Hari Raya Aidilfitri is one of the most significant festivals in Malaysia, marking the end of the month-long Ramadan fasting period. It’s a time for family gatherings, sharing meals, and enjoying the joyous celebrations. As with any celebration, food is a vital part of the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festivities. From savoury dishes to sweet treats, there is an abundance of delicious food to savour during this special time.
To help you make the most of this festive season, I’ve put together a list of the top 10 best and most popular Hari Raya dishes in Malaysia. I compiled this list based on what’s currently trending and the recommendations of food lovers across the country.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the top 10 most popular Hari Raya Aidilfitri foods in Malaysia right now.
10. Bubur Lambuk
Bubur Lambuk is a savoury porridge that is traditionally served by mosques or food banks during Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri. It is made with rice, meat, coconut milk, spices, and herbs. Bubur Lambuk can have many variations depending on the region and preference of the cook.
Some common ingredients are chicken, beef, fish, prawns, anchovies, vegetables, dates, raisins, nuts, and more. Bubur Lambuk is a nourishing and filling dish that can replenish your energy after a long day of fasting.
9. Ayam Percik
Ayam percik is a delicious dish from the east coast of Malaysia. It is made of chicken pieces that are marinated with spices such as turmeric, ginger, onion, lemongrass and chilli, then cooked in coconut milk and grilled over charcoal. The chicken is basted with the rich and spicy sauce while grilling, creating a mouthwatering aroma and flavour.
Ayam percik is a favourite dish for Hari Raya celebrations, as well as for everyday meals. It is usually served with rice, ulam (raw vegetables), budu (fermented fish sauce) and sambal belacan (chilli shrimp paste). Ayam percik is a dish that many Malaysians love because of its tender and juicy meat, and its creamy and fiery sauce that tickles the taste buds.
8. Asam Pedas
Asam Pedas is a spicy and sour fish stew that is popular in many states in Malaysia, especially Melaka and Johor. Asam Pedas is made with fish (usually local stingray, mackerel or snapper), tamarind juice, chilli paste, lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, and other spices.
The fish is simmered in the tangy broth until tender and flavorful. Asam Pedas is usually served with steamed rice or nasi lemak (coconut rice). Asam Pedas is a mouthwatering dish that can stimulate your appetite and make you sweat.
7. Masak Lemak
Masak Lemak is a type of cooking based on turmeric-infused coconut milk. It can be made with various meats or vegetables such as chicken, beef, seafood, pumpkin, cabbage, jackfruit, and more. Masak Lemak has a yellowish colour due to the turmeric and a mild spicy taste due to the chilli.
Masak Lemak is usually eaten with lemang (glutinous rice cooked in bamboo) or plain white rice. Masak Lemak is a simple but delicious dish that can showcase the natural sweetness of the ingredients.
6. Nasi Dagang
Nasi dagang is a delicious dish from Terengganu, Malaysia, that consists of rice cooked in coconut milk and served with fish curry and pickled vegetables. It is a popular breakfast food that many people love for its rich and fragrant taste. Nasi dagang is made with a special blend of spices that gives it a unique flavour and aroma. The rice is mixed with fenugreek seeds, lemongrass, shallots and coconut milk, and steamed until creamy and fluffy.
The fish curry is usually made with tuna or mackerel, and cooked with coconut milk, chilli paste, turmeric and other herbs. The pickled vegetables add a refreshing crunch and tanginess to the dish. Nasi dagang is one of the favourite dishes for Hari Raya, as it symbolises prosperity and happiness. It is a dish that can be enjoyed by everyone, young and old, as it is satisfying and comforting
Lontong is a dish of rice cakes cooked in banana leaves, served with a vegetable stew in coconut milk. It originated from Indonesia, but has become a staple in Malaysian cuisine. Lontong is usually eaten for breakfast or as a side dish for other dishes. The vegetable stew, also known as sayur lodeh, can contain various ingredients such as eggplant, long beans, green chilli pepper, tofu, tempeh, and more.
The coconut milk gives it a rich and creamy texture, while the spices add a burst of flavour. Best to mix with sambal and peanut sauce as well. Lontong is a comforting and satisfying dish that can warm your soul.
Ketupat is one of the symbols of Hari Raya Aidilfitri in Malaysia. Ketupat is made of rice boiled in a diamond-shaped pack of handwoven palm leaf strips. Once cooked, the ketupat is peeled open, cut into pieces and served with various dishes such as rendang (spicy meat stew), satay (skewered and grilled meat), peanut sauce, cucumber salad, and more.
Ketupat has a firm and chewy texture that can complement the rich and savory flavors of the other dishes.
Satay is a perfect dish for Hari Raya Aidilfitri. It is barbeque chunks of meat skewered on bamboo sticks, grilled over a flaming charcoal fire to perfection and served with a crunchy peanut dressing and chunked cucumber adding balance to the rich sauce.
Satay can be made with chicken, beef, mutton or any other meat of your preference. The meat is marinated for many hours or even overnight so as to lock in the flavour. Satay can also be eaten with nasi impit or ketupat for a more filling meal. Satay is loved by many because of its sweet and tender meat that can satisfy anyone’s appetite.
Lemang is another signature dish for Hari Raya Aidilfitri. It is a dish of glutinous rice and coconut milk cooked in a hollowed bamboo stick lined with banana leaves. It is roasted over fire for several hours until the rice becomes sticky and fragrant. Lemang is usually served in cylindrical slices and makes for a flavourful accompaniment to rendang dishes, serunding (meat floss) or any other curries of your choice.
Lemang is loved by many because of its soft and sticky texture that melts in your mouth. It is one of Malaysia’s signature heritage delicacies, as it showcases the traditional way of cooking using natural materials. It is also loved for its aromatic and nutty flavour, as well as its chewy and sticky texture. In a nutshell, lemang is a festive treat that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Rendang is a must-have dish for Hari Raya Aidilfitri. It is a thick, aromatic gravy usually cooked with beef, though any meat can be used such as chicken or lamb, made with herbs, spices and ingredients from the garden including: lemongrass, ginger, galangal, garlic, onions, coriander, fennel and cumin seed, pounded star anise, chilli paste, soy sauce, toasted coconut and finally coconut milk.
The tastiest rendang is slow-cooked for hours on a low flame to tease out the complex aromas and flavours. Rendang can last for up to four weeks because of its natural preservatives. It goes well with ketupat, lemang and rice. Rendang Tok, rendang Minang, rendang cili padi and rendang Sarawak are among the post popular ones, but there are more that I’ve not mentioned. Rendang is loved by many because of its rich and spicy taste that can make anyone salivate.
Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!
The Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration is a wonderful time of the year where Malaysians come together to celebrate their cultural heritage, traditions, and of course, their love for food. The top 10 most loved Hari Raya Aidilfitri foods I’ve listed are just a few of the many delicious dishes that can be enjoyed during this festive season. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a curious newcomer, these dishes are sure to delight your senses and leave you with a lasting impression.
So, whether you’re spending this time with family, friends, or by yourself, be sure to indulge in these mouth-watering delicacies and savour the flavours that make Malaysia’s cuisine so unique and loved nationwide.
If you know any other Malaysian Hari Raya dishes that I have not mentioned, feel free to share it in the comment section below. Sharing is caring so that I can give it a go as well.