The Ramadan experience would not be complete without a visit to a nearby Ramadan bazaar.
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The one passion that most Malaysians have in common is eating. Even in the most sombre occasions such as a funeral wake, food is still being served to guests who have come to pay their respects. Therefore, it is no surprise that even during the holy month of Ramadan, where food is to take on a lesser role during the fasting month, one can find pockets of Ramadan bazaars sprouting throughout the whole of Malaysia.
These yearly bazaars are normally found in places where there is a substantial amount of residents and they are normally held in open spaces. Traders come as early as 3pm in most areas to set up their stalls as most Muslims who are breaking fast will be there by 4pm to buy food and drinks. Some of the bazaars are small in size whereas others can have up to 300 or more traders. Walking down the many stalls in a Ramadan bazaar is almost like walking down a long buffet spread, full of sumptuous Malay cuisine. The different smells from the various stalls that waft through the air – the fragrant ayam golek spinning on the rotisserie, its marinated skin slowly turning into a crispy, golden brown layer, the aroma of spices and chilli paste as a lady trader prepares rendang daging, a local beef specialty – are tempting invitations to customers as they decide on the dishes to serve for their dinner later in the evening.
The Ramadan bazaar offers an assortment of dishes, delicacies as well as drinks of different kinds. The usual fare includes local desserts like Onde-Onde, Kuih Lapis or Pengat Pisang as well as local delicacies such as Lemang, Roti Jala served with Chicken or Beef Rendang. Some of the stalls also sell drinks like fruit juices or pre-packed Cendol or Ais Kacang in a plastic bag for easy carrying. It is definitely a good place to go for those who have a craving for Malay delicacies. Although every Ramadan bazaar may be based on the same idea, each of them differ slightly in the items that are offered. Some bazaars even become famous for particular dishes. For example, the Bubur Lambuk or savoury rice porridge that is sold at the Kampung Baru Ramadan bazaar is so unforgettably tasty that every visitor now associates Bubur Lambuk with Kampung Baru. As a matter of fact, Bubur Lambuk Kampung Baru is now a Ramadan specialty that is highly sought after by many during the fasting month.