SEMARAPURA, – When visiting the town of Semarapura, it is incomplete without trying this cuisine. The spicy flavor is different from other foods in general. Those who have tried and tasted the spiciness will surely get addicted.

Serombotan or spicy assorted vegetable salad is no longer strange to Balinese people. This Balinese traditional cuisine has become an icon of Klungkung district and outside so that Klungkung gets a nickname as ‘the region of serombotan.’ The appearance of this cuisine to reach its popularity is in fact quite simple.

A senior figure of Klungkung community, Mangku Made Sukanta Wahyu, recently told that in the 1950s the serombotan only consisted of water spinach vegetable with splash of seasoning. In the past, the water spinach in Klungkung could be mostly found at Jumpai village to the coast of Unda. Meanwhile, the splash of seasoning is a very spicy liquid sauce.

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Formerly, this food was very popular among the Klungkung people but those providing this food were only a handful of people. At that time, they usually hung out in front of Klungkung Market and around Klungkung Royal Palace.

Fondness of the Klungkung people for this food has increasingly made Balinese culinary specialty more developed. Sukanta asserted that until the 1970s water spinach with splash of seasoning was increasingly popular in the remote areas of the Klungkung region. Moreover, it was obligatory menu at every people’s home.

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This food is increasingly growing with other types of food ingredients like grated coconut sauce, bean, long bean, spinach and sprouts and various other types of vegetables.
“After this menu has grown rapidly with a variety of vegetables, the name is known as serombotan,” said Sukanta while remembering the happy times of serombotan becoming a culinary pride of Balinese people.

Even though he has not been tasting serombotan for a long time, he can still imagine the spicy flavor of the seasoning making him addictive. However, because of his age, he claimed to have rarely consumed serombotan.

One of the famous merchants in Klungkung, Jero Ratna, said that today it is one of the favorite foods and pride of the Klungkung community. She explained that each merchant offers distinctive flavor. The difference in flavor depends on the merchants in processing the roasted coconut spices and then mixed with authentic Balinese spices.

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“After that, the splash of seasoning is determining. The hallmark of serombotan is the spicy flavor of seasoning that makes customers addicted,” said the merchant who is always flooded by orders.

Now, serombotan can almost be found at every corner of the Semarapura town. Aside from the Klungkung people, residents from other districts also often come to Klungkung just to buy food for their relatives’ gifts. (Bagiarta/balipost)



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