The island of Java is the thirteenth largest island in the world and the most populous, with almost 150 million inhabitants. It's the home to both the Javanese and the Sundanese people, and to thousands of immigrants from other parts of Indonesia and the world. It is also the location of Jakarta, Indonesia's capital. It's thus not surprising that much of what we've come to know as Indonesian cuisine is of Javanese origin.
Like other Indonesians, Javanese food is heavy on rice and on spice pastes used to marinade and cook meats and vegetables. They usually include ingredients not easily found in the west, including galangal root and salam leaves. The food varies in sweetness and spiciness based on geographical regions.
Given that I recently cooked both Indonesian and Jakartan food, there wasn't an obvious reason to also visit Javanese cuisine, except for the fact that I just love Indonesian food and I'm happy to keep exploring it. Still, I limited my visit to Javanese food to three dishes:
See also Ambonese, Balinese, Indonesian, Jakartan recipes.