Here in Malaysia, Lemang is the hallmark food of Hari Raya. This heritage dish has maintained its rustic elements, especially in the way it’s cooked. A hollow bamboo pole is carefully lined with banana leaves before it is filled with glutinous rice and coconut milk. Then, the bamboo poles are placed on an open flame that has to be set on relatively low heat. It takes up to 8 hours to cook
With great effort comes an amazingly creamy serving of sticky rice. It’s the perfect partner for a hot serving of rendang. You’ll see many families buying their lemang nowadays because most of us don’t have the resources to make it at home.
Check out this recipe for a shortcut version of the lemang. This recipe is made especially for those of you who have arrived at the store only to be told that everything is sold out. Fret not; this tragedy has happened too many times to us! We’re not letting it happen to you. Roll up your sleeves and save Hari Raya with this recipe below!
Origins of Lemang
This dish is said to have been a traditional meal of the Bengkulu origin people in Indonesia. Because of the intricate steps to prepare the lemang and the long hours to cook the rice, it takes a village to make this dish. It is meant to instil kinship and embrace the muhibbah (coming together) spirit of a community.
Lemang RecipeDifficulty: Easy
1 kg glutinous rice
1 kg coconut milk
Salt and sugar to taste
- First, wash and soak the glutinous rice for a minimum of three hours.
- You will need a rice cooker for this step. Line the inner pot of the rice cooker with the banana leaves. Before that, wilt the leaves on your stovetop. Do this by turning on the flame and waving the leaves above the heat. Note that the softer the leaves, the easier it will be for you to mould them to your pot.
- Then, mix the rice, coconut milk, salt and sugar in a bowl. Pour the mix into the rice cooker pot. Cover the rice with more wilted banana leaves.
- Set the rice cooker, and you’ll have your makeshift lemang in no time. Hari Raya is saved
Ways to Enjoy Lemang
Lemang is best eaten with a hearty serving of rendang- you can’t go wrong with this combination!
If you have a barbeque pit at hand, we suggest you take this recipe up a notch and place the banana leaf-wrapped lemang on a grill so that you can get that smoky flavour. Enjoy!
Explore other popular Malaysian delights with Lokataste Recipe and more!