Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The first day of breaking fast (1430 Hijrah)

This post is a little late in coming. It's the fifth day of Ramadan already and I am writing something about the first day. A thousand apologies.

The first two days of fasting was okay but I had problems for the next three days. I was down with some gastric pains to the extent that I spent most of the day in bed. Not really a good way to while the time in this holy month but the alternative was to forego the fast and line my bowel with some food. I've been to the doctor earlier today for some medication with the hope that I can see through this pain without the need of missing any fasting day, if possible.

Anyway, back to to the original intention of this post. It has been a tradition with us to spend the first day of breaking fast at my parents' place whenever possible. In fact, this year we spent the first two days of Ramadan in Singapore because they conveniently fell on a weekend.

Normally my mother would cook kacang pool for the first day (like she did last year, see story -> here) but there was slight change of plans because the fava beans she kept in stock had turned bad because of weevils. Instead, she cooked some lontong. Added to that, my wife prepared some mee goreng while my youngest sister brought some roti gulung sardin and begedil. My third brother and his family also joined us for the iftar and his wife brought along some mini meat pies and goreng pisang. Drinks included air katira (which I bought from a bazar ramadan stall in JB) and some watermelon juice. All in all, it was a truly a sumptuous spread. So I guess you can understand why some people say that they actually gain weight during the fasting month.

Later that evening, I did my terawih prayers at the Ar-raudhah Mosque that's located just across the road from my father's flat. As in previous years, the mosque committee has arranged for the prayers to be led by a team of imam hafiz (those who memorised the whole 114 surahs of the holy Quran) from Terengganu. All the imams are young men in their mid-twenties and they have such beautiful voices. One of them has a lovely recitation melody so similar to middle-eastern imams that it reminds me of prayers at the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah. I am quite proud that skills of our young imans are exported for good use to be shared with our brothers in Singapore.

The following morning, I accompanied my father to another mosque in Bukit Timah area where he is helping to cook some bubur lambuk. The cooking of bubur lambuk or rice porridge is somewhat of a tradition at most mosques in Singapore and Malaysia. The porridge would normally contain spices and some minced meat, and is distributed free to anyone who care to come and collect. It would be interesting to know how this tradition started.

At this particular mosque, Masjid Ba'Alwi, the bubur is prepared specifically for those who wish to break their fast at the mosque itself.

Ba'Alwi Mosque is located at Lewis Road off the main Bukit Timah Road, near the old university area. The location of the mosque is somewhat at odds with its surroundings. The dwellings around the mosque consist of private housing and condominiums. I doubt there is a single Muslim house within walking distance. Despite this, the mosque is very popular and has a large congregation. I haven't had the opportunity to study its history but I guess when it was first built many years ago, the surrounding areas must have included a Malay kampung or two. As the years progressed and private development swallowed the kampungs, the mosque must have faced tremendous pressure to relocate. Perhaps, its direct links to Arab benefactors has helped it remain where it is to this day.

I managed to take home some of the bubur lambuk that my father cooked. My father also bought some fava beans and thus my mother was able to prepare kacang pool after all. So for the second day of breaking fast, we had some bubur lambuk and kacang pool. Delicious.

28 comments:

Kak Teh said...

It's 1309 in Uk and we have seven hours to go. and am missing the fun of berbuka with parents and siblings back home. Lucky you. Here we join the extended family at the surau of malaysia hall.

HLiza said...

Tak pernah makan kacang pool tu..apa rasanya ye..I miss taking photos in my parents' house; too busy enjoying the food and too busy directing the younger siblings to do this and that before that...sigh.

PS: I got that air kathira too..last year you posted about it..I still remember!

mamasita said...

Oldstock!Its so nice to hear your narration on your berbuka puasa thing.Still like old times for you kan? Parents, siblings, great food-spread..

Selamat Berpuasa to you and your WHOLE family!

Saya... said...

