Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kue Leker and A Monkey Dancer

To find kue lekker on the street in Jakarta isn’t easy, only certain places that have this vendors, but for sure, it’s very easy to find them in Semarang and Solo (cities in Central Java). According to the vendor, Kue Leker is originally from Lamongan (a small city in East Java).

The cart is on the bicycle.

More or less, kue lekker is like crepes/thin pancake.

I’m not sure whether literally kue leker means “Yummy cake”.

In Indonesian language, kue means cake.
Well there’s no word “leker” in Indonesian language, however Indonesia was colonized by Dutch for about 300 years and lekker means yummy/delicious in Dutch. A big possibility that the word that the leker word refers to lekker? ;)

Same ingredients as crepes/pancake.
The mini pan rotates on the fire and the vendor has to spin it manually with a handle tool.

The fire under the mini pan

For topping, you can ask for sugar, chocolate or strawberry condensed milk, cheese, chocolate sprinkles or banana, it's your choice! *wink*

The local bananas.

Fold the kue leker.
In a plastic bag.
Not really recommended actually to put in a plastic bag because kue leker has crispy texture at the beginning when taken out directly from the mini pan, so the yummiest way to eat kue leker is right away :)

Doger Monyet
While I was waiting for the kue leker being made, I saw 4 men with a monkey walking into our direction.

They stopped directly across the kue leker vendor and started to let the monkey to do a performance. 2 men were in charge to play "music" ( hitting small drums), 1 man handled the monkey by pulling and pushing with a long chain then the other man started to walk around with a bowl in order to beg for some money from the people who were watching.

This performance called “Doger monyet” and has been performed more than 100 years in West Java.

Doger (in Sundanese - West Java language) means a female dancer; usually in a people's theater, and Monyet (in Indonesian language) means monkey.

Anyway, looking this kind of performance broke my heart. I feel so sorry for this little monkey that must work for these 4 healthy men.

I donated some money but then in my mind, I got a feeling that the monkey might not receive her "right" of the income share. Just imagine, how much money actually would be earned everyday from this kind of performance, not much that's for sure and need to be divided to those 4 men for their living :(

Good thing, I remembered that the kue leker vendor provides bananas for topping, so I asked him for a banana (of course, the banana wasn’t free).

Look how the little monkey enjoyed her banana. She must be feeling very hungry *sobs*

I wish I could give the little monkey a hug or at least a pat on her head.


  1. The kue leker is what we have here but being call apam balik if I am not mistaken. But here it was never that colorful. And no spinning of-course. It this new in Jakarta?

  2. Aww, Selby! Good for you, giving that monkey a banana! You're really sweet and thoughtful.

  3. Those crepes look so delicious! I love the pretty colors!

    What an adorable little monkey!

  4. The spinning pan is so neat and makes these yummy pancakes look so pretty!

  5. Oh, poor little monkey! She's so cute siting on her bike, but I feel badly for her attached to a chain like that :-( I'm gla you fed her.

    As for the strawberry condensed milk- yes please! What is it and can I have some?

  6. I love your pictures. That monkey is so cute.

  7. The kue is like the apom sold in Malaysia I think. But yours look very thin. ^-^

  8. The crepes looks yummy. I would want the strawberry.

  9. nice kue leker with entertainment as well....wat a great experience

  10. Oh the crepes look so delicious and the little one is just precious!

  11. good for you to buying a banana for the monkey. yeah poor thing got to work :(

  12. Thank you for giving the monkey a banana, breaks my heart too.

    Back onto your top post, they do look yummy.


  13. wow, a swirling pancake! now that's something that i've never seen before! great stuff, selba!

  14. Hi, I would like to tell you that you have got "Award".
    Come and claim it !

  15. i like the innovative swirling pan with a handle-and the poor monkey have to make a living too!

  16. awww.. so cute my fellow munkey! hehe

    that colorful crepe looks amazing especially during the whirling of the hot plate!

  17. This pancake thing sounds lovely!! I am so sorry to hear about the monkey!! OOOOOOH,...

    Is that sort of thing allowed in your country? It breaks my hart too!
    I am so glad that you gave it a banana!

    The coloured pancakes sounds so tasty to me!

