Hari Raya, also known as Aidilfitri, is a significant religious and cultural event for Muslims around the world. It marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a month-long period of fasting and spiritual reflection. With a rich history that dates back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad, Hari Raya has become a festive occasion that brings families and communities together. It is a time for forgiveness, charity, and joyful celebrations. In this blog post, we’ll explore the history and culture of Hari Raya, and dive into five must-eat foods that make this event a true gastronomic delight.
Hari Raya is believed to have been initiated by the Prophet Muhammad, who observed the first Eid in 624 CE after a successful battle against his opponents. Since then, the celebration has evolved and spread across the globe, with each country adding its unique cultural touch to the festivities. Today, Hari Raya is celebrated with great enthusiasm, as people come together to offer special prayers, visit friends and family, and enjoy an array of mouth-watering dishes. The spirit of giving is also emphasized, with Muslims donating to charities and providing for the less fortunate.
The culinary aspect of Hari Raya is one of its most cherished elements. With a plethora of dishes that reflect the diversity and richness of Muslim cuisine, the following five must-eat foods are integral to any Hari Raya celebration:
Ketupat is a type of rice cake that is a staple dish during Hari Raya. It is made by packing rice into woven palm leaf pouches and boiling them until the rice expands and becomes compressed. The result is a delicious, chewy rice cake that can be enjoyed with various side dishes, such as beef rendang or chicken curry.
A traditional dish that originated from Indonesia, beef rendang is a slow-cooked, aromatic curry made with tender beef, coconut milk, and a medley of spices. Rich in flavors and boasting a complex taste, beef rendang is often served with ketupat or steamed rice during Hari Raya celebrations.
Another popular rice dish enjoyed during Hari Raya is lemang. Made from glutinous rice, coconut milk, and salt, lemang is cooked in a hollowed bamboo stick lined with banana leaves. The mixture is then slow-roasted over an open fire, giving the rice a unique smoky flavor and a sticky texture. Lemang is typically enjoyed with spicy meat dishes such as beef rendang or chicken curry.
Ayam Masak Merah
Ayam masak merah, which translates to ‘red-cooked chicken,’ is a Malaysian dish that features succulent chicken pieces cooked in a spicy tomato-based sauce. Flavored with a blend of spices, such as cinnamon, star anise, and cloves, this dish is both sweet and savory, making it a favorite during Hari Raya festivities.
Check my other recipe : Lotus Biscoff Satay Chicken
No Hari Raya celebration would be complete without a variety of kuih-muih or traditional sweet treats. These bite-sized desserts come in various shapes, colors, and flavors, with popular options including kuih lapis (layered steamed cake), onde-onde (glutinous rice balls filled with palm sugar), and kuih seri muka (glutinous rice with a layer of pandan-flavored custard).
Hari Raya is a beautiful celebration that showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Muslim community. The festivities provide an opportunity to reconnect with loved ones, engage in acts of charity