Indonesian Language Blog

Indonesian Fruit Vocabulary Posted by on Oct 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

Fruit (buah) is an important part of the Indonesian diet. Markets all over the massive archipelago nation are stocked with all kinds of fresh, tropical fruits. Before we get into how fruit is eaten in Indonesia, let’s learn some vocabulary.

Indonesian Fruit Vocabulary

Galungan offerings

Lots of fruit used in offerings on Hindu Bali.

Here are 30 Indonesian words for fruits. You’ll notice that some are exactly the same as English, or at least very close. You may also find some fruits you’ve never heard of. Indonesia is a country rich in fruits, some of which are not well-known in the western world.

  • alpukat = avocado

  • anggur = grapes

  • apel = apple

  • aprikot = apricot

  • asam jawa = tamarind

  • belimbing = starfruit

  • blewah = cantaloupe

  • bluberi = blueberry

  • buah naga = dragonfruit

  • delima = pomegranate

  • durian = durian

  • jambu air = water apple/rose apple

  • jambu biji = guava

  • jeruk = orange

  • kedondong = ambarella

  • kelapa = coconut

  • lici/leci = lychee

  • mangga = mango

  • manggis = mangosteen

  • markisa = passionfruit

  • nanas = pineapple

  • nangka = jackfruit

  • pepaya = papaya

  • persik = peach

  • pir = pear

  • pisang = banana

  • salak = snakefruit

  • semangka = watermelon

  • stroberi = strawberry

  • tomat = tomato

Fruit in the Indonesian Diet

Mmmm... jus alpukat.

Mmmm… jus alpukat.

There are many different ways that fruits are used in Indonesia. They can be made into juices, such as the delicious jus alpukat (avocado juice). It sounds healthy, but keep in mind that Indonesians like to add a fair amount of chocolate syrup and condensed milk. It might not be the healthiest drink, but it sure is delicious!

People also like to eat fried fruit – you’ll always find a fried fruit stand in an Indonesian market. Try some pisang goreng (fried bananas), which are a very popular snack. It’s also popular to cook fruit into cakes, such as bika ambon. They can also be sweetened and preserved into manisan buah (candied fruit), or made into keripik (chips).

One interesting way that fruit is used in Indonesian cooking is the common dish known as rujak. This is basically a fruit salad, but the kicker is the spicy palm sugar sauce that you put on it. There are rujak vendors on streets all across Indonesia, with different varieties on different islands. If you aren’t in Indonesia, why not try to make it yourself? Follow this recipe and give it a shot!

For a hilarious look at some exotic fruits from Indonesia, check out this video from DoStuff:

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.