  18. photocrazy: as I understand, apom balik is more like our martabak mini ;) No, it’s not really a new food but frankly speaking, it’s new for me, hehehe…

    mica: I was trying the best I could do for the poor monkey :(

    faith: the colors of the kue leker are pretty :)

    5 star foodie: it’s interesting to use a spinning pan :)

    monica: *nods* poor little monkey…
    the kue leker is the same as crepes but because it’s so thin so it becomes crunchy :)

  19. helene: thank you, Helene :)

    food paradise: Yes, this kue leker is very thin :)

    peachkins: the taste of the strawberry condensed milk is lovely :)

    simplegirl: another experience, that’s for sure ;)

    donna-ffw: agreed with you, Donna :)

  20. noobcook: it’s so sad, I really hope that those men are treating good the monkey.

    dustjacket attic: It’s my pleasure to give the monkey a banana :)

    nic: Thanks, Nic, glad that I can share it here :)

    BoT: Thank you, Alice! I’m going to post it soon :)

  21. foodbin: Not only human need to make a living but even animals…

    cumi&ciki: it’s interesting, ya? ;)

    sophie: yes, the doger monyet performance is allow and even it’s considered as one of our heritage culture. I think in the old days, it’s more acceptable because there’s not much entertainment like these days beside the people were more generous and kind to animal.

  22. Love it. These look very good to me. That monkey is so cute.

  23. FwLT: Glad that you love it :)

  24. That man must be in good shape riding around this that cart on his bicycle! The crepes look yummy!

    I can't imagine seeing a monkey performing right on the street. I hope they are taking care of her!

  25. Those pancakes look yummy! What a cute little monkey! Thanks for sharing...



  26. I just love this post, Selba! A touch of everything. A lotta sweet, a little not so sweet...Thank you so much for sharing...

  27. The kue lekkers look delicious, thanks darling for taking us to parts of the world and introducing us to foods that we would never have imagined. I love your blog and thanks for stopping by mine and leaving sweet comments.

    Duchess xx

  28. I would want chocolate and coconut with a little condensed milk - and monkeys with clothes on -FREAKY!

  29. the ungourmet: I believe it took some practice to be able to ride that kind of bicycle :D Yeah... I really hope that those men are taking good care the little monkey.

    rosa: Pleased to be able to share :)

    momgateaway: thanks!

  30. louise: I'm so happy that you love this post, Louise :)

    duchess: it's my pleasure to share something else from my country through my blog :)

    doggybloggy: you meant cheese instead of coconut, rite? Hehehe... I think monkeys with clothes on are cuteeeee like little kids.. :D

  31. Love the crepes, don't love seeing the monkey tied up. :( I'm so happy that you gave her a banana. That's probably the only kindness she got all day.

  32. I love all this different cart food. I wish we had a lot of this here in the States.

    And Miss Monkey is so adorable. I am so glad you gave her a banana - that was a great idea. Good thinking Selba!

  33. spinning pan? wat a cool idea to ensure even heating. such interesting stalls you have!

  34. Those crepes look fantastic! The filling makes the crepe look very colorful and interesting. It is good that you gave the monkey the banana- the picture with her sitting at the motorcycle makes her look so tired! I like how she studies the banana while opening it. So cute.

  35. The colour for the kue leker looks like a rainbow. Interesting!! The little monkey looks so cute with the mini motobike. ;)

  36. Very thoughtful of you to give the monkey a banana, and I can understand your feeling of compassion ... I hope the monkey is treated well, too.

    The crispy crepe/pancakes look very tasty, and I would like to try one, with a glass of that orange juice...although one might be tart and the other sweet! Thanks for sharing more of your daily life with us :)

  37. we called it apam balik
    and it serve same as kue leker.....
    the rainbow color not seen in here yet.
    I would like to see your version of martabak mini.

  38. cute pink pancake , cute little small tiny monkey , cuter 4 dirty lazy old men
    but we wanna only happy selby !

  39. palidor: I really hope that some other people who watch the monkey would give her something to eat :)

    little inbox: Yes, so cute like a kid, hehehe

    lori: there are some other model of carts, next time, I will try to capture them ;) I wish I could give more to the monkey.

  40. babe_kl: yes, a creative way :)

    ETE: I wonder how many hours does the monkey have to work in a day… I agreed, the monkey is so cute while opening the banana:D

    FFT: I think the person who made the mini motorbike is quite talented. Monkeys are so cute like children ;)

  41. glo: Yeah, hopefully the monkey is treated well :) A good idea to have the crispy crepe (kue leker) with the orange juice.

    pisang goring: Isn’t martabak mini resembles more to apam balik?

    BSG: awwwww… that’s so sweet of you all! Thanks for bringing a smile :D

  42. Thanks darling it is so sweet of you to stop and congrat me on the award. Have a fantastic weekend!!

    Talk to you later

    Duchess xx

  43. Kue Leker! It has been such a long time since I had this, probably almost 15 years ago outside my primary school... I have not seen this in so long. Where in Central Java did you find it? If you ever see it around Jakarta please let me know! Just drop me a line on my blog:

    I loved kue leker so much, its a sin that it's not around in Jakarta that much anymore...

  44. there's always a guy selling it in front of my old school, Tirta Marta in Pondok Indah. I used to buy it all the time after school. It really is lekker! :)


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