For Muslims, the holy month of Ramadhan marks the beginning of a 30-day fasting period. They abstain from food from sunrise to sundown, and for some this may be quite an arduous task. Nonetheless they persevere, and one advantage is that the locals get to enjoy a tempting variety of food when they attend “pasar Ramadhan” or food markets set up all over the country. These stalls sell mostly local food and other treats at very affordable prices. It is easy to be tempted to buy up everything in sight, so be sure to practice moderation when you purchase food and avoid wastage!
There are sweet treats such as local kuih made from flour, sugar, coconut milk and other delightful ingredients. You can also find fragrant nasi lemak or coconut rice with side dishes such as spicy chicken, squid, eggs and vegetables. The humble murtabak is also a firm favorite among the crowd – it’s essentially minced meat and potatoes encased in a thin layer of flour. Satay, which are skewers of meat marinated beforehand, are also very popular. It is best eaten with rice and a deliciously thick peanut sauce – a little sweet and spicy but nonetheless very delectable on the palate!
Desserts can also be found in abundance. Wobbly jell-Os in every imaginable colors, tasty caramel pudding and chocolate cupcakes are very much sought after. Browsing the colorful Ramadhan food stalls, one can see that family members have come together during this festive period to run their food business, so we can safely say that food really does bring people together in harmony!
Here’s a tip if you visit one of the many food stalls during Ramadhan in Malaysia. Buy selectively and never be tempted to purchase food in bulk. It is easy to overeat just like one would in a buffet so be sure to buy food in small amounts but in wider range of variety!