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......
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