Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Spirit of Hari Raya Feast

Each year, Malaysians from all walks of life, irrespective of their ethnic origin and faith join hands to celebrate the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri together with their Muslims friends. This celebration that falls on the first day of Syawal (the 10th month of the Islamic calendar) is celebrated with great enthusiasm, especially after the Muslims had completed a month of fasting during Ramadan (the 9th month in the Islamic calendar).

Besides the sumptuous array of delicious food, songs and dances, this festive celebration inculcates the spirit of sharing, caring and forgiving. Similar to the Thanksgiving Day celebration, the Hari Raya Aidilfitri instills Muslims with the need to seek forgiveness and blessings from other fellow Muslims and friends. In this way, Muslims can fortify their relationships among their friends and relatives by choosing peace and harmony as their way of life.During this month-long celebration, Muslims will invite their relatives and friends over to their homes to join in the celebration and merriment. This special invitation – which is open to all visitors, irrespective of their race, creed and social status – is generally known as the “Open House” – a tradition that our foreign visitors find very fascinating. Primarily, the objective of the “Open House” is to create harmony and forge a better understanding among friends and relatives. This is the time of the year that you can sample the most delicious dishes from the traditional Malay culinary repertoire.

Being away from Malaysia for so long makes me reflect on many things in my life be it my root, my homeland Malaysia, my family, my friends and many celebrations. In the spirit muhibbah and Hari Raya our group of Malaysian ladies decided to cooked some traditional Hari Raya fares for our  monthly meet up. We prepared rendang ayam (dried curry chicken) serunding (shredded beef) sayur lodeh (vegetable stew) nasi impit (pressed rice) lemang (glutinous rice) mee goreng, lychee and pineapple agar agar, kuah kacang (peanut sauce) and dodol. Here are some pictures of what we prepared to share it with you.

Nasi Impit (pressed rice) and Lemang (glutinous rice)

Sayur Lodeh (vegetable stew in coconut milk)

Kuah Kacang (peanut sauce)

Serunding Daging (spicy shredded beef) - thanks Zue for the serunding.

Rendang Ayam (dried chicken curry)

Mee Goreng (fried noodles)

Dodol (toffee-like delicacy made from glutinous rice flour, coconut milk and palm sugar)

Cookies - pandan cookies, mama carries and pineapple tarts (thanks Zue for the tarts)

Lychee and Pineapple Jelly
Even though we are not back in Malaysia but I don’t think we miss anything this year as we had a great time preparing some of the food and eating it. Needless to say, I'm grateful to be able to celebrate the season, not just with great food but with wonderful company in an environment of peace and love. Now we are anticipating for our November Deepavali celebration. Do come back to check out what we cook on that day ;)


Mat Gebu said...

Selamat hari raya gert....waaaa...i salute kat u lahh!!....

ijayuji said...

Hi gert, spirit of 1 malaysia!!

omg! dodol! i haven't eat dodol since i left malaysia 7 years ago! wnt to make my own tp mcm tak sure leh buat takut 1/2 way i surrender :D still searching resepi dodol yang senang untuk beginner like me, ooooo u make me homesick lorr :D. btw, i dah buat ur old fashioned butter cake and it turned out great :-), i really love the taste, thanks again!


nutpi said...

I found you through grace kitchen corner and got hooked! You have some lovely recipes that I must try. my husbands favorite malaysian dish is beef rendang, do you have a good recipe that you would like to share?

Jeannie said...

What a lovely spread! All looking so delicious and tempting too! I am sure you enjoyed eating them all.

MaryMoh said...

That's a lot of awesome food. I really love that daging good with rice. I'm sure you have so much fun there.

K.Nor said...

wahhh gert!! walau m'sia jauh di mata, namun dekat di hati kalau camni kan.. suka tengok all the dishes tu.. :)

WendyinKK said...

Wah Zue sent you the serunding and cookies???? So nice of her

It's nice to feel the muhibbah spirit so so many miles way.
Keep it up :)

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

This is such an amazing spread! I always thought that only Muslim Malays celebrate like this! Amazing!

ann low said...

Oh Gert! I must come to your house next year for all these delicious meal! ;))

Shereen said...

Gosh,Gert..what a feast!...jealous gua.Post la sikit kat!The lemang is from scratch or instant?..I have never seen instant lemang.You must pass me the kuah kacang recipe la.I have tried many recipes but somehow the taste is just not the same.I wanted to try Ika Bangkok's recipe recently but I was feeling unwell.S say we'll be packing our bags and pindah next door to you...hahahah.

