In 2020 and 2021, Hari Raya was miserable and not celebrated the way it should be – ie balik kampung and bonding with families and loved ones, no thanks to the various lockdowns during the pandemic.
This year, finally – the situation has improved and there’s actually light at the end of this long dark tunnel! I’m so glad my Muslim friends could balik kampung (oh, the monstrous traffic jams exiting the city!) and for the rest of us, many took the opportunity to have a week-long break.
I chose to stay at home and preferred not to join the millions of people on the road during this time. I heard there were about 4 million vehicles on the roads this year, travelling for Hari Raya! Such a big rush everywhere as this year, it was a rather “sudden” Hari Raya as the anak bulan Syawal was spotted and Hari Raya was announced to be on a day earlier than expected!
As usual, I got busy in my kitchen and cooked up some festive favourites. Luckily I bought some lemang before the “sudden Hari Raya” so I cooked rendang, sayur lodeh to go with store-bought mini ketupat and for the first time, Ayam Sambal Bali. I watched this recipe on YouTube and it was an easy dish to execute.
A couple of weeks before Raya, I got my Staub Artichoke pot and since it’s the right Hari Raya colour, it was the perfect pot to use. The turmeric-yellow Sayur Lodeh looks very pretty in the deep Basil green pot.
For those of you who would like to try out the Ayam Sambal Bali, here’s the recipe:
AYAM SAMBAL BALI
1 whole chicken – cut into medium pieces, marinate with salt and turmeric powder. Deep-fry the chicken for just a few minutes to seal in the juices (need not fully cook the chicken).
Blend together: 15 shallots, 1 Bombay onion, 8 pips garlic, 6cm ginger, 5 red chillies. Crush 3 stalks lemongrass. Some curry leaves. 3 tbsp cooking oil
Seasonings: Dark Soya Sauce, Oyster Sauce, salt, brown sugar.
- Heat up cooking oil and stir-fry the crushed lemongrass and blended spices till the oil separates. Throw in the curry leaves.
- Add in water, seasonings and the pre-fried chicken.
- Lower heat and simmer till chicken is cooked tender and the gravy has thickened (about 20-30min).
There – I told you, it’s easy peasy!
My pembantu rumah, who’s from Bali, assured me that it really tastes exactly as what she ate in her kampung!
Selamat Hari Raya – yayyy, Hari Raya is celebrated for a whole month ya! So, continue with the festivities!