Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Eidulfitri (Eid) is a joyous global celebration to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and the start of Syawal. During Ramadan, Muslims around the world fast from dawn to dusk for about 30 days in succession. Fasting is known to form part of the five pillars of Islam and prescribed to Muslims as a means of self-purification as they abstain from food, drink, and other bad deeds.
As part of the AidilfItri festivities, Muslims are encouraged to seek forgiveness from the people that they have erred towards and seek fresh beginnings. In this part of the world, this would typically involve house visiting! While there is no certainty that visiting rules will be eased for Aidilfitri amid COVID-19, visiting in small numbers would certainly call for a “mini feast” of delicious sweet and savoury dishes and snacks to celebrate the onset of Syawal!
Let’s dive in to 7 simple yet tasty Hari Raya food you can prepare for your guests when they come visiting this year!
- Rendang Ayam
More than two years have passed since the crispy rendang fiasco on the UK edition of TV’s MasterChef but we haven’t really forgotten this episode! Guess that shows how passionate we feel about this all-time classic dish. Rendang (not the crispy one) is said to originate from the Minangkabau region of West Sumatra and has found its way to become a local favourite in countries like Singapore and Malaysia. In fact, Rendang (either beef or chicken) is a common delicacy spotted in many Nasi Padang shops in Singapore or Nasi Campur in Malaysia.
Today, both Rendang Ayam (Chicken Rendang) and Rendang Daging (Beef Rendang) continue to be a Hari Raya staple among many families here.
Check out the fusion version of the traditional rendang with a recipe for Crispy Rendang Chicken Roulade with Lontong and Acar. Because, why not?
2. Soto Ayam
There will be days where you might prefer to avoid the heavy Hari Raya dishes like Lemak Lodeh, Ayam Masak Merah or Sambal Goreng Pengantin. Afterall, those delights are often loaded with santan (coconut milk) and a multitude of spices, and may upset your stomach if eaten continuously throughout Eid. The festive celebration may be a yearly affair, but it’s important to watch your health.
As a substitute, we recommend this Indo-Style Bee Hoon Ayam Soto recipe by the talented home cook Anne Leong! Your guests will surely appreciate the light and earthy flavours. Pair it with some nice bergedil (fried potato cakes) and crispy bawang goreng (fried shallots) and you’re good to go.
- Sate Ayam (Chicken Skewers)
A delicacy that has its origins debated across many countries (just like the infamous Chendol controversy), Satay is often said to have originated from Java and made popular in Singapore by Muslim traders that travelled to this part of the world. If you’d like to serve your guests something a little more elevated this Raya, check out our version of the traditional Satay Ayam with a hint of Vietnamese influence with this easy Fragrant Lemongrass Chicken Satay recipe.
If you don’t have lemongrass, you can substitute it with a normal satay stick. Lemongrass gives a more fragrant and flavourful punch.
3. Popiah Basah (Fresh Spring Rolls)
Popular among and Malaysians, the popiah basah has many versions across different cultures and cuisines in Southeast Asia. Try this Fresh Popiah With Serunding recipe that could be your appetiser or the main meal for guests who prefer their meals light!
4. Mee Hoon Briyani
A little more complex than the famous Singapore Noodles that you probably know, we’ve upped the ante for this next recipe. Try out this flavourful Mee Siam Bee Hoon Briyani for that late night surprise visit from your friends this Hari Raya!
Quick tip: Stock up your pantry with spices such as masala powder, chilli powder and more, to give your dish that burst of fiery flavour.
5. Masala Prawns
Photo source: The Karavali Wok
While this dish is more popular during festive celebrations like Diwali, there’s no saying you can’t serve it up for Hari Raya! Living among multi-ethnic diversity has exposed many of us to a rich array of food from different cultures. If you’re a fan of traditional Malaysian food, perhaps you’d like to follow Sugu Pavithra to view her recipes sourced from Malay and Indian cuisines.
For now, we recommend that you try this renowned Prawn Masala recipe to take your taste buds on an exotic journey to the southern Indian city of Chettinad. Perfect as a main dish accompanied with home made naan, this recipe will be a hit among your guests who are fans of seafood, spice and everything nice.
6. Lontong or Sayur Lodeh
Lontong is a common Hari Raya delicacy served by families in many parts of Singapore and Malaysia. It is also known referred to as Sayur Lodeh and can be eaten with rice or rice cakes (ketupat).
Our list certainly isn’t exhaustive, but we hope you can get inspired by these yummy treats for your guests this Raya!
And finally, don’t forget social distancing rules for a safe and enjoyable Hari Raya celebration!