12 Staple Foods in Indonesia Besides Rice

12 Staple Foods in Indonesia – Several countries in Asia make rice their staple food, including Indonesia. In fact, our country, which is often dubbed as an agricultural country, has many types of staple food besides rice, you know… Even the nutritional content contained in these types of staple food is not much better than rice.

Then why is rice a staple food for the majority of Indonesian people? What types of staple foods can be substituted for rice? Let’s look at the following review so that Sinaumed’s can understand it!

Reasons Why Rice Becomes Staple Food in Indonesia

Our Indonesian state is one of the countries in the world that depend on rice as their staple food. Rice seems to be the only main source of carbohydrates for consumption by every society. Even the need for national rice is always included in the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) of the Republic of Indonesia as an effort to prosper the people of Indonesia.

The reason rice is used as a staple food by the majority of Indonesian people is due to the advanced agricultural sector since the independence era. Although in fact the agricultural sector does not only produce rice as rice, but also produces cassava, sweet potatoes, corn, and others. However, people are accustomed to eating rice as a source of carbohydrates.

In addition, there is an opinion that consuming staple foods other than rice, for example cassava, sago flour, sweet potatoes, is for those whose lives are not affluent. Therefore, rice is often used as a symbol of prosperity and economic success in society.

Through the government’s strategy that prioritizes development in the agricultural industrial sector, it turns out that Indonesia can reduce poverty levels. Every year, production from the agricultural industry, especially rice, continues to increase. This of course makes the Indonesian people dependent on rice and make rice their staple food.

Types of Staple Foods Apart from Rice

Indonesia is a country rich in natural resources, including the availability of various food ingredients. Knowledge of the types of staple foods other than rice is of course useful for us as the nation’s next generation.

So, here are the types of staple foods other than rice that can be consumed as a source of carbohydrates and of course contain healthy nutrition.

1. Corn

Sinaumed’s is definitely no stranger to this food! Corn can be found in all parts of Indonesia because it is one of the agricultural products that is widely consumed by some Indonesian people.

There are many ways to process corn so that it can be consumed. Starting from boiled, baked, used as corn rice, it can even be shaved and then added with a mixture of cheese and milk. Several regions in Indonesia still make corn as a staple food.

If Sinaumed’s is curious about processed corn rice, of course Sinaumed’s can make it himself. The trick is to pound dry corn kernels, then soak the results of the collision. Then, it is ground again to form a flour called sekelan. After that, it is steamed and served with additional side dishes such as salted fish, chicken, tempeh and vegetables.

However, if you can’t process it, Sinaumed’s can still enjoy it by buying a pack of corn rice which is usually sold at the nearest traditional market.

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In whole corn, there are nutrients that are beneficial to the body. Call it fiber, carbohydrates, protein, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin C, minerals in the form of potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and antioxidants.

2. Potatoes

Potatoes are a type of tuber that is often used as a mixture in vegetable soup. Not only as a mixture of vegetables, but potatoes can also be processed in various ways so that they are delicious for consumption. For example, fried, made into cakes, to be used as food for mashed potatoes.

Although it can be a staple food substitute for rice, the amount of carbohydrates produced by potatoes is lower than rice. However, don’t worry, because consuming potatoes can actually provide many benefits for the health of our bodies, you know…

Potatoes contain various nutritional content in the form of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, potassium, and several vitamins. Therefore, potatoes can be beneficial for maintaining bone health, maintaining heart health, treating insomnia, lowering blood pressure, and reducing intestinal inflammation.

Even today, many diet programs make potatoes a food ingredient because they are considered to be able to maintain a more stable body weight.

3. Yellow Pumpkin

Yellow squash is often sold in traditional markets and nearby supermarkets. Indonesian people usually make pumpkin as the main ingredient in making compote and cakes. When in fact, pumpkin can be processed into various types of food , you know… call it steamed cakes, puddings, klepon, to tray cakes.

Yellow pumpkin contains high levels of vitamin A and fiber, so of course it is beneficial for antioxidants, digestion, and eye health. In addition, flour from pumpkin also contains better nutrition than wheat flour and wheat flour.

4. Bananas

Sinaumed’s must have known that in our country, bananas have varieties that spread in all regions. Even though the types and shapes are different, in general, these bananas have the same nutritional content and are beneficial to the body.

