28 September 2008

Ketupat Weaving

At 05:00 hours this morning, I woke up to get something to drink. My mum was sitting by the balcony and I was wondering what she was doing. Beside her lay many strands of long palm leaves. I didn't know she was good at weaving Ketupat cases. When I asked her where she learned it from she said her mum taught her many years ago. Every year during Eid they'd make lots of these little Ketupat cases.

No idea what Ketupat is?
No worries. It's a traditional (totally) rice dumpling common among Malays and Indonesians, and perhaps also Filipinos, I think they refer to it by other names such as Patupat, Puso, or Ta'mu. As mentioned, it's a rice dumpling wrapped in hand-woven palm leaves. The woven cases are used as little bags to hold the rice in while they cook. In the past (and I'm talking a very, very long time ago) the Ketupat also used to be very useful for fishermen/sailors/workers to bring food from home.
Usually Ketupat is boiled, but I've read that in some places people cook them in coconut milk to give it a kind of creamy taste. The size of the cases are not very big, they are normally the size of the palm of your hand.

The Ketupat cases my mum made.

Cooked Ketupat.

We normally see Ketupat during festive seasons like Eid. Traditionally, served with it is commonly the Rendang, a type of dry beef curry. It goes with any kind of stew for that matter since it's just basically compacted rice. On the other hand, Ketupat is also served with Satay - as an accompaniment to it.

Weaving a Ketupat case is not easy, trust me.
Here's a video showing how my mum successfully made one this morning in under 3 minutes. I know some people can do it faster. Confident as I was, I picked up two strips of palm leaves and began to weave. Just a note: keep your volume at a normal level. Enjoy.

Below: You can guess who made which, hehe.

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