Whenever the month of Ramadhan comes around, there’s always something I look forward to – Ramadhan bazaars! To my readers from overseas: they are like food fairs held daily throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan in Malaysia, where people go to buy food and drink in the evenings.
While I don’t fast like my Muslims friends (I don’t know how you guys do it. I miss one meal and turn into this crazy, cranky monster) , it’s always a great experience to visit the bazaars and grab delicious food, especially those only available during the festive season.
One of the largest bazaars in Putrajaya is the one at Precinct 3. I’m familiar with it as the area was my beat during my newspaper days, and I used to come here every year to highlight several stalls. :) This year, they’ve shifted it from the large parking lot next to the mosque to the space in front of Perbadanan Putrajaya. There are well over a hundred stalls!
The place was already crowded with customers by 4.30pm. One can find all sorts of mouthwatering dishes here – lemang, otak-otak, murtabak , nasi lemak, Nasi Kerabu, grilled lamb and chicken, and even Western items like pizza, meatballs and pasta! The smells of cooking and smoke wafting from the grills was enough to send my non-fasting stomach to grumble: I don’t know where the Muslims who have been fasting all day get the willpower to resist until it’s time to break fast, lol.
An assortment of kuih (Malay-style desserts), cakes and jelly.
Stacks of chicken and beef murtabak (RM3 per piece): a pan-fried bread (?) stuffed with meat, onions and spices, before grilling over a hotplate. The pastry is usually soft and eggy, and is best eaten while the filling is still warm.
Couldn’t resist getting one because it smelled so good. Had it later in the car – it was meh. Meat filling was too sweet, overpowering the taste of everything else.
The bazaar also had many different kinds of beverages, from refreshing fruit juices to freshly squeezed sugar cane, soya bean, chocolate drinks and more. For someone who drinks a giant bottle of water everyday, it would be so hard for me not to have anything to quench my thirst throughout the day.
This was my first time seeing Akok, which are desserts that look like brown, wrinkly vaginas (lol). It is, apparently, quite common in the state of Kelantan and is made from eggs, coconut milk, pandan and wheat flour. Grabbed five pieces (RM3) and found them pleasant: not too sweet, soft and fluffy with a strong flavour of pandan.
Fancy some bone marrow noodle soup?
They remind me of the bulalo soup I had in Tagaytay while in the Philippines a few months ago. :)
Roasted spring chickens, sold half (Rm10) or whole (RM20). They are cooked over a rotating grill on the spot.
Grilled lamb meat. The smell was driving me nuts, I seriously do not know how Muslims can resist the temptation lol. Even more so for those who are cooking. I salute you guys
Various loklok items on sticks: fishballs, meatballs, crabmeat, shrimp, dumplings, etc.
Otak-otak (fish paste wrapped in banana leaves and grilled over charcoal fire) and fish satay.
Nothing like honey-grilled chicken wings. The same stall also sold pedal ayam (chicken gizzard) and tongkeng (chicken butt). Before you say ew, try them – they’re delicious.
Nasi lemak – coconut milk rice served with sambal , anchovies, boiled eggs and other condiements. These servings were huge.
Neatly packed food items, such as porridge, noodles and rice.
Back in the days, a lot of people used to rush home to cook, but these days with the busy work schedules and traffic jams, I think many opt to just buy from bazaars.
These looked interesting, but I already bought a load of food lol. Aside from murtabak and akok, I also got some sugarcane juice, fried chicken wings and deep fried cheese sausage.
If you’re a visitor in Malaysia, the bazaars will be all over the place so make sure to check them out!
This one is located at Precinct 3, Putrajaya just across the road from Perbadanan Putrajaya.
A helpful Ramadan bazaar list here: LIST
Selamat Berbuka Puasa! :)