Feasting on Ramadan Delicacies
I returned yesterday after soaking myself in the local culture & feasting on local culinary delights of Ramadan of a few countries. It was that time of the year again. The followers of Islam in India, Malaysia, Turkey and other parts of the world fast during the daylight hours of the month long festival of Eid-ul-Fitr or Ramadan maintaining their self-resistance towards their needs and urges. Come evening, they break their fast with mouth watering dishes in this holy month with much gusto.
This year I followed the Ramadan food trail from Istanbul to Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. Each city had its own variation of certain culture and eateries that specialize in certain types of cuisines.
In Turkey I roamed around shops preparing and selling Turkish delights, saw families and friends waiting in parks for the sun to set so they can start their religious picnics and walked on streets at night to see the bubbly night life of Istanbul.
I meandered through Ramadan bazaars in Kuala Lumpur, attended a cookery class learning authentic Ramadan cuisines and insights of the local culture.
In Singapore, I had the experience to watch Chinese people burning Jose paper in every corner of the city to bring on good luck besides of course devouring delicious food.
Being part of a food culture that is rich in every way leaves you wanting & learning more of it.
If you are an adventurous eater who doesn’t mind street food, it is your month. A wide range of mouth-watering dishes …vegetarian, non-vegetarian, sweets and drinks tempt connoisseurs across the city to devour the festival’s food points.
In Kuala Lumpur there are several localities, where people put up temporary stalls to display their culinary skills. Kampung Baru is one village which even in normal days is known as the foodies’ delight. In the days of Ramadan, the enthusiasm is multifold and the place teems with preparations from every part of Malaysia and some international too.
There are stalls that prepare Ikan Bakar, one of my favourites. First time I had it in Port Dickson. It is fish wrapped in a banana leaf then grilled on a charcoal fire. Similarly you have rice wrapped & cooked in Bamboo called Lemang. Then you can see stalls that make Apam Baliks, normally seen only in Penang.
Since it’s a feast everyday, normally during Ramadan people in Kuala Lumpur prefer to buy food from outside instead of preparing it at home but they break the fast at home. There are also upper middle class who go to reputed hotels & restaurants with family & friends to break the fast in the traditional way starting with a date.
These days surely it is not only the Islamic community who come here for giving themselves a gastronomical treat!
In Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, Eid is more commonly known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Hari Raya Idul Fitri or Hari Raya Puasa. Hari Raya means ‘Celebration Day’. The Muslim community all over the world celebrate this day to conclude the Ramadan holy month of fasting. Hari Raya Aidilfitri is regarded as a merry celebration as it marks a person’s triumph and success on discipline and self-resistance which symbolizes refinement and rebirth.
Fast or no fast, your trip to Malaysia during this holy month is incomplete if you do not visit Kampung Baru.
If you want to travel places with me, I suggest you to join me on my Facebook travel page.
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