I was immediately drawn to the cover of this cookbook, by the big wide smile of the author herself. Marina Mustafa is the author of “Hari Raya Classics”, one of the latest books from MPH Publishing under its MPH Masterclass Kitchens series. Marina is no stranger to cookbook writing – this is, after all, her 6th cookbook and her 2nd one in English.
As the name suggests, it’s a book on classic Hari Raya dishes. It’s not a very thick book. There are 25 recipes featured here, under 5 categories: Raya Rice Treats, Rendang, Sambal Goreng, Serunding & Kuah Kacang, One-Plate Meals and Long-Lost Cookies.
Before going on to the recipes, Marina took time and made efforts to relate her personal story, the spirit of Hari Raya, preparation for Hari Raya and Evolution of Hari Raya. It’s interesting to read about her insights and her sharing of what Hari Raya means to her and her family. There are also tips and checklists included in the book to make life easier for all of us.
The recipes are fairly simple and easy to follow. In fact, I have ear-marked several that I’d want to try later. While the ketupats and lemang may seem captivating, I am more interested in the “Long Lost Cookies”, salivating over traditional goodies like Batang Buruk, Date-filled Makmur and Kuih Semperit.
I have also shortlisted some rendang that I want to try out later and top on my list is the Rendang Ayam Basah Johor. The recipes are written in simple language with instructions that are easy to follow. I like how the recipe pages are well-spaced and uncluttered, allowing for easy reading. Spanning more than 140 pages, there are lovely photographs accompanying the recipes.
The cookbook is priced at RM39.90 and it is available in all MPH Bookstores and other major book shops like Times, Border, Kino and Popular.
Go grab a copy and learn how to make those Hari Raya goodies!
*The photos above are shot from the cookbook for illustration only. The lovely photos printed in the cookbook are by Law Soo Phye