GUA MUSANG Lemang, a traditional Hari Raya celebration dish, is usually paired with beef or chicken rendang while in Kelantan, it usually is eaten with a sweet side dish called ‘nise’.
However, the Orang Asli from the Batek tribe in Kampung Kuala Koh and Kampung Aring 5 villages here, enjoy lemang with a type of freshwater fish, Kelah (Mahseer fish).
This is because Mahseer fish thrives in the river near their villages and the fish is very popular and has been the tribe’s favourite food for many generations.
“Yes, we also have lemang (during Hari Raya) but we ate it with Mahseer fish grilled or cooked in gravy because the fish is easily available here.
“It’s not that we could not find beef or chicken, but it’s quite difficult to obtain them because we would have to leave the village to go to the market,” Kampung Kuala Koh viilage head, Tok Batin Muhammad Pokok told Bernama when met recently.
He said, their lemang is different from the typical lemang because they did not cover the hollow of the bamboo with banana leaves before filling in the rice, instead, they use a different type of leaf which will give a uniquely pleasant aroma when roasted.
The Orang Asli community is an expert in cooking rice in bamboo, which is also a typical dish usually served to visitors of the villages.
Meanwhile, Mahseer fish justifies its position as the special occasion delicacy as it is priced about RM200 per kilogramme and could even reach RM1,000 per fish.
The tribe usually hold a family gathering during the Aidilfitri celebration and eat the dishes together.
“We do not do the ziarah (visiting from house to house) but our children will gather in their parents’ house for a meal as a sign of the end of the fasting month,” he said.
Meanwhile the village head of Kampung Aring 5, Tok Batin Raina Anjang said the house visiting custom between the two villages could not be practise this year following the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“It would be good enough if we could gather together for a feast but this time we will only eat at our own houses to comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP) instructed by the government,” he said.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency