It’s the month of Ramadhan and bazaars are taking over the streets with endless mouth-watering grub. Keep an eye out for these buka puasa (breaking fast) must-tries!
Bubur lambuk, a type of rice porridge, is a staple for many Muslims while breaking fast. The preparation is traditionally a communal activity carried out by a large group at the mosque.
Made differently in each state of Malaysia, the dish is essentially rice cooked with various types of spices, herbs, meat, dried shrimp, coconut milk and oil for a few hours. Masjid Jamek Kampung Baru is a hotspot for authentic bubur lambuk, but it can also be found at most Ramadhan bazaars.
The appetising spicy and rich gravy is what people look for in this dish named after its cooking method. Rendang is made with chicken or beef, which is slow-cooked in coconut milk, ground spices, ginger, chilli, lemongrass, garlic and shallots for up to four hours until the mixture is perfectly reduced.
Have rendang with steamed ketupat (rice dumpling), lemang (bamboo rice) or plain white rice to soak up the gravy and taste the heady aroma.
You won’t be able to resist the charred and smokey goodness of ayam percik. Before being grilled on bamboo skewers over a bed of charcoal, pieces of chicken are marinated with generous amounts of ginger, onion, coconut milk and cream, chilli and asam which gives the meat a tangy taste.
Bring home servings of ayam percik to add to the table and enjoy it with rice to make the best out of the sweet and spicy sauce.
A popular Malaysian street food even during non-festive seasons, this spicy and savoury pancake is a common feature in Arabic cuisine. Neatly stuffed in a thick omelette-like skin are spiced vegetables and minced meat, which are then folded and cooked through on both sides on a large fry pan.
Divided into fours, murtabak is perfect for sharing with family and goes well with some curry or gravy. You’ll find different variations of this moreish and filling dish at every bazaar you visit, with beef, chicken and mutton being the most common.
A long omelette sandwich is how one would describe roti John. It is believed to have originated from Singapore in the 60s, when a hawker served this alternative creation to an Englishman who wanted a hamburger.
Variants of roti John have emerged ever since, with egg and minced meat as the main ingredients. It’s finished with generous lashings of sauce which are added to the open-faced loaves after they are browned.
An iftar feast (the evening meal at which Muslims break their fast) wouldn’t be complete without some dessert! You won’t miss the abundance of traditional Malaysian kuih (pastries or cakes) that come in all sorts of colours and are simply irresistible.
Those with a sweet tooth will find relish in kuih lapis, seri muka, kuih ketayap and more, most of which contain ingredients like pandan, gula melaka and coconut milk. You’ll also come across savoury options such as curry puffs, cucur badak and kuih koci which are filled with chicken, sardine and dried prawn.