September 10, 2009

Buka Puasa Delicacies

Bulan Ramadan or Bulan Puasa is a great time for Muslim as well as non Muslim families in Sarawak.

Those of us who have been living next door to Muslim families only know too well that it is a month of holy fasting and lots of religious observations have to be made. It is also a time for Muslim mothers to take special care in preparing the best menu for their loved ones. Sometimes they will seek out old and traditional recipes from aunts and friends for the special month. The Pasar Ramadan too will include the best of recipes for the discerning crowd. Some kuih from Sarawak are really memorable. Dodol from the old days seem to be a great favourite among the elders but today not many can really make it well. I personally love dodol made from pumpkin. But for a few years I have not been able to taste it.

Fasting is a good practice. But for the non Muslims it is a time to enjoy the special food associated with the Ramadan month as we can easily buy the delicacies in the special Ramadan Bazaar.

As a Sarawakian living in Miri I love to mingle with the crowd and seek out the best delicacies I love since young. They are like good brands which never fail you in taste and I always feel the special joy and nostalgia eating them. Very often the banana leaf wrapped kuih somehow bring back the smells of Kampong Nyabor where I grew up to the present time.

These are the photos I have taken to show Sarawakian sweets and special dishes. There are of course many others. But I have selected typical Sarawakian delicacies here.

Kuih Tako which is very refreshing. The pandan leaves give the kuih as special "kick"

Kerabu Paku - use only the freshest paku and the best dried prawns. A good squeeze of limes would give this dish a wonderful taste.

Mee and Mee Hoon on huge platters sold by a charming lady.

Dadih - very nice and cooling indeed.

Kuih bajong

Kuih takir

Kuih bongkol or kuih jongkong - extremely popular with Sarawakians - it is rich and usually very refine and well made.

Delicious homemade smoked beef - good to the last sinew.

Sarawak's Umai - tenggiri must be fresh.

Kerabu midin- midin is only available in Sarawak but I heard that it can be grown in West Malaysia. Hope someone has tried it on a large scale.


Ah Ngao said...

mmm,...drool lah,especially the midin - really looks good,should taste good.midin i heard can be cultivated,but i wonder how true it is.

Uncle Lee said...

Hello Sarawakiana, nice food here, some never seen before.
I guess where you are its local dishes.
I miss visiting my Malay friends at Hari Raya, for the food and kuehs.
Especially I love Malay food.
I would skip breakfast before going visiting, ha ha....
I love kerabu, and that mee hoon looks nice.
Best regards, Lee.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Ah Ngao
Yes I think Sarawakians must try their best to cultivate meedin and even paku...then we can just have meedin in our backyard growing in their plots!
May be one day we can even have preserved meedin and sell them like the kim chi of Korea!

Just dreaming on paper (if there is such a term...)
Have a good weekend.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Uncle Lee
Yes Sarawak food is quite different from West Malaysian food.
The mee hoon we cook over here is different too...and we have one that is green in colour created by frying the mee hoon with pounded cangkok manis (or sayur manis). Cooked with a lot of our pounded dried prawns this is a great dish to serve for festive season.
Today many Foochows even stir fry mee suah (longevity noodles) with this special sayur manis (the Sabahans claim it as their Sayur Sabah).
The local kuihs /kuehs are very very nice.

We tend to use a lot of pepper in our cooking here.

Have a good day and thanks for visiting.

Anonymous said...

This year's Pasar Ramadan is not that hebat..but we can still buy some of the best Sarawakian kuih and goodies...

The Pasar Tani is a good place to get Sarawakian kuih if you like....

Nice blog.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Anon
Thanks for visiting and the tips.

Will try to go to the Pasar Tani and check out the nice delicacies.

Sibu Tales : Liver in the Noodles and other stories

I grew up in Sibu where the butchers' corner was the most significant "part" of the old market. It was where many people wo...