Lontong is very popular in Indonesia. Lontong is a dish made of compressed rice wrapped inside banana leaf. This dish usually serve cold at room temperature together with sauce based dishes such as Gado Gado or Sayur Lodeh(vegetable cooked in coconut gravy). It can be eaten as an accompaniment to other dish such as Satay.
To make Lontong first the rice is washed then boiled over moderate heat with a pinch of salt added to the water.The heat then turn down, the rice is cooked about 10 minutes. Then remove the pot & set aside for a while. This allow the rice to absorb the waterand to cool down.
The cooked rice is scooped out and place on a well washed banana leaf. The leaf is rooled tightly into a cylinder and both ends are folded shut & secure with toothpick.
Cooked and boiled for about 2 hours in hot water. this process makes the banana leaf shrink & compress the rice.
Then remove from the hot water & allow to cool. The banana leaf is unfolded & discarded. The compressed rice roll is cut into bite sized pieces & ready to eat.
If banana leaf is not available, lontong can be made using almunium cooking foil. If cooking with almunium foil, it is necessary to prick a few holes in the foil after the rice has been rolled up. The holes will allow the hot water to seep inside & cook the rice.