Happy to serve: Wanjah scooping up a packet of bubur lambuk at her stall at a Ramadan bazaar in Section 14, Petaling Jaya.
PETALING JAYA: For traders at Ramadan bazaars, it’s not just a time for brisk business. It’s also about serving customers well and gaining spiritual blessings.
Wanjah Abdul Rahman, 54, who with her husband has run a bubur aneka stall for the past 23 years, said the fasting month is “not only to make a living but to serve our customers delicious food with a sincere heart”.
Selling various types of broth like the pengat pisang – a mixture of banana and sago in a sweet yellowish broth – and bubur ruamit, a mix of jelly, sago, palm seed, jackfruit, cendol and sugar beet, they continue to draw crowds curious about their dishes.
Wanjah’s husband, Saaidon Khaidry bin Mohd Hashim, 55, said they used to sell 20 different types of bubur a few years ago.
“Our stall was located at a corner lot then and we had more space, but now we can only sell this much,” he said.
Other sweet delicacies they offer are pisang sira, buah labu sira, ubi kayu sira, red bean soup and green bean soup.
Mohd Amin Harun, 52, who has been selling nasi beriani Johor with chicken, beef or mutton for four years, said he initially opened the stall with his friend for “the fun of it” but then decided to do it every Ramadan.
“The time of Ramadan for me is a time to pray and fast, as well as a time to build lasting relationships with clients and customers and to serve those who like our nasi beriani Johor,” said Harun from Batu Pahat.
The nasi beriani is made by cooking the meat with briyani spices from Batu Pahat, garlic, onion and blended ginger until it is half-cooked while the rice is cooked with butter, oil, onion and blended ginger and garlic separately until it is dry. He then mixes the rice and the meat and cooks them together for another two hours.
Zulhelmy Ashashibly, 22, said the fasting month is important as he runs his father’s stall selling kuih peneram (a mix of rice flour, coconut and sugar deep-fried in oil) with his friends.
“This is a time to worship and pray. At the same time I have to be independent, be responsible for my family and earn a living,” said Zulhelmy, who has been helping his father with the stall since he was 17.