With 10-pax dine-ins and the option of removing your mask outdoors, the recent events and updates towards renewed normalcy in Singapore has been promising at the very least, which also bodes an exuberance for the upcoming Hari Raya Puasa festivities. After two years of limited celebrations, a result of the pandemic’s restrictions, this year’s Eid al-Fitr will certainly be a ceremonious one. Many families in preparation are probably busy scurrying around from errand to errand, as well as procuring the best outfits to don for visitations. And to founder of Fluff Bakery, Nursyazanna Syaira, the celebration is all about connecting with family. Below, she shares her essentials for the festivities, along with a treasured recipe that you can replicate at home over the holidays.
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What Hari Raya Puasa looks like now
Growing up, my extended family used to meet on day one at our grandparents. My grandmother used to be the chef for the occasion, often whipping up all the scrumptious dishes. But since she has passed on, my aunties and uncles would each cook one or two dishes and we would have a pot luck of sorts. From rendang, lodeh, to lemang (coconut sticky rice cakes), we just hang out while eating the food we know and love. After all, it’s not often the whole extended family gets together in one place.
The most distinct memory and tradition
It is when we all ask for forgiveness from each other for all our wrongdoings. The whole family would make one long train, from the eldest, our grandparents to the youngest, and we would go down the line just seeking forgiveness. Parents, children, spouses, siblings, and cousins seeking forgiveness from each other for all our squabbles. The mood can be quite sombre at times, as some will quite start crying. It gets more lighthearted further down the line, when the younger kids do it. The mood always lightens up by then, with the inevitable tagline “kosong-kosong”, which means “zero-zero”, like our scoreboards are wiped clean and where we start afresh with each other.
Hari Raya Puasa in her home
Growing up, the preparations were elaborate. With my mom busy making her famous pineapple tarts and gifting these treats to our family members. We would also have to spring clean the entire house. Now that I’m married and living in my own place, there isn’t any major clean-up. I would still spruce up the home a little, but I do prefer it being more chilled out this way.
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The treats on my list
I’m more of a savoury snack person so I will say Krpk for my favourite “Opak Belacan Pedas” or Tapioca Spicy Belacan crackers. It’s so spicy but so good! Another place I would order from is Dapur Mother Mary. I love their Udang Geragau Rempeyek Gajus—a type of cracker that has tiny krill-like shrimp, with cashews, lime leaf and chilli padi, but unfortunately they aren’t making their rempeyeks this year.
What I’m wearing this year
A local designer that I love—a simple yet elegant sage green ensemble from Katt Ibrahim of Katt and Co.
A personal recipe of mine
Spelt brookies, a cross between a brownie and a cookie. It’s fudgy in the middle and is not too sweet because of the dark chocolate. The spelt flour lends a little nuttiness; but not to worry if spelt flour is unavailable, just substitute to plain flour. I eat these with a little mug of warm oat milk spiced with a dash of cinnamon and maple syrup.
What you’ll need:
125g salted butter, cut into cubes
200g dark chocolate, cut into chunks or use buttons or callets (about 70% is best)
80g plain flour
50g spelt flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
150g caster sugar
100g dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
How to make it:
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius with fan, or 180 degrees Celsius without fan
- Get the baking trays ready, all lined with baking paper
- Chocolate and butter goes into a glass or ceramic bowl. Place on microwave on 30-second bursts. Mixing in between burst, till completely melted. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, mix and sift together the flours, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside. It is important to sift the dry ingredients together so you don’t get flour or cocoa powder lumps in your final batter.
- Whisk together eggs and sugars using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment on medium high speed, or a handheld mixer, for 5 minutes. The mixture will turn light and glossy. It is possible to use a whisk, a bowl and plain old elbow grease but you’re going to be very tired.
- Once it has been 5 minutes, pour in the chocolate and butter mixture. Mix another minute to combine.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and use a large spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the batter, until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Carefully use an ice cream scoop to scoop the cookies onto the prepared baking tray. The batter will be quite fluid but don’t worry. Remember to leave lots of space in between each cookie to allow to it to spread. Sprinkle flaky sea salt on each cookie and bake it in the oven for about 12 minutes.
- Allow 20-30 mins to cool on the tray before removing from the tray.
- Cookies will initially look domed and crinkled and will collapse as they cool, to form fudgy centres.