Ramadhan; the holy month most everyone is looking forward to. This is a time of worship, a time of repentance, a time to better oneself and test our willpower to its utmost level.
Muslims left, right and centre all getting prepped up for this holy time of the year. Fasting from the break of dawn to dusk can be a tiring experience and it will no doubt leave you starving for food but what do you plan to consume for ‘buka puasa’ is always a question on everyone’s mind.
Let us get into the top 10 most common food that people eat for ‘buka puasa’ or also known as iftar.
Photo credit : Styledcraze
The very first on our list is none other than the extremely popular ‘buka puasa’ food of choice; dates or also known more commonly in Bahasa Melayu as “kurma”. Dates are not only very beneficial to the health as it is a very good source of vitamins, minerals and healthy oils but also tastes just as delicious.
Aside from that, most Muslims are already probably aware that this lovely fruit is also sunnah to be consumed as they were a favourite of our Prophet Muhammad’s SAW. Dates are so popular for ‘buka puasa’ that you can find boxes upon boxes of them sold everywhere from your local groceries store to the ‘pasar malam’ of your housing area. So, the next time you see them, don’t hesitate to get a few boxes.
Most everyone will laden their tables with scrumptious food for their personal ‘buka puasa’ but what exactly makes it onto the table is usually a classic dish that has withstood the test of time.
Photo credit: Nasi Lemak
A popular food item that is never left out on a ‘buka puasa’ menu is ‘nasi lemak kukus’ and ‘ayam golek’.
Photo credit : Ayam Golek
The ‘nasi lemak kukus’ basically translates to steamed fatty rice served with some delicious rotisserie chicken (ayam golek). Served with a healthy side of friend peanuts, slices of cucumbers and extra spicy sambal, this is a dish that never gets old. Most families will either cook it themselves if they have the time and energy for it but there are also many families who will just buy it from the nearest ‘Ramadhan bazaar’.
Photo credit : Nasi Ambeng
Some foreign dishes have also grown increasingly popular as a favourite for ‘buka puasa’ and one of them is ‘nasi ambeng’. This Indonesian dish is served with a somewhat strange combination of side dishes. The fragrant white rice will usually be accompanied by curry or fried chicken, bean sprouts, dried coconut flesh and yep, here comes the weirdest part – fried mee or mee hoon.
Most everyone knows that mee or mee hoon is served separately and eaten on its own but this dish has combined it as a side with white rice. Despite the foreign concept, our palates have adapted quite enthusiastically to it. There isn’t a bazaar out there that doesn’t have one stall at least selling this as its item for ‘buka puasa’.
Photo : Kabsa rice
Another foreign food that is growing in terms of popularity and that is the middle eastern favourite, kabsah rice. This is a delicious dish made up of long grained or basmati rice cooked with a plethora of spices that not only make the rice very fragrant but also absolutely good enough to eat it on its own.
The rice is always eaten with some type of meat and in Malaysia it is more commonly eaten with either chicken or lamb. The meat is almost often cooked in a very unique way whereby it is placed in a deep hole in the ground and is cooked inside. A more modernised way of cooking the meat is via the ever-trusty pressure cooker. Whichever way it is prepared, there is no denying the very lovely taste of kabsah rice which makes for a very popular choice for ‘buka puasa’.
Of course, one can hardly find a household without some form of ‘kuih’ on the table for ‘buka puasa’. When we speak of ‘kuih’ we are talking about the uncountable types of popular ‘kuih’ found in Malaysia.
Amongst the more popular choices include seri muka, kuih dadar, tepung pelita, kuih lapis, pulut inti, pulut udang, karipap and many more. The best thing about these ‘kuih’ is that you have just so many choices to pick for your buka puasa and it’s as if you can never go bored.
There are savoury ‘kuih’ and the sweet ones to decide on or if you would like the ones made with ‘gula melaka’ or covered in desiccated coconut. Let’s not even get started on the ones made with a healthy dose of ‘santan’ (coconut milk). Can we say bon appetit!?
Everyone knows how much Malaysians simply adore going to a mamak to have some murtabak or roti canai. Well, these types of food grow ridiculously popular during the month of Ramadhan. Almost every single bazar will be selling them and the mamak stalls or restaurants themselves will be making these bad boys nonstop once it’s ‘buka puasa’ time.
Photo : Murtabak
Most everyone will be purchasing some delicious murtabak with either chicken or beef filling inside during this holy month. There is also roti boom, a type of thicker roti often served with sugar or made sweet. This is an incredibly delicious and decadent dish and can be a bit on the unhealthy side too. Just take care to eat everything in moderation and you’re good to go.
Another product that is selling like hot cakes are the ever popular ‘burger bakar’…or in this case, we should say that they sell like hot burgers. Burger bakar are different from the normal by-the-roadside-burger-cart you see every day. These burgers are usually homemade with real minced meat used to make a patty that is packed with one hell of a punch.
Burger bakar are still sold at an affordable price but their taste is similar to that of a fancy burger you’d get from restaurants like TGIF or Tony Roma’s. Nowadays, they have branched out to begin selling their products at bazaars during Ramadhan. A most a delicious treat indeed if you’re craving for a carnivorous fix.
When we think of ‘buka puasa’ we think of variety as what we usually go out to buy are food that comes from all over Malaysia. A popular choice for food hailing from the east coast of Malaysia is the ‘nasi kerabu’.
Photo : Nasi Kerabu
This is a very extraordinary looking dish as the rice is blue in colour thanks to the butterfly-pea flower petals used to cook the rice. It is eaten with a number of side dishes including but not limited to salted egg, fried fish, all kinds of vegetables and herbs more commonly known as ulam and even keropok (crackers).
This delicious Malay rice dish has grown popular enough to even have ‘nasi goreng’ versions of it.
Photo : Bubur Lambuk
‘Bubur Lambuk’ is also a popular food item during the month of Ramadhan. Most of the time, ‘bubur lambuk’ is made as a group of effort by the people at the mosque with the intention to serve the people who go to pray at the mosque.
The dish is actually a type of rice porridge made with some spices and some local herbs known as ‘pucuk paku midin’. It is a savoury porridge that is both delicious and easy to make.
Last but not least, is the timeless and mouthwatering ‘roti John’. The roti john can only be described as an omelette sandwich that is made in a completely different way than what you would imagine. People use a long, baguette-like bread to make roti john. They will usually mix the omelette component but whisking the eggs, meats and onions together in a mixing bowl.
Photo : Roti John
Then they would scoop up the mixture and pour it all over the frying pan, spreading out the mixture so that it’s properly coated. Then the cook will then place the sliced breads onto the cooking mixture and let the omelette and bread sizzle together in one tantalising union of savoury goodness.
Wow, everything sounds so incredibly delightful, one can’t help but to feel hungry now. Always keep in mind though that Ramadhan is a month to test out one’s willpower. So, keep our minds sharp and our bodies healthy, fellow Muslims. Don’t go overboard with indulging ourselves with delicious food.
Article is written by:
Nur Jalilah Binti Abdul Aziz, freelance writer of this blog at Zaahara. Interests include blog writing, academic writing and creative writing.
-Photos are taken from google images
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