Few weeks ago, we had a combined birthday celebration among me, Mia and my husband (yes all of us born in less than 3 weeks gap). I did wonder whether I wanted a birthday cake. I browse for some ideas in the internet, but those which I categorise as "edible" and "nice" is sort of expensive. I don't want to have just any usual cake, so we decide to make a complete different cake. After brainstorming with our head chef Mia (who is also one of the birthday girl), we determine to celebrate our birthday all in Indonesian style, which means instead of cake, we have "nasi tumpeng".
Nasi tumpeng is basically a dish made of mainly yellow rice (or white rice with coconut juice called nasi uduk) in a shape of cone which is eaten during special events. The rice is cooked with coconut milk and turmeric, hence the name nasi kuning (yellow rice). The rice is to symbolize a heap of gold, so nasi kuning is often served for parties, or opening ceremonies, as a symbol of good fortune, wealth and dignity.
It is usually served with more variety of side dishes than nasi campur. Shredded omelet, serundeng (relish of grated coconut and spices), sambal goreng (fried tempeh and potato caramelized in spicy sauce), ayam goreng (Javanese-style fried chicken), perkedel (potato fritters) are the most common side dishes found in nasi kuning. More elaborate nasi kuning would include fried cow's brain, fried cow's lung, beef and seafood. (This may sounded gross, but the truth is... you can hardly recognise the stuff from the shape, and it taste pretty good!)
The top of the tumpeng would normally be given to the most senior of the attendance. (In which we are pushing each other to do it because no one will like to admit being the oldest!)
Below, the birthday boy and girls. Please pardon the background, it's a full house so we just have to cramp somewhere.
Just in case you are wondering how old is all of us, oh well... you just have to figure it our yourself.