I’ve always looked forward to Ramadan. It’s the time when families and individuals have the chance to showcase their food to the public. These are people who don’t have restaurants, cafes or stalls – just regular folks cooking and selling their food at Ramadan bazaars across the country. I like the idea of trying out random people’s cooking and I’ve been eating at Bazaar Ramadan almost every day. Here are my favorites:
This is a classic Ramadan specialty. It’s usually given away to the poor in mosques, but obviously this is a more premium version. The porridge is full of root vegetables like yam and the shredded chicken and fried anchovies they put on top is awesome. It’s RM 4 for a small tub at Bubur Lambuk Subang at the Subang 2 Ramadan Bazaar.
Putu Piring Zainab Gula Melaka
This is one of my favorite putu pirings around. Check out the massive queue which forms up around it!
The putu piring is a steamed confection made on the spot. It’s RM 0.60 per piece and it’s really good.
The distinctively blue rice in nasi kerabu comes from butterfly pea flowers. This stall in Subang serves it with a relatively large fried fish and superbly hot chilli sauce. The amount of chillies they put in here would shock most people. The woman who runs it is from Kelantan and has a suitably authentic level of spiciness in her chilli paste.
I like her crunchy ulam (raw vegetables and herbs) too.
Pak Ya Popia Power
This is the famous stall at the Bazaar Ramadan in TTDI. They have three (3) kinds of popiah – popia basah, popia goreng and popia sira madu. It’s RM 5 for 5 pieces. I like their popia basah (wet popia) and popia sira madu (honey glazed popia). The first one is made with regular popiah skin and the latter is fried and drizzled with a honey glaze. The popia goreng (fried popia) is decent too but these two are the best.
I first had this in 2008 when I came to KL to work the second time. This is from Bazaar Ramadan Kelana Jaya, where my first office used to be. They make the murtabak with Maggi instant noodles and stuff lots of meat and vegetables inside. It’s just RM 3 for a heart shaped piece.
It best eaten when hot, these things taste horrible when they’re cold.
They give you a generous pack of chilli sauce to put on top too.
Puding Karamel Original
This is a creme caramel from the SS6 bazaar. It’s RM 3 per slice or RM 5 for two. The quality varies wildly – sometimes it’s delicious and other days the pudding is overcooked and egg-like while the caramel tastes burnt.
I guess that’s one of the things about home cooks. When it’s good, it’s great.
This unusual dessert is made from pumpkins. There are 10 pieces in a pack for RM 5, together with some desiccated coconut. I found it at TTDI. It’s surprisingly good!
Nasi Briyani Johor
There is a well known nasi briyani gam stall in TTDI that used to be good. However, I feel that their quality has dropped in the past few years and the other two competitors have surpassed the original. Rahimah Catering serves a pretty good version of lamb biryani for RM 13 at the very end of the TTDI bazaar Ramadan. There’s one in the middle that serves up awesome bone-in lamb shank biryani for RM 20 – RM 22 (depending on size) too.
Lai Chee Kang
It’s RM 5 for a small container or RM 10 for a big bag. The TTDI Lai Chee Kang stall says it has 28 ingredients. I was dubious. I thought it’ll be 20 different types and colors of jelly. I was mistaken.
This is legit. I dug and ate dates. Saw some barley. Cincau. Peanuts. Snow fungus. The best thing inside was nutmeg, they had lots of that too! Truly epic.
My favorite one is at the Kota Damansara Bazaar Ramadan. It’s only RM 5 for the Nasi Tomato Ayam Merah (tomato rice with red chicken). The owner of the stall is the wife of a police officer that lives in the low cost flats opposite AEON BIG in Sunway Giza. The first time I had it, I thought she had accidentally dropped a whole fucking bowl of salt into the chicken.
I told my better half about this amazingly salty chicken I had and promptly had diarrhea the next day. Haha. I’m sure it’s unrelated though as I’ve had it many times since without incident. I asked the lady about the shockingly salty chicken and she told me she does it on purpose coz her husband likes it that way. That’s why she only gives you a small amount of gravy coz the amount of sodium in there is enough to kill a small horse. It’s the saltiest thing I’ve ever had…and the best!
Ikan Bakar Special
There are many smoked/grilled fish stalls in bazaar Ramadan all over the country and most of them sell pretty much the same thing. The one in TTDI just has a wider selection than most and you’ll spot it by the epic lines which form up to buy a catfish or a skate. The prices vary according to what you get but it’s quite competitive.
Nasi Ganja Omak Den
The guys who runs this stall offers free drinks with your meal. They only sell one dish – nasi ganja omak den, and they do it well. The chicken is fried on the spot and you can choose the cut you want. The rice is spiced and they serve an Indian style gravy to go with it. I love the heavily spiced chicken and it’s good value for just RM 6.50 inclusive of the drink of the day (usually air sirih or air somboi).
The word “ganja” is the local term for cannabis. There’s none in here of course and the etymology of the name is somewhat stupid, it’s meant as a testament to it’s “addictiveness”, never mind that THC/CBD isn’t physically addictive.
Nasi ambeng is a dish of white rice topped with fried coconut flesh so it tastes like coconut rice. They also put fried bee hoon, salted fish, and vegetables as sides. The main protein is usually chicken cooked in soy sauce. I was home late one day and chanced across this dodgy stall at Kota Damansara with two young boys manning a small booth with about 10 servings to sell. I took a chance and ordered one and it was delicious!
This stall in TTDI serves only cow offal. There are plenty of offcuts for sale – tongue, tripe, heart, lungs etc. You can have it with rice, in kueh tiaw or in a soup. I prefer it in a soup. It’s one of the best sup gearbox I’ve had. You’re supposed to suck the marrow out of the large bone.
Nasi Burung Puyuh
I love quail. I usually get it at Shah Alam but the one at TTDI is decent too (and a lot nearer to me). It’s RM 5 per quail or RM 7 if you want rice to go with it. I recommend the rice pack, their chicken rice is delicious!
The lady will give you a tasty broth to go with the rice too, nicely packed in a plastic bag to go.
The biggest Bazaar Ramadan in Klang Valley is probably the bazaar in Shah Alam Stadium but TTDI and Kelana Jaya is pretty big too. I would say TTDI has more choice than SS6 but even the small ones in Subang 2 and Kota Damansara has something to offer. The stalls are all about bringing home cooked food from families as a purchasable option before Hari Raya and that’s the part I love the most about this month. It sure was good eating, too bad we only have a couple more days before it ends!