Sunday, September 20, 2009


A week before the start of the Syawal month, travellers along the trunk roads and highways of Malaysia will be greeted with the familiar sight of makeshift lemang stalls. The lemang will be cooked on the spot.
I actually did not know until now that the lemang originated with the Iban people of Indonesia and Malaysia. For non Malaysian visitors to this blog, lemang is a traditional dish which is cooked in a hollowed bamboo stick lined with banana leaf to prevent the rice from sticking to the bamboo. It is made of glutinous rice and coconut milk, with salt added for taste. Some lemang recipes add corn and red bean. Lemang is usually eaten with rendang or curry. For Muslims celebrating Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, this is one very popular traditional dish eaten during the month-long celebrations.
I bought one bamboo stick of lemang for RM9.00 in Ipoh. The young Malay men who were operating the stall gave me the kuah rendang for free since I don't eat the chicken meat. They even posed for photographs for 'Ah Moi' as they referred me as.

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