Hari Raya Feasting: 4 Singaporean Chefs Share Their Favourite Raya Dishes

Hari Raya Recipes 2023

There’s so much we can learn about each other’s cultures and practices in our multi-cultural, multi-religious society that we call home! This Ramadan, we partnered with four Muslim chefs to unpack: what does this Holy Month mean to our Muslim community, and why they choose to abstain from certain practices. 

And of course, in true Meatmen fashion, we also asked them for their favourite Hari Raya recipes to celebrate the festivities with. Read on for their stories and Malay food galore: 

For more food stories:

1. Taahira and Zaithoon, Spice Zi Kitchen 

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Taahira and Zaithoon, otherwise known as Baby T and Mama Zi, are the mother-daughter duo behind Spice Zi Kitchen. (Don’t you think they look so cute in their matching outfits?) 

Growing up, Taahira was surrounded by foods unique to her Indian-Muslim heritage. But she soon realised that there were scarcely any places that sold her childhood flavours. So, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Hence the birth of Spice Zi, a home kitchen featuring cooking classes for a wide range of Indian-Muslim cuisine. 

When it comes to Hari Raya dishes, Mama Zi’s top pick is a classic Indian Stew, Dalcha. Her pot is always packed to the brim with wholesome ingredients such as chicken drumsticks, potatoes, carrots, eggplants and succulent mutton chops. According to Mama Zi, a pot of good Dalcha isn’t far away – you just need to source for fresh mutton bones or chops.

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Mama Zi says that Ramadan isn’t just about fasting, but also about charity — in the forms of donating food and money. Additionally, for many Muslims, the holy month is also a time of spiritual cleansing, just as they do physically by emptying their stomachs. Abstaining from natural urges helps one to reflect and count their blessings. 

Check out Spice Zi Kitchen if you are interested in learning how to cook delicious Indian- Muslim cuisine!

Spice Zi Kitchen
Spice Zi Kitchen Website | Instagram

2. Sha, Nomadette eats

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Sha, otherwise known as Nomadette or Nomadette eats, is a content creator and chef who specialises in easy Asian recipes. She shares a variety of cuisines that are all Halal-friendly. 

Sha’s love and passion for food was palpable even through the screen. Her favourite food to cook for Hari Raya is “SAMBAL GORENG!!!”, featuring deep-fried tofu and tempeh stir-fried in an addictive sambal sauce. There’s a lot of steps to the perfect Sambal Goreng – each ingredient has to be deep fried golden-brown before the stir-frying. The long preparation makes Sambal Goreng a rare commodity in her household, which is why it’s the first thing Sha reaches for at the dining table, instead of the more popular Rendang or Ayam Masak Merah

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A devout Muslim herself, Sha believes that fasting is a privilege that allows Muslims to empathise with the less fortunate who may never be certain about their next meal. 

If delicious Sambal Goreng or Halal Asian recipes is your cup of tea, visit Nomadette.

Nomadette

Website | Instagram | YouTube

3. Firdaus, Orang Laut 

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Firdaus is a fourth-generation Orang Laut/Pulau descendant. His dining venture, Orang Laut, is a tribute to his heritage where he seeks to recreate the very dishes enjoyed by his ancestors and have shaped his culinary adventures. 

His go-to meal to break fast with is Bubur Lambuk Ikan Tenggiri, a traditional fish porridge. Firdaus’ version is a family recipe, passed down all the way from his great-grandmother. Hailing from Pulau Semakau, his family were fishing people. Hence, ikan tenggiri (mackerel) used in this porridge was a staple to their diet. Though the ingredients are simple, the bowl packs a punch with the array of spices added, and proves for a filling meal. 

In order to cook a delicious Bubur Lambuk Ikan Tenggiri, Firdaus gives a tip in line with his kampong heritage: make it with lots of love and share it with the community. 

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As people from the coastal community, the Orang Pulau had little access to livestock, so they consumed almost no meat. Only on the first day of Hari Raya would they celebrate with a bowl of Curry Chicken from the wild-roaming kampong chicken, contrary to the vast offering of food we see during Hari Raya today. Dishes like Beef Rendang, Ayam Masak Merah and Sambal Goreng were only introduced to his family when they moved to mainland Singapore some 40 years ago!

Interested in the story of the Orang Laut community, and want to find out more about their heritage and culture? Check out Orang Laut for more stories told through food. 

Orang Laut 

Website | Instagram 

4. Max, The Halal Mixologist 

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Max, the owner of The Halal Mixologist, specialises in making Halal food accessible, and advocates a Halal lifestyle that is inclusive, modern and fun. These days, Max is more of an entrepreneur than a chef, but he never fails to cook for his friends whenever they are over.

Max’s favourite Hari Raya dish sounds more like a feast than a dish — Lontong with Sayur Lodeh (vegetable curry) topped with Sambal Prawns and Tumeric Fried Chicken. After a whole month of fasting, all he wishes to eat is really good traditional Malay food loaded with coconut milk and sambal, which this Lontong definitely serves. 

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He also gives a hack to make this meal’s preparation easier: Lontong paste is usually readily available at supermarkets. To make Lontong with Sayur Lodeh, all you have to do is use the magic sauce and add on your proteins and vegetables of choice! 

Max loves Hari Raya not just for its feasting. To him, it’s also a time to celebrate mastery over external desires such as eating, drinking, and self-indulgence and to rejoice in being a better version of himself.

For inspo on a modern Halal lifestyle, visit The Halal Mixologist for fun and fresh Halal experiences

The Halal Mixologist 

Website | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok 

Traditional Hari Raya Food

Thank you Taahira, Zaithoon, Sha, Firdaus and Max for sharing a piece of your Ramadan and Hari Raya! As Singaporeans, it’s so important for us to understand and appreciate the customs and traditions of our people. At The Meatmen, we believe that a big part of culture is food! We hope that cooking and eating these Hari Raya recipes bring us closer to our Muslim neighbours.

Wishing all our Muslim friends a Selamat Hari Raya! May your feasting be filled with delicious plates of Dalcha, Sambal Goreng, Bubu Lambuk Ikan Tenggiri, and Lontong with Sayur Lodeh

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More of what you might like: 

 P.S. We’ve got recipes for all your Singaporean and Asian favourites on our Youtube channel. Subscribe and share with your friends!

P.P.S. Can’t find a recipe you like? Drop us a comment or ping us on our socials. 

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