It’s that time of the year that we have all been waiting for, that time when we open our doors to family and friends, near of far, known as open house, to indulge in all the food, oh, the glorious food. Loved ones are gathered around the table, buffet style and enjoy eating the delicious food prepared by our mothers and grandmothers, with the special recipes passed on from generations to generations.
Often, it is what you have been eating since you were small, when you first celebrated raya and whenever you encounter the food, it brings you to the lane of good old raya days. With that being said, raya food is about what is close to our heart.The kitchen will be busy with everyone arranging sweet delicacies, every one busy in their own ‘station’: slicing fruits, arranging cakes, cooking the main dishes. It’s definitely a fun filled day!
Visitors that come to the open house usually have their own expectations, one family may always serve a certain dish as their expertise, making it the family’s signature dish, sometimes maintained for the next generations.
The raya period unleashes traditional delights that we usually get on special occasions. Here is a list of food that you can expect (or are expecting) to find once you enter someone’s open house.
What is the first Malay food that comes to mind when you think of Hari Raya? Ketupad, they say. It is a traditional food made from glutinous rice and is usually wrapped in a triangular or square shaped casing using the leaves of the fan palm. Usually served with the tastiest rendang. Some might even agree, it won’t be Raya without it! Besides rendang, it may also be served with other side dishes such as chicken curry and satay and its peanut sauce.
Those chunks of tender meat infused with the flavour of aromatic spices come to mind when thinking about rendang. Everyone loves the taste of rendang and this mouth-watering dish is considered a must-have during Hari Raya. The intoxicating aroma of coconut and all the fragrant herbs will definitely give you an imaginary trail from the doorstep to the buffet table. Usually eaten by rice, or previously said dish, ketupad.
Serunding is essentially the Malay version of meat floss, a popular snack for both Ramadan and Raya. It’s made of beef and cooked until dry. It can be prepared with other meat such as anchovy, prawn, chicken, and fish. A raise of hands for those who taken a whole jar of serunding to snack on.
When you peek into the food warmers at someone’s house, you will probably find kelupis, which is a glutinous rice mixed with coconut milk, wrapped in a piece of leaf and steamed until it is cooked. That leaf itself produces an aromatic smell. Some kelupis has no filling, while some has prawn or chicken as their filling. I personally love one with spicy prawn filling! You can eat it like how it is, or with side dishes such as rendang or chicken curry. You see, there is just so much you can eat with with rendang!
5. Tapak kuda
Without a doubt, if you love nutella, you will definitely love this one. Translated, it means ‘horse shoe’, named after how it looks like. The nutella is the main filling in the middle, and every hari Raya, it would usually be served in the cake platter. Once, I remember going to an open house I saw with a plate full of Tapak Kuda with varitiey of fillings! Instead of nutella, they fill it with Tronky, Mars, Kit Kat, etc! It’s hard to resist to be honest.
6. Tart Nenas
Translated, it is Malay for Pineapple Tarts. They look like cookies, open face and has pineapple jam filling on top, or some might wrapped the jam with pastry. Crumbly and addictive, once you pop one in your mouth, you’ll be digging in for more!
7. Popia Goreng
One would always expect to find a jar full of mini popia. Inside there’s dried shredded prawn that comes in a jar. Visitors like myself would grab a handful of it and eat like as if it’s popcorn! It’s crunchy and also dangerously addictive.
8. Vico Cake
This cake is pretty new, say less than 10 years as compared to the other cakes. It is a kind of fudgy chocolate cake but this one contain Vico and plain Marie Biscuit. It is sweeter than other cakes served during raya and it is usually sprinkled with Nestum or oats. Always a favourite among my friends!
9. Kek Batik
This is an all time favourite. It’s a kind of fudgy chocolate cake but it is common to use Milo as one of the ingredients, and Marie Biscuit. It creates the stripy look of the cake. You might say, isn’t it like the Vico cake I listed previously? Well.. It’s about time to try these two and tell us which is in your favour.
10. Duit Raya!!
Well, it’s something inedible but you could buy food from it! Definitely something pretty much every one who isn’t married or have a job yet would expect. If you’re a kid especially, the green packets is what they expect the most. Eyes light up and some would actually peek into the envelope just after being given.
That is it friends, what are you expecting this raya? Comment below!