From ketupat to lontong and daging rendang, you can’t deny that these heritage foods are what most people look forward to during Hari Raya.

We know how different Raya is going to be this year, but thankfully with technology, things are bearable, at least. As we focus on our health, keeping your friends and family close by maintaining traditions by whipping up your favourite dishes and surprising your family by attempting them is the best remedy. While the festivities are all about catching up with your loved ones, indulging in the deliciousness of the local specialities are what makes the experience ten times better. We decided to ask our local personalities (and I jumped in, as well) what their favourite Raya dishes are, and the stories behind them make the whole affair a memorable one.

Fiqrie Dahari/Radio and TV host/Content Creator

The one dish that I miss and look forward to every single Raya is my step-grandmother’s daging masak hitam, usually accompanied by lemang or ketupat. I was never a fan of lemang or kuah kacang, but this daging masak hitam dish hits the spot every time and is my absolute favourite. Also, my step-grandmother is close to a 100-years-old and is in good health, yet she tries to cook this speciality dish every Raya. 

Yana Alyahya/Actor

My favorite Raya dish is Ayam Golek. However, it’s not the typical ayam golek using a grill. It’s a family recipe, tradition and walk of passage. It started with my great grandmother on my fathers’ side. Here’s how the process goes: a chicken would be submerged in a wok with various herbs, rolled now and then for four to five hours. You feel like you’re a woman once you can make the dish alone from start to finish, and it tastes like heaven, making the four to five hours worth every minute.

Zulvanny/Celebrity Fashion Stylist

My favourite Raya dish would be rendang with Burasa. If you didn’t know,  Burasa is a traditional delicacy from Bugis, Sulawesi, where my family originated from. It has the same texture as lontong and is a type of rice dumpling cooked with coconut milk, packed inside a banana leaf pouch. It always hits home every time we have it in pagi Raya.

Ridduan Ismail/Co-Founder of Topboi Citizen

My most favourite Raya dish is my late mom’s Nasi Dagang. Back then, I would always request my mom to cook for the whole family, a day before Raya. However, the task is not just to make Nasi Dagang, but also the lauk (dishes) that goes with it. I am a little bit greedy because I would ask her to cook kari ayam (gulai ayam), gulai ikan, gulai daging and lastly, gulai udang. Gulai udang is an exceptional dish out of the rest since shrimp is costly, so she had to make it in a limited amount, just for my siblings and me. Thankfully, I have access to the best Nasi Dagang here, but it can never be as great as how my late mum would do it.

Amalina Anuar, Lifestyle Asia KL Senior Writer

hari raya

I thought it would be fun to reminisce my favourite Raya moments from my hometown, Singapore. It’s been two years since my last visit, and I miss the festivities over there very much. I love how with every house visit, you’ll spot ayam masak merah as the star dish, aside from rendang. While this classified as my favourite meal of all time, I loved having it with nasi impit and serunding (sauteed grated coconut) for that sweet yet savoury finish.

(Featured image credit: Unsplash/Rizky Yogatama)

Amalina Anuar
Senior Writer
A writer by day and spin instructor by night. Amalina fuels her day with anything that’s covered in chocolate and breaking a sweat in the spin studio. With fashion and music as inspiration, you can find her obsessing over her favourite artist's music videos or swaying to funky tunes at live gigs.