The month of Ramadhan has begun and you know what’s the best thing about this month? Yes, you guessed it, THE BAZAARS!
Before we start on tips and dos and don’ts while visiting these bazaars, let’s talk about the background of this festive season.
Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The month of Ramadhan begins from the first day of fasting until the day before Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Ramadhan is celebrated to commemorate and honor when Muhammad first received the Quran.
This is also one of the most exciting months for us as we get to visit all these Ramadhan bazaars around town.
A Ramadhan bazaar is similar to the pasar malam, the only difference is, it’s better because
- it’s open early (as early as 2pm)
- all these Malay food that you crave for
- all in one place
The stalls set up in the bazaar usually sell their specialty food. Here are some of the favorite foods you’ll find at a Ramadhan bazaar.
1. Apam Balik
There are two types of Apam Balik- the thin and crispy one, and the thick and soft one.
Apam balik is the Malay version of a pancake. It is filled with sugar, ground peanuts and corn. Which team are you? Team crispy or team thick?
Murtabak is also another form of egg-based pancake that is filled with usually green onions, garlic, onions, and meats like beef, mutton or chicken. It is then cut into square shapes. Murtabak is often found in a mamak stall as well.
3. Roti John
Roti John is an omelette sandwich that is loaded with minced meat (chicken or mutton usually), onions, eggs, topped with chilli and mayonnaise sauce, all on top of a baguette.
4. Keropok lekor
Despite looking unappetizing and unattractive, keropok lekor is a must-have savory snack while you stroll down the bazaar. It is a fish cracker snack, or some might say it’s fish sausage, made from fish paste and sago flour. Not forgetting, there’s also keropok keping, which is the thin and crispy version.
There are a ton more food for you to try out while walking along the bazaar. The fun part about a Ramadhan bazaar is that everyone is looking forward to Iftar, which is to break fast after a whole day of fasting.
So here are some advice and reminders on what you should or should not do when visiting the bazaars:
- Go to as many Ramadhan bazaars as you can
- Try out all the food you’ve never tried before
- Prepare lots of small change as most food will be less than RM10
- Go empty-handed, as you’ll need both hands to hold all the food you buy
- Bring your own containers and bottles to store the food. This way, you reduce the use of plastic bags and cups. If possible, do not use plastic straws as well, just have the vendors pour your drinks into your own bottles. If a straw is really needed, opt for alternative straws, such as bamboo straws, which you can reuse over and over again.
- In order to respect the Muslim friends who are still fasting, try not to eat immediately after purchasing the food. Although most Muslim friends are fine with that, take it as a form of respect and test your own patience on how long you can wait before devouring the food.
- Please do not haggle prices with the vendors, I mean come on, they probably woke up so early in the morning before they Sahur to prepare these foods to sell, and they were fasting all day. Don’t be a cheapskate and treat this as being generous.
- Parking. Please do not park irresponsibly. We know you want to get there early and want to park as close as possible, however, please make sure you’re parking in a designated legit parking spot. Do NOT double park, triple park or create your own parking space. Also, do not steal a parking spot from someone who has been waiting first, that will create havoc. You don’t want to end up being viral or a meme.
- Please, please, please do not be a litterbug. If you are done eating at the bazaar, don’t just leave your trash laying on the ground, pick them up and trash them in the bin. If you don’t see any bins, that doesn’t mean that the ground is the trash bin. Hold on to them and bring them home with you instead.
Share with us your favorite Ramadhan bazaar food. And if you have more advice on dos and don’ts during the Ramadhan month, comment below!
Happy Ramadhan to all our Muslim friends who are celebrating!