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Festive snacks for Hari Raya Puasa with small appliances

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kueh-lapiskueh-bangkit

30th of August will mark the festival of Eid, known in Singapore and Malaysia as Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Idul Fitri in Indonesia. Hari Raya literally means “the day of celebration” and is one of the most important Muslim festivals in the calendar, marking the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.

The festival celebrates a time of forgiveness within the Muslim community, and the strengthening of ties between family and friends. Younger Muslims will ask their elders for forgiveness for wrongs committed in the past year.

A common greeting in Singapore and Malaysia on this day is “Selemat Hari Raya”, or “Happy Celebration” in Malay. Another greeting emphasising the spirit of forgiveness is “Maaf Zahir dan Batin”, which loosely means “I seek forgiveness physically and spiritually”.

On this day, Muslims typically get up early to have a small breakfast before offering special prayers at mosques or other open areas. They then visit the homes of friends and family, usually in new clothes and decorated houses. Adults will also give children token sums of money in green packets.

Food is a huge part of any celebration, and Hari Raya Puasa is no different. The day will see lavish spreads of food such as beef rendang (a spicy curry), ketupat (rice cakes), lontong (rice cakes in coconut gravy) and snacks such as Kueh Bangkit (a fragant coconut cookie), Kueh Makmur (peanut cookies) and Kueh Lapis (a rich multi-layered cake).

The preparation of these festive tidbits typically involves ingredients such as coconut, tapioca, peanuts and various types of flour. In the past, making such snacks from scratch usually involved lots of preparation time, effort and aching muscles in straining, grinding and frying of the ingredients.

These days, fuss-free help is on hand with a wide range of Electrolux small appliances. As always, blenders are a chefs best friend when it comes to grinding and even grating of ingredients. The Electrolux EBR2601 with its detachable mill grinder is great for grinding dry foods quickly, like the peanuts for the filling in Kueh Makmur to just the right consistency (For a simple recipe, click here).

Kueh Lapis

Photo Credit: Karl Ran

Kueh Bangkit

Photo Credit: Terence Ong

While one can buy grated coconut and coconut milk off the shelf, purists insist nothing beats the taste from preparing those ingredients from scratch. The process to make the grated coconut and coconut milk required in Kueh Bangkit and Kueh Lapis can be sped up via the use of a blender. (A recipe for Kueh Lapis can be found here and a recipe for Kueh Bangkit can be found here.)

For coconut milk, put equal parts water and grated coconut in the blender and blend.  If richer milk is preferred, use milk or evaporated milk mixed with water.

The trick to giving cookies like Kueh Bangkit their unique taste and melt in your mouth texture lies in frying the tapioca flour with pandan leaves just before baking. An alternative recipe here recommends a short cut using a microwave like the Electrolux EMM2017X to achieve the same effect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kue_Lapis_In_SINGAPORE.jpg

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kueh_Bangkit.JPG

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