It’s an age old way of cooking somewhat a novelty now.Without lemang on the table on the first day of Hari Raya makes it somewhat incomplete.
I had the privilege of seeing how lemang was made sometime late last year. Mo, my old buddy brought me to a village on the outskirts of Kuala Pilah about 100km from Kuala Lumpur. Apparently he had cooked lemang there a few times before. He had mastered the delicate procedure and was happily demonstrating it to me.
Once cut it is wrapped around a split stalk. It is then nicely pushed in. It is slowly pushed down the whole length of the bamboo. The stalk is then slowly retracted /withdrawn with the nicely cut leaf left inside
I tried to do the cutting of the leaf just to learn. But I tore just a wee bit maybe half a cm of the leaf. This was not acceptable. A slight tear would allow the coconut milk (later to be poured in) to run out
Leha, Mo's wife had in the meantime poured the dry uncooked glutinous rice to about half full into each bamboo stock. This was followed with the coconut milk to about 5cm below the brim of the bamboo.
Image:8 The bamboo is split open and the lemang nicely cooked is cut into 2 halves placed on a porcelain plate
Image:9 One then picks a piece to be taken with 'rendang' a masala-like hot beef preparation.
Note:1 Mo is now in Birmingham. He left in early August in time to celebrate Hari Raya therewith his grandchildren. He'll be back sometime in spring next year. Maybe I'll persuade him then to have another round of lemang making for the fun of it. I too would like to learn the skills of lemang-making myself, oops!
Note!2 There were attempts to mechanize the process of heating the lemang. Somehow the proto- types were not commercially pushed into the market.
Written for d'Verse OpenLinkNight week 63