Dendeng © Photographer: Martha Halena Loban, Kupang

Martha Halena Loban - @attaloban, Kupang

Dendeng is a traditional meat-processed product known throughout Indonesia and is generally made with beef. Dendeng is not only high in protein but also contains minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and iron, which contribute to a healthier diet. It has the shape of a dry plate and is made from slices or fresh ground beef mixed with sugar, salt and spices.

The spices galangal, coriander, shallots and garlic make the thin slices of the characteristically red-brown dendeng absolutely delicious. Dendeng is an alternative to normally processed beef and has an extended shelf-life.

The dendeng sold here by a woman in the traditional Lelogama market in Nusa Tenggara Timur is beef. When I wanted to buy some, I got into conversation with her and she told me how dendeng is made and what ingredients are used. She made it sound easy to prepare, even for someone who is not well versed in cooking. The fat and meat are first separated, the meat is treated with a marinate of sugar, salt and garlic and then finally smoked until completely dried. The people of Lelogama also usually use curry. It is without a doubt absolutely delicious!