To consume bananas, can be eaten just like that. However, it can also be processed first, for example making chips, pudding, bread, baby porridge, compote, biscuits, and banana nuggets.

Bananas contain vitamin A, vitamin C, phosphorus and calcium. Many benefits can be obtained from eating bananas, for example preventing colon cancer, maintaining heart health, preventing stomach ulcers, to lowering cholesterol.

5. Cassava

Cassava is a type of tuber that is widely grown all over the world, including in Indonesia. There are many ways to process cassava so that it tastes good when consumed. For example by frying and steaming so that it can be a type of cassava croquettes, getuk cheese, to tape cassava donuts.

Most Indonesian people often consume cassava as a staple food because it contains nutrients that are beneficial to the health of the body. Cassava has a low glycemic index, making it suitable for consumption by diabetics. In addition, the starch in cassava does not contain gluten, so it is also suitable for consumption by people with autism.

6. Sago

Sago is known as the staple food of the people of Papua, Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara and Sulawesi. This is because sago is rich in carbohydrates alone, so when consuming it it must be accompanied by other side dishes.

Even though it contains only carbohydrates, it does not cause obesity. In fact, consuming sago can prevent us from constipation and colon cancer. Sago has a very low glycemic index, making it suitable for diabetics.

This sago staple food is often processed for papeda food. In the people of Maluku and Papua, papeda food is considered ‘rice’ and is usually consumed with the addition of yellow fish sauce and ganemo vegetables.

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7. Gather

Kimpul is a type of tuber that contains nutrients not far from rice. In tuber kimpul there are calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B, and phosphorus which are beneficial for the health of our bodies.

There are many ways that can be done to process kimpul so that it is delicious to eat. For example, by making chips, cakes, pudding, and baby porridge. From the presence of calcium and phosphorus contained in the kimpul, it is considered good for bone formation.

Apart from that, kimpul can also be used as flour for making bread or cakes, you know… Food made from kimpul is great for diabetics and those who are on a diet program.

8. Taro

Taro has a variety of types so that not all of them can be consumed as food, because there are also taro plants that are ornamental plants. Forms of processed taro so that it can be consumed is to be used as taro cakes, taro chips, jenang, fried taro, getung, and flour.

The nutritional content contained in a whole taro is very high, including the presence of carbohydrates and fiber. Therefore, consuming taro can be beneficial for digestion, blood pressure, as a source of energy, to the heart.

9. Gadung

These gadung foodstuffs, when sold, usually have a lower price when compared to rice, potatoes or corn. Therefore, this yam tuber is often used as a cheap alternative to save money on shopping.

Even though it has a high nutritional content, if the processing is wrong it can actually cause poisoning, dizziness, and vomiting. Gadung produces flour which can be used as an addition in making traditional food.

10. Breadfruit

At first glance, breadfruit is similar to jackfruit. Well, the breadfruit plant contains a lot of carbohydrates and was once used as a staple food for Indonesian people.

The nutritional content contained in a whole breadfruit plant is vitamins, protein, and carbohydrates which are said to be higher than other tubers. In addition, the flour produced from this breadfruit plant even has nutritional value equivalent to rice.

Many preparations are derived from this breadfruit, for example fried breadfruit, breadfruit cake , breadfruit cakes, breadfruit nastar, compote, to breadfruit pizza .

11. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are often a favorite of Indonesian people when they feel ‘bored’ with rice as a staple food. Even if stored longer, the taste will be sweeter and tastier. In addition, sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamins, antioxidants, minerals that are beneficial to the health of the body.

Therefore, sweet potatoes are suitable for consumption for toddlers and pregnant women. Sweet potatoes can be processed into various types of food, such as eclairs, donuts, cakes, chips, steamed cakes, to ice cream.

12. Gembili

Gembili is usually a favorite food for rural communities because of its easy processing and delicious taste. In addition, gembili is also considered safer than gadung.

A whole gembili contains many nutrients that are beneficial to human health, namely calcium, protein, carbohydrates, and vitamin A. Processed foods made from gembili have many variants, such as crackers, traditional cakes, and noodles.

Well, that’s the staple food in Indonesia besides rice . Most of the staple foods are tubers. Has Sinaumed’s ever consumed any of these tubers?


Kuswanto, Redi. (2017). Let’s Get to Know Substitute Staple Foods from the Land of the Archipelago . East Jakarta: Language Development and Development Agency.