BELULANG customary village, Mengesta, Penebel, Tabanan, has a unique tradition when celebrating Nyepi. People at the village prepare special food like rice cake (lontong) on this holiday. Such unique food is known as entil. Its delicious flavor can make people addicted. Since it is intended for consumption on Nyepi, it is only made once a year. How is the process to make it?
The process of making entil is like preparing rice cake. Its main ingredient is mixed with rice or red rice. Its difference lies in the wrap where it is not wrapped in banana leaf or coconut leaf, but in telangi leaf looking like an elongated galangal leaf. Such a leaf can be found in the fields or forest edge at local village. It is said the leaf makes the flavor of entil very tasteful, though it is not given salt or other seasonings.
The making of entil is commenced by selecting telangi leaf and it is then cut neatly. Furthermore, the rice is cleansed and put into the leaf, folded and tied with bamboo rope. The last process is boiling it until cooked. To get a chewy entil, it should be boiled up to four hours. “If it’s boiled less than that time, it will be soft and easy to rot,” said Ni Nengah Ratnadi, 40, one of the residents, Sunday (Mar 10). As boiling takes long time, the resident should start making it at 3:00 a.m. so that it could be served at noon.
This lontong entil can last up to four days. People can make it in different size. However, the size is averagely small, so that it is easy to eat. According to Ratnadi, making entil had become a tradition for generations. Thus, when Nyepi arrived, people always prepared the meals because Hindus were forbidden to cook on Nyepi. Then, the food was made a ready-to-served meal. Similarly, the serving was also accompanied with a natural side dish like chili, chicken, grated coconut and fried beans. Alternatively, people could also add it with clear soup or fern tips with grated coconut sauce. A family usually prepared entil up to 2 kg. This amount was allocated for family meals during the seclusion day.
Aside from tempting the appetite, in fact the entil retained a high philosophy. The philosophy was based on the double stacks. It signified that when celebrating Nyepi, people or customary villagers should control their mind, and then it was focused on the presence of God. “It is the meaning why entil is strongly tied and stacked doubly,” said Chief of Belulang customary village, Ketut Sudiarsa. Other than being served on Nyepi, it was usually used as a gift when people visited other family or relatives after Nyepi.
According to Sudiarsa, after Nyepi and organizing Ngembak Geni, local people visited one another, including families who lived outside the village. When gathering together, such entil was prepared for souvenirs. It was unknown when the tradition of making this entil commenced. However, people never left the tradition. Other than being delicious, it was also a natural, cheap and cholesterol-free food. As planned, the stalls near the Belulang hot spring would popularize it into typical food so that tourists could enjoy it without waiting for the celebration of Nyepi, coming once a year. (BTN/kmb)