Tum Bali, A Traditional Food Rich In Philosophy

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  • Desa Tenganan, Kecamatan Manggis


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Tum Bali, A Traditional Food Rich In Philosophy.

Bali has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Not only known for its exotic beauty, but the culinary delights of the island are also loved by the people around the world. Speaking of Balinese cuisine, some of you might immediately make ayam betutu and sate lilit on top of your mind. Even so, there are many other foods that you can enjoy on this island of the Gods. Tum culinary is one of them.

Tum cuisine is actually similar to botok or pepes, traditional food that you often find in Java. Usually, tum is a side dish of mixed rice. You can enjoy tum using halal ingredients such as chicken and beef, or non-halal like pork. Therefore, it would be better if you check the ingredients first before eating. Apart from using minced meat, there is also tum ati, which is made from chicken liver. If you’re are a vegetarian or vegan, don't worry! You can try tum nangka (jackfruit) and tum klungan made from a young coconut. 

Just like any other thing in Bali, tum culinary also has philosophical value. This value can be found in the cooking process. First, tum must be steamed until cooked, which means that humans must be introspective and understand themselves first. So, humans won’t be ‘pointing fingers’ at each other when there’s a problem. 

Secondly, tum must be wrapped tightly and neatly, so that the contents inside it do not spill or scatter out. According to the Balinese people, the method of wrapping means that everyone must think carefully before doing or saying something. 

Let's Try This Food at Home! 

To make tum, the method is similar to making pepes. First, prepare the filling ingredients for the tum. It can be minced meat of your choice, fish, or chicken liver. However, if you’re vegetarians or vegans, you can replace the meat filling with jackfruit or young coconut. 

For the seasoning, you can use ingredients commonly used for cooking. For example, fried onions, garlic, lemongrass, pepper, kemiri, kencur, salt, shrimp paste, cayenne pepper, ginger, and bay leaf. All the seasoned ingredients are mixed and then ground until it’s smooth. After that, you can mix the spices with the contents that have been prepared (minced meat, fish, chicken liver, jackfruit, or young coconut), water, and coconut milk. 

After that, wrap the filling and seasonings that have been mixed using banana leaves. Don't forget, make sure the tum is wrapped tightly with the banana leaf to follow the Balinese philosophy. Finally, last but not least, steam it until it’s completely cooked. After doing all the processes, the typical Balinese tum is ready to be served. Enjoy!