Paniki is an exotic dish made out of bats in the the North Sulawesi region of Indonesia. It is prepared by taking the skin off the bat and cooking the meat and bones with spicy ingredients in numerous ways. In Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi, it is one of the most famous and traditional dishes. The price of this dish in restaurants may vary depending upon the size of the bat used.
Not all bats are used to make this dish. Only fruit bats are considered to be delicious enough to cook. Fruit bats typically feed on a variety of fruits, such as jackfruit, lanzones, tree fruit, and durian. These bats are also eaten in some areas of the Philippines and are rapidly becoming endangered as a result. Some people say the taste of paniki is similar to that of chicken or duck. It is considered to be a luxury food in some regions because of the decreasing population of the fruit bats.
There are numerous ways to prepare this delicacy. Some burn the fur of the fruit bat, remove the stomach, and chop the remainder into pieces. They may braise it in a pan with other ingredients. such as red onions, green chillies, sugar, and salt. Others may skin the bat and remove the glands found at the base of its limbs. It may then be sauteed with onion, garlic, vinegar, pepper, and soya sauce. The meat is allowed to cook until it is tender — very little of the bat is wasted.
Not for the faint of heart, paniki is considered to be one of the most adventurous dishes to try in North Sulawesi. The food found in Manado is also widely known as Minhasan food. Minhasan cuisine is famed for its extreme spiciness and for its bizarre ingredients. The meats found in this region include everything from forest rats to wild boar, dogs, cats, pythons, and fruit bats. The people are known for eating any creature with legs — walking past a butcher shop can be quite an educational experience.
Some may use smoked bats for making paniki. Adobong paniki, or bat adobo, is a type of preparation that involves cooking the fruit bat in coconut milk. Eating paniki is also supposed to offer health benefits. Some believe that eating the dish helps in curing coughs, asthma, and any disease caused by the constriction of blood vessels. People may forgo cooking the fruit bat with oil or frying it in these cases because they believe it reduces the food's curative properties.