Selling ketupat pouch, lemang for an extra buck during Hari Raya Haji

Sharifah Nuraini weaving her “ketupat” pouch from young coconut leaves.

By Wilfred Pilo

KOTA SAMARAHAN, Aug 10: The heat from the hot blistering morning sun, amid the dry season, did not deter Sharifah Nuraini Wan Husin, 53, from the opportunity to make extra income for Hari Raya Haji.

Under the covers of a giant umbrella, she sits patiently, weaving freshly picked young coconut leaves into a diamond shape pouch to cook the traditional Malay delicacy, the “ketupat” (rice dumpling).

Sharifah Nuraini, who works as a cleaner for a private firm, is making full use of the long weekend to generate extra income for her family selling ketupat pouches in light of Aidiladha, also known as Hari Raya Korban (Festival of the Sacrifice) that falls tomorrow, Aug 11.

“My target is the Muslim customers who will be celebrating the festival.

“There will be plenty of food served tomorrow and rice dumpling is one of them. These days people don’t want to make the pouch themselves, as its quite troublesome and many cannot even weave this simple pouch.

“So I am making their life a little easier,” she told DayakDaily when met at her makeshift umbrella canopy and stall at the Kuching-Kota Samarahan Expressway, here, today.

One dozen ketupat pouches for RM5.

Sharifah Nuraini took the coconut leaves from her garden and planned to make at least 50 dozen pouches (for 600 ketupats), to be sold at RM5 a dozen.

“I think my price is reasonable and so far the business is brisk this morning and this is just a one off thing to occupy my weekend, while making a penny or two,” she said.

Wan Sebi (centre), his wife Sharifah Nuraini and their son manning the stall.

Accompanying her at the stall is her 59-year-old husband Wan Sebi Wan Drahman, who sells “lemang” — glutinous rice, mixed with coconut milk, salt and cooked in bamboo.

“This traditional lemang can be served anytime and during a festival, I would be generous on the coconut milk to add more coconut richness in the glutinous rice flavour, as tomorrow is special day for our Muslim community,” he said.

However, Wan Sebi expressed delight that most of his customers are of various races, as they wanted something different for their meal.

“I am please that everybody loves this traditional food and not only during a celebration or festive occasion,” he continued.

Wan Sebi’s lemang for sale at RM12 and RM13 per piece.

Wan Sebi, from Kampung Jaya here, said he is preparing 100 bamboo sticks that sells for RM12 and RM13 per piece depending on sizes.

“So far, the sales of our lemang and ketupat pouches have been good and I am happy for the extra income,” he added.

He said lemang and ketupat are a must-have in the Malay community during festive season. He suggested that both dishes go well when eaten with curry. — DayakDaily