There was a Marie Claire magazine to read and there was a plate of tape uli ketan hitam to savor. Marie Claire guided my eyes toward the girlie things in life; clothes, shoes, accessories, all things that are fluid in life. They keep changing each season.
Tape uli ketan hitam moved me in a different direction. This was something that was so old and constant; I cannot reinvent it in different way. Change the way it is made, it will not be tape ketan hitam and uli anymore.
Tape ketan hitam (tah-peh k'tan hee-tum) is fermented sweet glutinous black rice. The process of fermentation started with mixing and inoculating crushed sweet yeast into partially cooked sweet glutinous black rice, which then left to ferment in a covered bowl in 30 degree C for 1-3 days. Sugar is commonly added as well as to make it somewhat sweeter. There is a small amount of alcohol present in the final product, and how much it is will depend on the duration of the fermentation. To stop the fermentation process, it is kept in the refrigerator.
Uli (oo-lee) is made by cooking sweet glutinous rice with coconut milk and salt, which then is mixed with grated coconut and shaped into a rectangular- or oblong-shape portion. It is generally wrapped in banana leaves.
To understand why these two are still made and eaten up to this point in my life is to understand that I grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia and this was what I grew accustomed to eat, my parents and their parents ate this as well. There is still part of me that will not change, I live my life according to past recollections.