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Kue Rangin

10 February 2011 One Comment

Kue Rangin seller, Surabaya

Kue Rangin Seller, Surabaya

This local snack is called Bandros in its native West Java, and Kue Pancong in Jakarta; but elsewhere on Java (notably the Eastern end of the island) it is known by the name Kue Rangin. We shall use the last name in this article, as the following photos were taken in Surabaya, East Java.

Kue is the Indonesian word for sweet snacks, and can refer to anything ranging from cookies to cakes. Kue Rangin in this case is made primarily of rice flour and coconut milk. Other ingredients include coconut shavings, sugar toppings, as well as a little salt – which the seller said helps to make the snack taste crunchier. Because of the large amount of coconut milk used, Rangin has a strong coconut taste. In our opinion, this blends well with the sweetness of the sugar topping.

The crispy snack is sold by the row (six small pieces linked as one), each row costing around Rp.4000 (about 45 cents USD). The seller had a few pieces ready for sale, but we asked him if he can kindly make fresh ones for us. Firstly, we wanted to witness and document the making of this increasingly rare local snack. More importantly, Kue Rangin taste best when it’s fresh out of the mold, crispy and piping hot. As the snack cools, the humid tropical climate of Indonesia rapidly causes it to turn soggy.

Making Kue Rangin

Making Kue Rangin

Like many street side vendors in Indonesia and other Asian countries, Rangin sellers are extremely space efficient. All the necessary tools of his trade are packed into two wooden carrier boxes, each of which is tied to either ends of a bamboo pole. This includes a stove, a display case, and compartments to keep his ingredients, utensils, and money. He moves from place to place, carrying this little ‘stall’ on his shoulders, stopping whenever there is business to be made.

It didn’t take long for the Rangin seller to make a new batch of his delicious snacks for us. First he turned on the heat on the mold, and layered its surface with margarine. Next, from a little compartment in one of the wooden boxes he took out a metal cup, which is filled to the brim with the base mixture. He carefully emptied the contents into the metal mold, which by now is sizzling hot. Using the cup to spread the mixture evenly, he made sure that the end product forms a perfect shape in the mold. It took about five minutes for the Rangin to turn golden brown and crispy. The seller used a small metal pick to dig the snack out of its mold, sprinkled some sugar at the top, and served it hot to us on a paper wrap.

Kue Rangin seller, Surabaya

Done, and ready to eat.

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