Keeping alive the tradition of lemang cooking

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PORT DICKSON: Three young men have decided that the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) will not put a damper on the festive mood.

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They have taken upon themselves to cook lemang in the city this year instead of at their kampung homes.

Azmi Alwi, 29, said he and two others friends — Asraf Masfan, 24, and Ikhwan Sifulizam, 21 — would continue with the tradition of cooking lemang for Hari Raya Aidilfitri so that it would live on among the young generation.

Making lemang the traditional way requires one to get the right balance between the glutinous rice and the coconut milk.

It will determine if the lemang is either under-cooked or over-cooked.

Azmi said it had been a common practice to cook lemang for Hari Raya in Negri Sembilan.

It would usually be done by parents and the elders.

“The young generation in the cities and towns should familiarise themselves with the art of lemang cooking and not allow it to die out.

“Since we are not allowed to travel (inter-state) due to the CMCO, we will cook the lemang ourselves.

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“At first, we wanted to cook the lemang for our own consumption during Ramadan.

“However, due to overwhelming demand from others, we have decided to cook for the residents staying around Bandar Springhill here,” said Azmi, who runs a business selling burgers.

Due to the growing number of orders, the trio had to get more bamboo for the lemang.

“We will make sure that those who have placed orders will get the chance to enjoy the tasty lemang, which is popular in Negri Sembilan.

“Besides lemang, we also sell beef and chicken rendang,” he said.

Azmi said this year’s Hari Raya celebration would see more people staying put in Bandar Springhill instead of heading back to their respective hometowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“My friends and I are using our free time to do things that will earn us an extra income.

“And, this lemang cooking activity will allow us to learn more about our traditional food.”

Despite being busy with the lemang business, Azmi also takes orders to deliver fast food, including burgers and Roti John, to Bandar Springhill residents and customers living in the nearby housing areas.

-NST

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