ReeseKitchen said...

WA, so nice to see all the nice food and so nice that you have good companies too...:)

Anonymous said...

Looks scrumptious slurrrp! You are such a fantastic cook. Btw, you make me home sick ;)
Many thanks!

Su-yin said...

Oh wow, look at all that food. I was really craving some lemang this year but had no idea where to find some in London, lol. Great spread, and I'll look forward to seeing your Deepavali spread, mutton curry and all! :P

Lisa Ho said...

very delicious and 'meriah' Raya spread... :)

Anonymous said...

What an uplifting 1Muhibbah spirit. Not to mention the gloriously delicious Raya feast.I can just taste the lemang and rendang.What could be better than in the presence of great company and makan.

Wish I live closer!!:(.


ICook4Fun said...

Mat, Selamat Hari Raya to you too :)

Ijayuji, yea so happen semalam Hari Malaysia. Buat dodol memang lah susah. Kena kacau lama lama kan. Our friend brought this all the way from Malaysia to share it with us. Memang lah sedap :)

Nutpi, thanks for stopping by. Yes I do have a Rendang Beef recipe here. You can look under 'Beef'

Jeannie, thank you.

Mary Moh, yes the serunding is good.

ICook4Fun said...

K.Nor, what to do. Duduk jauh jauh kenalah masak sendiri bila nak makan kan. Kalau kat M'sia I dah visit all the kawan kawan blogger yang celebrate Hari Raya. Tak payah susah susah masak ha ha...

Wendy, Zue share the serunding and pineapple tarts with us. Yeap it is all about the muhibbah spirit :)

Shirley, nope in Malaysia all of us celebrate Hari Raya.

Anncoo, sure. You are most welcome. Maybe you can join us for Deepavali celebration in November :)

Shereen, tak payah jealous. You dah nak balik Malaysia and still sempat to savour all these. You can get instant lemang now from the supermarket. Make sure you get some when you go home. I will send you the kuah kacang recipe. By the way, our neighbor 2 doors away is selling their house. Interested to buy it??

Reese, yea all my friends here are great. Love them a lot.

Anon, thank you. Actually all the 4 of us cooked the food. Not only me :) You can always cook some dishes for yourself. By the way, where are you?

Su-yin, not sure if you can get lemang in London. Next time if you go back to Malaysia remember to buy some instant kind and take it back with you. I got mine from Malaysia.

Ho Ho Ho, thank you. Memang meriah. Good food and most of all good company.

Lee, how are you doing? Your place is not too far from us. Maybe you can join us for Deepavali?

daphne said...

Looks like u guys enjoyed a feast!! Great company as well which is a huge bonus! I do miss celebrating hari raya with my malay friends.. now i know why.. it's the food as well as the festiveness!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Wor wor, all foods look so delicious and yummy. Glad to see your all had fun in this kind of meaningful gathering. Can't wait to see your Deepavali celebration.

Pete said...

Wah, so many Raya goodies!

mycookinghut said...

Wow!!! So much of food! I really want to dive in!

My Little Space said...

Wow, no jokes! Full course meal... just like those 5 star restaurant buffet. Dodol pun ada... bukan main-lah! ^_^ What a great celebration! Make sure you guys have lots of fun & food.
Cheers, Kristy

Aldy said...

Gert, What a great celebration! Full of Love + Delicious food! I think it's a beautiful tradition!

Cheers, Aldy :)

ICook4Fun said...

Daphne, we had a great time bonding with each other and good food too :)

Sonia, yes we tried doing this once a month.

Pete, :)

Leemei, you live too far away if not you can join us makan makan :)

Kristy, ha ha.. the dodol was the best. All the way from Malaysia.

Aldy, yes love all my friends. They are the best :)

Pei-Lin said...

Gert, I should have studied in PA instead so that I could cook/bake and eat with all you talented ladies!!! I wouldn't be so, so homesick back then!! Why did I end up in MN!!?? HAHA!

Yup, being Malaysian is an identity we're "stuck" with. But hey, regardless of what's happening around us, we will always cherish our multicultural heritage. I love when my Muslim friends and neighbors invite me over for kenduri! It's an opportunity to bond! =) Kita kan semua anak-anak Malaysia?