Malaysians Share Their Parents & Grandparents' Secret Tips For Cooking Yummy Raya Dishes
From ketupat and lemang to rendang and lontong, there are just so many mouthwatering dishes to enjoy during Raya :9
Though many of us eat the same iconic dishes during the festive season, everyone has their own preferences and methods of cooking them. And if it's a family recipe that's been passed down through the generations, lagilah it'll come with all kinds of secret tips on how to make it sedap, hehe.
So, we asked Malaysians to share their parents and grandparents' top tips for cooking delicious Raya dishes.
Here's what they said:
Note: Some names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
1. "This is my mother's tip for making kuah kacang: be sure to remove the skin from the peanuts before roasting and grinding them"
"Because if you overcook the peanuts with skin, your kuah kacang will end up tasting bitter.
"My family always sits around the table and removes the skin together, but you can buy pre-peeled kacang too. Oh, and an extra tip is to heat up the peanuts just a bit on the stove, 'cause that makes it easier to remove the skin."
- Shiffa, 28
2. "My mum doesn't just use santan when making kari ayam"
"In addition to santan, she also mixes in fresh milk, which she says it helps to make the consistency more like lemak. And then for kari ikan, she adds yoghurt instead, to give it that masam tanginess."
- Lily, 30
3. "Every Raya, my grandfather always takes charge of making lemang, and he uses a special daun"
"His secret is using daun lerek instead of daun pisang because it's easier to work with and doesn't rip as easily. I don't even know what daun lerek is, hahahaha! Yang penting, my grandfather's lemang is always sedap!"
- Danial, 23
4. "Always use fresh santan!"
"My Tok always makes sure to buy the coconut herself (or makes her kids do it lol) and buat sendiri. But when she can't do that, she buys fresh santan and stores it dalam freezer. It truly makes a difference!
"Another tip from her is that wok hei exists for Raya food too. For stuff like rendang, wok hei gives it that extra oomph."
- Mariam, 22
5. "My mother's rule is to always cook all our Raya dishes one day before Raya"
"That way, everything has time to perap and will be sedap on the first day of Raya because dah absorb all the flavours.
"Also, alwayssss make your own santan and kerisik! Don't buy. It will make your rendang more sedap."
- Ikmal, 24
6. "My dad, who makes the best kari and sambal in the world, punya secret tip is... tambah tomato!"
"Tossing a tomato into curries does miracle work in terms of thickening it naturally and adding depth of flavour. And then for sambal, adding tomato naturally makes it sweeter and balances out the chilli. But make sure to only add it after the sambal dah pecah minyak."
- Adam, 33
7. "Whenever I help my grandma masak, she always tells me to never take my eyes off the lontong"
"Once you add the santan, you have to keep stirring it gently so that the kuah is silky smooth. Otherwise, the santan breaks and you'll end up with little lumps. KEEP STIRRRINNNGGG!"
- Laila, 35
8. "Instead of the traditional rendang, my mother cooks this absolutely delicious lamb curry during Raya instead"
"Her secret tip is not really a tip lah, it's more of a secret method if that makes sense? Basically, she insists that her recipe must be followed EXACTLYYYY, step-by-step, without making any changes.
"First, saute the basic ingredients (onion, garlic, cinnamon, clove, lime leaf, and curry leaf) with the usual curry spices. Then, put in the lamb and simmer until the meat is extremely soft. Finally, add chicken stock, seasoning, salt, and chilli. Make sure not to add sugar or santan, or you'll face my mother's wrath."
- Sha, 26
9. "For my atuk's rendang, he only uses spring chicken"
"He says it's because the flesh is nicer and more tender. Also, for every chicken he uses, he specifically cuts it into only six pieces. This is so that the pieces won't be too small, sebab if too small it's easier for them to overcook and get tough.
"Another thing he does is to add yoghurt to make the kuah creamier. Most rendang recipes don't call for yoghurt, but I prefer my atuk's version 'cause it has a nicer and smoother texture."
- Rahman, 21
10. "Uchi (what my cousins and I call our grandmother) is an AMAZING cook, and she has lots of little tips for making yummy dishes"
"I used to always try to recreate her extra crispy dendeng (sedap gila wei!), but was never able to until she revealed her secret — you gotta cut the meat extra thin and boil it in salt water first before deep frying.
"Another tip I learned from her is to rendam brown sotong in water for like two hours before cooking it, to naturally soften it."
- Alya, 25
11. "If you like sardine sambal, you gotta try my dad's method to make it more flavourful"
"One of my family's Raya traditions is eating my dad's homemade sardine sambal, which is soooo yums!
"After he buys fresh fish from the market, he washes it with rock salt and marinates it with some turmeric. This helps flavour the fish so when you cook it, there's a lot more flavour in the flesh. Then, when cooking the sambal, he adds a little bit of tamarind to remove the fishy taste.
"But what really makes my dad's sardine sambal special is the cili boh/giling he makes from scratch. You just gotta boil dried chillies to soften them, then blend with red onion, garlic, and ginger. It tastes way better than store-bought cili boh/giling and doesn't have a weird aftertaste."
- Sara, 31
Mmmm, we can't wait to try all these tips and tricks to make some yummy food for Raya!
And if your family has any secret tips for cooking Raya dishes, make sure to share in the comments.
Whether you're berbuka-ing with homecooked dishes or enjoying your Ramadan bazaar favourites, we can definitely look forward to enjoying lots of good food this festive season.
ENO wishes Selamat Hari Raya to all Malaysians!
Pssst... Make sure to keep a handy packet of ENO around while you makan makan during Raya!
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