180oC
Cream peanut butter, vanilla, eggs and all sugar until smooth
Add baking soda and salt, mix thoroughly
Scoop the dough according to prefered size
Bake for 10 minutes, rotate in between.

Lemongrass as Traditional Remedy

Lemongrass has become one of our favourite plants. Believed to be a native plant of Indonesia, lemongrass or ‘sereh’ as how Indonesian normally call it, carries lots of benefits and has been used locally since a long time ago. It grows abundantly in Blueboots Farm (and everywhere else in Indonesia!), it has lots of benefits for our health and it does not cost much at all. Here are a couple of things that we think is rather beneficial from the humble lemongrass.

  1. Heals Cold & Cough. Carrying antibacterial and antifungal properties, lemongrass has been used widely to heal cold, cough and flu symptoms. It also has lots of vitamin C, which improves your immune system. We love to have it as lemongrass and honey tea when it looks like we are about to catch a cold.
  2. Helps Digestion. Lemongrass is commonly known to help treat digestive problems like indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting and cramps due to its antiseptic compounds. It is also beneficial in repopulating good bacteria in the colon.
  3. Calming Effect. We love to use lemongrass oil as aromatherapy when we are feeling a bit blue. Lemongrass has a calming, warming effect and even better, it can keep mosquitos away.

Those are the benefits of lemongrass as traditional remedy that we have used ourselves at Blueboots Farm. You too now can adapt this at home and make the most of this abundant plant!