Trip of Wonders Part III - Cooking with the locals in Makassar, Indonesia

When people think of Indonesia, it's usually images of the beautiful beaches or the iconic rice fields that pop into their head. However, Indonesia has way more to offer than just the monkey forest and amazing massages. It's a shame that I’ve only been to Bali prior to my September trip, and I’ve never visited any other Indonesian city - simply because I didn’t know what else was out there and Bali seemed like the most tourist-friendly place that everyone raves about. This past trip with the Trip of Wonders crew, I was lucky to check out Makassar, the largest city in East Indonesia and the capital city of South Sulawesi province, and to really explore the local food scene. As much as I enjoy dining out in restaurants, being able to actually dine at a local's house eating traditional Makassar dishes cooked by the locals themselves (we also got to make some of the dishes with the help from the locals) marked the most memorable and authentic experience throughout this 12-day trip and I absolutely loved it!

Here's a picture of the lunch situation and my fellow blogger friends

Before we headed over to the Makassar local's house in a small village, we were taken to Pasar Kalimbu produce market in Galesong first to get fresh ingredients for our lunch. I'm the type of person that gets extremely excited whenever I go grocery shopping, there's just something that's unique about visiting the farmer's market and interacting with the locals. The crowd, the buzz, the bursting colors of the vegetables, the fresh smell of the herbs and spices, I enjoy every bit of it. We saw heirloom varieties of produce that surprised and dazzled our eyes.

My favorite traditional Indonesian dish is definitely Pisang Ijo, or "the green banana dessert" as I call it. It is basically banana covered in sticky rice dough and dipped in coconut milk and placed on shaved ice. You may wonder where did the green come from? The rice dough is green because the addition of pandan - a traditional flavoring agent used in many Southeast Asia countries. The pandan not only freshens the taste of the rice dough but also adds an extra earthy flavor to the dessert. The texture and the flavor made the dish a winner and stood out from the rest of the traditional food I've had.

*This post is a little bit different from what I usually write (restaurant/cafe posts), but I do hope you enjoyed reading it! Leave a comment below and let me know if you'd like to see more travel-food related posts in the future!

Pisang Ijo (green banana dessert)

Here'e s a collage of the cooking process of the dishes including Pisang Ijo

Disclosure: this post was written in partnership with Trip of Wonders sponsored by the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism.