IPOH: With Ramadan coming to an end, the lemang business is booming with people queuing up at their favourite stalls for the traditional delicacy, a popular dish served during Hari Raya.
Zainal Abidin Bakar, 55, who has been in the business for 15 years, is making giant lemang this year.
Not wanting to stick to the traditional lemang size, he cooks the dish of glutinous rice mixed with coconut milk in bamboo sticks between 130cm and 170cm long.
He named his version lemang meriam or cannon lemang.
“It’s called lemang meriam because of the length of the bamboo used.
“Sometimes the bamboo is 170cm long, making it look like a cannon, ” Zainal Abidin said when met at his stall in Kampung Pasir Putih.
He said he could only roast between 30 and 50 giant lemang sticks every day because it takes longer to cook.
“The response from customers has been good and for this coming Hari Raya alone, I have received orders for 200 sticks, ” he added.
The 500 long bamboo sticks he uses every week are supplied by the Orang Asli village in Pos Raya, Simpang Pulai.
Zainal Abidin said his lemang is sold at the Ramadan bazaars at Medan Gopeng, Batu Gajah and Perak Stadium.
“The giant lemang requires a kilogramme of rice and to ensure it is well-cooked, it is roasted next to an open fire for an hour to an hour and a half.
“Since the bamboo is long, it is heavy and turning it is quite a task. The bamboo has to be turned often to ensure the rice is well and evenly cooked.
“It also requires a bigger fire, which needs careful monitoring, ” he added.
He said most of his customers would buy the lemang with rendang tok, which is also available at his stall. — Bernama