Every year, as Hari Raya Aidilfitri (or some say Eid ul Fitr) or Aidiladha approach, I always look forward to make ketupat (traditional rice cake in coconut leaves). 2 days before Eid for the weaving, 1 day before Eid for filling them up and cooking. And of course, it’s my most favourite thing to eat during Hari Raya!
I love weaving the ketupat. It’s so traditional, and a skill rarely picked up by today’s youth. At one time, I was one out of the only two people in the big office who can weave a neat ketupat. However, even between the two of us, there are different versions of it.
It is actually not that difficult to make although I took a few years to master the weaving of the ketupat. Mum was my teacher. I was taking so long to get it right, so she used a different approach. Thinking that maybe it’s because she’s left-handed and I’m not, she told Dad to teach me instead. It seems it does make a difference how the ketupat is woven if the person is right- or left-handed (or different from the teacher).
Tightening it is the next step. For a few years now, to speed things up, Big Bro has been my ‘assistant’, helping me to tighten the ketupat that I’ve woven. He hasn’t mastered the weaving part yet.
I’m very particular about the tightness and look of the ketupat. Mum is particular about the amount of uncooked rice put inside them. After filling them and doing our own QC, we tied them in bunches of 5 and put them in a big pot of boiling water. As we put each bunch into the pot, we counted the number of ketupat we’ve made.
Soft and beautiful and yummy… Just the way I like them. This year we made 111 pieces. They’re usually finished within 2 days!