Ketupat Nasi

These are some of the kelongsong ketupat nasi that mum and me weaved yesterday

These are some of the kelongsong ketupat nasi that mum and me weaved yesterday

In Malaysia, ‘ketupat nasi’ or traditional rice cakes are very popular during Eid celebrations. It is one of the most popular foods served in homes and hotels during the Eid celebrations. A greeting card with a picture of ‘ketupat nasi’ would be understood as an Eid greeting card even without any word written on the cover. By the way, I have never seen a birthday card with a picture of ‘ ketupat nasi’!

Neon lights in the shape of ‘ketupat nasi’ decorated houses, shops and buildings. Replicas of ‘ ketupat nasi’ in all sizes and colours are hanged in houses, shops, shopping complexes, offices, road side and other public places to mark the Eid season. Even shopping bags are decorated with pictures of ‘ketupat nasi’.

Even though in my hometown (Kuala Terengganu) ‘ketupat nasi’ is not as popular as ‘ketupat pulut’ as a special delicacy served during Eid, the significant of ‘ketupat nasi’ to Eid is still the same as in other parts of Malaysia. In fact, I’ve never seen of any decorative item in the shape of ‘ketupat pulut’ used in my hometown.

Since ‘ketupat nasi’ is not so popular in Terengganu, the Terengganu folks are not so familiar with the art of weaving the ‘kelongsong ketupat nasi’ (ketupat nasi cover). Mum was lucky to master the art – learnt the skill from their Indonesian helper when mum was about my age. And yesterday my sister and I had the chance to learn the art of weaving ‘kelongsong ketupat nasi’ from mum.

Learning to weave the ‘kelongsong ketupat nasi’ was not as hard as i thought. But I really need to pay attention, concentrate and be patient. Mum weaved slowly so that we can follow and after 5 minutes, I managed to weave my first ‘kelongsong ketupat nasi’! After a while I understand the ‘trick’ and be able to master the weaving process.

Since we were out of young coconut leaves, mum used ribbons instead of the leaves. Actually for cooking the rice cakes, we need to weave young coconut leaves into ‘kelongsong’ as moulds  to cook the rice cakes. The ‘kelongsong’ made from ribbons are used as Eid decorations.

Nowadays the city folks normally do not weave the ‘kelongsong ketupat nasi’ for Eid anymore. They either buy the ready made ‘ketupat nasi’ or the ready made ‘kelongsong ketupat nasi’ sold in farmer’s markets all around KL. In fact the easier and faster way of cooking ‘ketupat nasi’ is by using heat proof plastic covers as moulds instead of the traditional young coconut leaves ‘kelongsong’. There are even prepacked ‘ketupat nasi’ in plastic packets that only needed to be boiled in water.

No wonder nowadays the skill of weaving ‘kelongsong ketupat nasi’ is almost a forgotten art especially among city girls like me. What a pity when we prefer using plastics instead of leaves. Not only do the young coconut leaves give a nice aroma to the ‘ketupat nasi’; the leaves are also environmental friendly. And there is also the  question about which type of plastic that is safe to be used as the boiling process can take over an hour. So, using certain plastic to cook ‘ketupat’ could harm our health as well as our environment.


13 thoughts on “Ketupat Nasi

  1. dear aiman,

    let’s start a new tradition then…. giant replicas of ttupak pulok decorating wisma darul iman.

    .. or orang gganu coming back for eid can hang kelosong ttupak pulok on the rear screens of their cars… 🙂

  2. Even for ttupak pulok many of us do not know how to weave and pull the palas leaves (with the pulok inside) to perfection like my arwah tok wan used to do. Most often the resulting ttupak pulok’s consistensy does not become what it is supposed to be. The imperfectly prepared ttupak pulok will break into pieces of pulok.

    As far ttupak nasi, the skill needed to make a good ttupak is the amount of soaked rice to be placed into the kelosong ttupak. Too much rice the kelosong will rupture and too little the ttupak will be fragile…

    I love ttupak pulok fried to perfection…but I notice that today most ttupak pulok is either underfried or overfried!

    Ttupak nasi is good to be eaten with kuah kacang sate…

    Aiman is making my mouth water…

  3. Dear Dr. Azahar,

    I like my ttupak pulok underfried so that I do not have to deal with the ‘kerak’ which stuck between my teeth. Anyway, I am the only one who does not like the perfectly fried ttupak pulok in my family. As everyboody else loooooooooooooooooooooooooove the ‘kerok’.

    I agree with you that ttupak nasi is very tasty with kuah kacang sate. But better still with kuoh nasi’ kapit. Mum said making nasi kapit is much easier than ttupak nasi for we don’t need to search for the coconut leaves. My other favourite way of eating the ttupak nasi is in soto and lontong.

  4. Don’t cook “ketupat” the modern way. Never boil “ketupat” in plastic bag. Cancerous. Do the old fashion way.

  5. Dear May 13,

    Alhamdulillah it is so nice to hear from you again. Ali has been waiting for your comments in his blog since you are the first person who wrote to him. We hope that you are okay.

    Mum stop buying the ketupat in plastic bags after knowing that it is dangerous. Since we can’t buy the coconut leaves except during the festive season, mum cooked nasi impit instead which is of course not as tasty as ketupat nasi. Usually mum prepared the nasi impit for soto or lontong which is my favourite.

    I’m glad that you are still reading my blog. If you have the time, please visit Ali’s blog as he really miss his friend.

  6. Aiman,

    When we were in US my wife always prepare nasi impit. You know how she did it? She just placed the soft rice in a casserole (am I right?) and then put it in the fridge.

    The nasi impit made this way was so nice. The only problem was that the outer layer of the nasi impit became frozen. We have to remove it before we can enjoy the rice cubes (that was what the Americans call our nasi impit)

    They also love our kuah kacang!

    I remember cooking satay for my son’s pre-kandergarten class. Afterwards, they came to me and said: “Sir, that was the best meal that we ever had!” Berbaloi mata uncle berair bako sate tadi..ha ha

  7. Dear Uncle Azahar,
    I’m sure that uncle’s wife is a real good cook. Uncle should have served the ‘sup kateh’ and rojok kateh too… Terengganu foods are really delicious.

  8. Cooking anything in plastic for 2 hours can be quite risky. No matter what the plastic is. Trust me. I am a doctor.

  9. Dear Dr. Hassan,

    Thanks. We wish to have ketupat nasi more often but too bad because we can only buy the young coconut leaves during Hari Raya(s); so we have to have nasi impit instead. Anyway we do not use plastic bags nor the plastic wrapped ‘ketupat segera’

  10. Dear Aiman

    Will like to seek your permission to use your photo of the lovely ribbon ketupat for my poster.
    I’ll cite your blog as the image source if you don’t mind.
    Found the pic via Google image search 🙂


  11. Dear Norlizah,

    I’m glad that you love the photo of the ribbon ketupat. Sure, you are welcome to use the photo and cite my blog as the image source.

  12. Pingback: Preparing Ttupak Pulok (Ketupat Daun Palas) | Aiman Amani's Weblog

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