Serabi, surabi or called srabi is an Indonesian pancake that is made from rice flour with coconut milk or just plain shredded coconut as an emulsifier. Most of traditional serabi tastes sweet, as the pancake usually eaten with kinca or thick golden-brownish colored coconut sugar syrup. However another savoury version also existed that uses oncom toppings. Each province in Indonesia has various serabi recipes corresponding to local tastes
The origin of serabi is obscure, however it is thought that the name serabi derived from “Serbia” as it came from the originator of the recipe who was at the time trying to recreate palačinke, an originally Serbian pancake. It was probably progenited during Dutch East Indies era where the immigrants from Serbia came to the Indies and left their marks in local culinary. Yet the rice flour—coconut milk based kue (delicacies) are already developed earlier in Indonesia.
The most basic traditional serabi only employs batter made from the mixture of rice flour, coconut milk and coconut sugar, cooked upon small earthenware frying pan on charcoal fire. Sometimes pandan leaves juice might be added into this batter mixture to add aroma as well as greenish color. During the cooking process, sometimes toppings are added upon the batter.
Today there are large variants of serabi toppings; from simple sprinkle of sugar, grated coconut flesh, sprinkles of coarsely ground peanuts, slices of banana or jackfruit, chocolate sprinkles, black glutinous rice, andoncom, to new recipe using grated cheddar cheese, corned beef, shredded chicken, slices of fresh strawberry or sausage, or even strawberry ice cream. The sauce (or more precisely syrup) to accompany serabi also varies; from traditional sweet kinca (golden colored coconut sugar syrup) sometimes creamed with coconut milk, to modern recipe using chocolate, strawberry or durian syrup, and mayonnaise or cream cheese for savoury western twist.
Both the cities of Bandung and Solo are famous for their version of serabi. Bandung surabi is dryer and firmer with pancake-like consistency, and today are well known for their rich variant of toppings, most are recently developed fusion recipes. The serabi from Solo however, are more traditional with a little bit half cooked with thin crispy crust and watery center with rich coconut milk taste. Famous serabi variant from Solo is called serabi notosuman.