September 15, 2010

Hari Raya Aidil Fitri in Miri

A Sarawak Raya Open House is often very l Malaysia(Re: recent emphasis on this pol-soc catch phrase) in concept . All races are invited to share the joys of Raya by most Muslim friends. I visited an old friend (English teacher of Sekolah Sri Mawar) Cikgu Dayangku who is from Niah and her husband who is from Singapore together with two other teachers from the school. You can tell from the photo how diverse a group we are!! Hui Ling has been a Chinese language teacher in the school for more than `19 years and Leslie is from Australia and has a Bidayuh husband.

Every table in the living room and patio is laden with lovely food : biscuits which are both traditional and modern are placed in beautiful jars to allow guests to help themselves.

Food served by Dayangku is truly remarkable as she is a good cook.
But this year her daughter (final year Engineering student) bought the
kuih muih (cookies) from Johor. This is the ever popular Batang Burok a biscuit only found in Malaysia.

Cheese and nut biscuits - this is evidence that trends in food and flavours occur everywhere in Sarawak.

Prawn rolls (a Chinese -Malay fusion cookie) is ubiquitous and is a favourite for children of all races because it is crunchy and tasty.

Melt in the mouth pea flour biscuit - Traditional Malay and Nyonya biscuit. This is hard to make and always a must have.

Peanut biscuits are lovely and these are particularly pretty in a modern way.

Sarawak layer cake is sliced into dainty pieces. Those which are well made do not crumble into small pieces as the ultra slim jam layers keep the other layers together.

Another version of Sarawak layer cake - chocolate and cheese layers.

Delicious heavy Sarawak cakes. the middle lot is the famous Sarawak Steamed Prune cake which takes 6 hours to steam.

A whole meal is usually served  buffet style after the guests have a good conversation. A good event for children and even adults to learn how to socialise and be politically correct in different circles of the Malaysian world.

Heavy Sarawak chicken kurma cooked by Dayangku herself.

Special black beef with cashew nuts - this is a very unusual dish which is not often served. For special occasions only.

Mixed vegetables in oyster sauce.

Beef and potato  yellow curry

Lemang made from local Sarawak glutinous rice.

One may receive many invitations to attend open house during Raya but it is always wise to only savour a small portion at a time. The rich coconut milk used in the cooking of curry might be too rich for some senior citizens and the sweet drinks may be too fizzy for small children.

Visiting friends is always fun and we re-establish ties and re-affirm friendships. And the smells of cooking from the kitchen always remind me of home in Kampong Nyabor in Sibu.

This year I miss  dodol and the cooking of dodol in the backyard!! Times are changing. We are not only slotted into time frames of school schedule but also  work proportions by the demands of the society. There are a lot of "old activities" we do not do any more. Furthermore we can order our biscuits and clothes on line. And we can  even send our cakes overseas by Pos Laju . We are in the 21st century!!

 We promise to visit Dayangku again next Hari Raya!! Thanks for the sumptuous meal!! Superb!! Wasserman as the old catch phrase goes......


Anonymous said...

After this, I afraid the sugar level increased in the blood

Ghosty Nana said...

we had lemang here, but not cook with bamboo

Sarawakiana@2 said...


I just had my blood test this morning...6.2 which is one point higher than usual...thanks for the reminder...I am afraid the curries have done me bad.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

N....great...what do you eat your lemang with? I know in Irian Jaya there are many dishes cooked with condensed that still true?

Anonymous said...

Hari Raya was often more wonderful in Kampong where my friends and I walked from house to house (even people we did not know would invite us in...) My kampong friends told us that families compete who finish their drinks first...and that's mean that they were more popular...I like that and it remains in my heart. That was real open house those long ago days. Thanks for the article.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Sarawakania, the food and cakes look different to West the cakes.
Guess you and all had a good time too.
And I bet lots of people getting surprises when stepping on their weighing machines.
Best regards, lee.

t.p.tong said...

Oh ! see those lovely colorful cakes ! they are my favourite !!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Anony...yes I remember my days in Sibu. Kampong Nyabour knew every one of my siblings and we could go in and out of the houses especially those between Kaipeng Road and Brooke Drive!! These were special families. Now shophouses on the land. Kampong moved to Bandung area already for the last 20 years.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Uncle Lee
thanks for dropping by. East and West Malaysia are really different. I think we have been practising lMalaysia concept longer too.
I think we don't want to look a scales for a while....have a great weekend....

Sarawakiana@2 said...

TP Tong
Yes these Sarawak cakes are really lovely and should go global. The layer cakes are healthy (except for the strong colours) as they are not sweet.

Ann said...

Hari Raya was a happy time for us kids, our immediate neighbours were Malays in the government quarters.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes...I thought in those days the best cakes were made by the Malay ladies who were married to government servants. They had one special cake in the middle which was never cut....The Hari Raya Special with all the nice icing....Remember that?

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