Hari Raya Puasa is around the corner (15 June), and food is a huge part of the occasion. After a month of fasting during Ramadan, the Muslim community in Singapore celebrates this day by donning brand new traditional Malay wear, observing the annual tradition of visiting houses of family members, relatives and friends, and preparing and digging into grand feasts, with dishes ranging from mains like lontong with sayur lodeh to traditional and modern Malay snacks. With so much food during the Raya season, we’ve prepared a rundown of the more popular items so that you won’t miss the good stuff!
Ayam Masak Merah
A dish of chicken coated with spicy tomato sauce, this is popular in many Malay households.
This vegetable side dish consists of tahu (tofu), tempeh (fermented tofu) and green beans. It’s also spicy and has coconut milk added to it for flavour.
This dish is a soup prepared from vegetables in coconut milk, and is usually eaten with lontong, lemang or ketupat.
Popular around the world, this spicy beef stew is a savoury dish cooked with plenty of spices and coconut milk.
These spicy fried coconut flakes are made from sautéing grated coconut; they’re usually eaten with staples or other dishes.
Sambal Tumis Telur
Hard-boiled eggs cooked with sambal (chili paste).
A Malay rice cake wrapped in banana leaves and boiled, this dish can act as a staple food instead of steamed rice, and is usually eaten with other dishes like serunding, sambal tumis telur and sambal goreng.
Similar to lontong, ketupat is a type of dumpling made from rice wrapped in palm leaves, and is served as a staple food and usually eaten with other dishes.
Like lontong and ketupat, lemang is also a staple dish and eaten with other side dishes. It’s made of glutinous rice, coconut milk and salt, and cooked in a bamboo stick lined with banana leaves.
Also known as layered cake, this snack comes in two varieties: cakes with ordinary layers and those with designs like patterns, motifs or shapes, all of which must have at least two colours.
Also known as tapioca cookies, these powdery sweet snacks come in various bite-sized shapes and are known for melting in the mouth the second you bite into them.
The pineapple tart is a common sight in Singapore and popular during Chinese New Year too; traditionally, the tart has a ball of pineapple paste sitting on top of a round, buttery and salty pastry.
This white bite-sized cookie, also known as a ghee cookie, is soft, slightly crunchy and melts in your mouth.
This bite-sized pandan-infused snack comes in the shape of a green ball and is filled with gula melaka (palm sugar) and covered with coconut shavings.
A biscuit containing peanuts and coated with powdered sugar, makmur is usually leaf-shaped.
Kek Sarang Semut
Also known as honeycomb cake because of how it looks, this light, airy and sweet cake is made with caramelised sugar.
Almond London Cookies
These long bite-sized cookies are coated with chocolate sauce and topped with chopped almonds.
This sweet snack is a modern take on the kuih tart, with Nutella replacing the pineapple as a topping.
As the name suggests, this snack is made of oven-baked cornflakes coated with honey, sugar and butter.
Also known as rose biscuits, these sweet and crispy snacks come in the shape of a flower.
Kek Tapak Kuda
This Malay version of the Swiss roll comes in a variety of flavours, from the usual cream filling to chocolate, strawberry, durian and Nutella fillings.
This is the halal version of the popular Chinese New Year snack, bak kwa. Instead of it being barbecued pork, these thinly sliced pieces of dried meat come in different flavours like chicken and beef.