Raya is coming! We're drooling just thinking about all the ketupat, rendang, satay, colourful biskut raya, and other traditional cuisines we'll be feasting on in less than 2 weeks.
Our Raya cuisine is definitely worth salivating over, but have you ever wondered what Muslims around the world serve their families for Aidilfitri? Check out these festive dishes from around the world:
1. Sambal Goreng Pengantin (Singapore)
A Singaporean specialty, this spicy stew is made of chopped beef, cow lungs, shrimp, tofu, and tempe stewed in a marinade of chilli paste, broth and spices to get its unique flavour.
Served on special occasions, it's usually enjoyed with lontong, or with nasi minyak.
2. Opor Ayam (Indonesia)
In place of our rendang daging, Opor Ayam takes center stage in Indonesia during Hari Raya. This fragrant Indonesian dish of chicken stewed in coconut milk with a special blend of Indonesian spices is always enjoyed with a side of ketupat!
3. Sheer Khurma (Bangladesh)
Also locally known as Payasam (a sweet dish served during Deepavali), Sheer Khurma is a dessert dish made with toasted vermicelli (or sago) cooked with sweetened milk, toasted pistachio or cashew nuts, served with fresh dates.
It's usually enjoyed, either warm and cold, after the morning Aidilfitri prayers.
4. Bolani (Afghanistan)
Resembling our roti paratha, this savoury crispy Afgani flat-bread is generously stuffed with spiced vegetable fillings such as potatoes, green onion, lentils, pumpkins, cilantro, and more.
Low in carb and calories, it's a perfect alternative to the usual festive meat-laden dishes!
5. Kahk Cookies (Egypt)
An Egyptian Raya feast wouldn't be complete without Kahk: a crumbly spiced cookie filled with nuts and heavily dusted with snowy powdered sugar.
Originally from Egypt, you'll also find this sweet cookie enjoyed in other Middle Eastern countries, with alternative fillings of honey, walnuts, pistachios and more.
6. Handulu Bondibai (Maldives)
This Maldivian specialty can be enjoyed both as a dessert, or a main dish. You could enjoy this sweetened sticky rice dish by itself, or with a side of "kulhimas", which is a spicy fish dish that balances out the sweet pandan-infused flavour of the Bondibai.
7. Chicken Bastilla (Morocco)
A popular Moroccan dish, the Chicken Bastilla is Morroco's version of the humble chicken pie.
Packed with flavours and textures, this meat pie is stuffed with spiced chicken bits, and toasted nuts encrusted in a crispy pastry shell, and topped with crunchy toasted almond flakes.
8. Fesikh (Palestine)
9. Lamb Ouzi Rice (Dubai)
Muslims in Dubai celebrate their Aidilfitri with this luxurious dish of spiced rice, pinenuts, and lamb bits that are encased in a golden baked filo pastry, served with a side of yoghurt.
10. Sanzi (Xinjiang)
Also known as Sangza, this deep fried snack is popularly enjoyed in Xinjiang (a Muslim majority province in China) for Aidilfitri and other celebrations. Made of wheat-flour, the dough is stretched, twisted, then deep fried till golden brown, which gives it its light and crispy texture. Always impressively displayed, vendors would stack the twisted noodles up to 3-4 feet high or into a shape of a pyramid!
11. Kabsa (Saudi Arabia)
A national Saudi Arabian dish, Kabsa is a hearty dish of of rice that's deeply flavoured with a mixture of Arabian spices, served luxuriously with braised leg of lamb on top, and sprinkled with a handful of toasted nuts.
12. Aseeda (Sudan)
A large Arab-styled dumpling, Aseeda is a lump of cooked wheat flour dough that's eaten both as a sweet or savoury dish.
This eclectic dish could be served with honey and butter, or could also be enjoyed with a side of tomato-based meat stew or chicken broth.
13. Baklava (Turkey)
Having a custom of serving sweets on their first day of Aidilfitri, also known as ‘Şeker Bayramı’ or the ‘candy festival’, Baklava is most commonly enjoyed by the Turks on this day.
This sweet hand-rolled pastry is made from layerings of filo and crushed nuts, baked to golden perfection, drenched with syrup or honey, and topped with another sprinkling of crushed nuts.
But like in Malaysia, what's served on the table for Hari Raya Aidilfitri vastly differs, according to individual family favourites! (Everyone just loves good food tbh)