Most Malaysians are familiar with this scene below. A man, sits in front of a burning furnace, fanning sticks of bamboo, that are slowing being roasted by an open fire. The flames look like orange goblins doing a mad dance as they flicker and jump wildly every time they catch a gust of wind. The cheeky embers shoot sparks all over the place. A pile of coconut husk lays in a heap nearby, as fuel for the fire.
the lemang stall .. you can spot these along the roadsides of KL
waiting for the lemang to cook..
Lemang is a traditional food found in Malaysia, made of glutinous rice and coconut milk and cooked in a hollowed bamboo stick lined with banana leaves in order to prevent the rice from sticking to the bamboo. This method of cooking which employs a bamboo vesicle has long been practised by the indigenous tribes of Malaysia – basically any area in Borneo where bamboo grows in abundance. Usually prepared for celebrations such as the Iban harvest festival of Hari Gawai, lemang is usually eaten with meat dishes such as chicken curry. Lemang is popular in Malaysia, Malay communities of Indonesia, Minangkabau people and Iban communities of Borneo, Manado usually prepared by using the tapai method. Lemang can now be found throughout Indonesia due to the spread of Minangkabau people throughout the country.
coconut husks as fuel..
Though the Lemang used to be ubiquitous among Malay communities and commonly eaten to mark the end of the fasting season called Ramadan, now a days it can be found being sold by the roadside stalls in KL, almost all year round. Many Chinese, Malays, Indians and the different races in KL love to eat Lemang – it is no longer confined to just the Malay community. During Hari Raya, I have had some of the best tasting Lemang served to me, ever, at my colleague’s or friend’s open house.
Lemang and Ketupat
These open house parties are great fun. We (non Malays) get invited to partake in a big kenduri of feasting and merry-making, to celebrate the end of the fasting season. Anyway, the Lemang tastes delicious when eaten with all types of rendang whether chicken, beef, or mutton. It can also be effectively eaten with chicken or beef floss – something called serunding ayam and serunding daging. Ah… fabulous indeed. Now if you will excuse me, I need to sort out my Hari Raya Open house pressies .. can’t wait to kenduri with my friends;)
GPS Coordinates for this Lemang stall on Jalan Seri Sentosa, N3.0711, E101.65227