Hi,

Try Manuka honey with freshly squeezed kunyit for gastric...unheated

Andrea Wh@tever said...

Am not puasa-ing but at the rate I am being invited to partake the Berbuka Puasa feast with friends and colleagues, I think I need more than my weekend jogging to keep the excess kg away.

razifembi said...

Selamat Berpuasa Untuk Tuan Sekeluarga

Zendra said...

Salam Oldstock. Hope the gastric is under control :)

drbubbles said...

Pak Oldstock,

Thanks for the blog entry.Selamat Berpuasa dan berbuka to you and your family.

VersedAnggerik said...

take good care of your health dear, especially in this fasting month!

nice post, I like!

D said...

air katira? must check last year's post for the definition eh? ;)

Hope you get that gastric under control. Ramadhan kareem!

Oldstock said...

Salam Kak Teh,

Nak buat macam mana kan... kira nasib baik jugak la kat London tu ada Malaysia Hall dan ramai kawan Melayu.

I believe in 2 years time, Ramadan will fall smack in the middle of summer. Dugaan jugak tu nak tunggu buka puasa time 9 malam.

Oldstock said...

Hliza,

Susah juga nak describe rasa kacang pool ni, but if you can imagine the spicy taste of rempah beriani, then that's close enough. I'll try to get the recipe from my missus and maybe post it in this blog.

Air kathira lebih kurang macam menu wajib untuk kami di sini.

Oldstock said...

mamasita,

Every year we try to have the first day of buka puasa at my parents' place because it's only both of them left at the house now. My youngest sister and her husband joins us too.

Itu pun kali ni, I have only one son at home. Pretty soon, my missus and me tinggal berdua saja. That's the cycle of life.

Oldstock said...

Hi Saya,

Thanks for the tip. Susah tak nak dapat manuka honey ni? I understand it's a NZ product.

Oldstock said...

Andrea,

That's the beauty of the multi-cultural living in Malaysia. Even non-muslims get invited to buka puasa buffets.

I remember some years ago, I was working in a Chinese-owned company and had this colleague who I normally have lunch with. During puasa time, he would offer to belanja me for breaking of fast.

Oldstock said...

Salam Razif,

Selamat berpuasa kepada anda sekeluarga over there in Penang.

Oldstock said...

Salam Zen,

The gastric seems a bit better today. Not as bad as two days ago when the pedih ulu hati rasa macam bisa sangat.

Oldstock said...

Salam drbubbles,

Selamat berpuasa to you too. Haven't popped over to your blog for some time now. Hope your library project has been successful.

Aizan Suhaira said...

Ohhhhhhhh kacang pool!!! I LOVE it, LOVE it!! The thing about Johorean cuisine is that it absolutely cannot be commercialized. I tried kacang pool at Singgah Selalu and it just didn't make the cut!

And there is no Katira here in KL. Must be a Johor thing, eh?

Oldstock said...

Verse,

Thanks for the concern dear. I'm quite watchful of what I eat nowadays... cuma need to do something to regain my fitness level.

These first few days, we are spending less time at the bazar ramadan than we used to.

Oldstock said...

D,

Sedap air kathira ni... especially dua jenis yang dijual di JB iaitu Kathira Abu Bakar dan Kathira Urip. Takleh jumpa kat tempat lain di Malaysia. Cuma yang hairan kenapa dia dijual time bulan puasa je.

Ki Moira said...

cannot cannotttttt. drooling :)

Patricia said...

I'm sorry this is so late in coming, but you know my woes :(

I hope the stomach is behaving, and that you'll have a sakit-free fasting month.

Anonymous said...

Salam, Oldstock..

My hb calls this Masjid Ba'Alwie as Masjid Menteri.. u can see quite a number of Malay/Muslim ministers performing the solat there.. esp during Hari Raya..

p.s.. here down south. we call
bubur lambuk as bubur masjid..

Selamat menjalani ibadat puasa..
miezarra

Oldstock said...

Aizan,

Forget about Singgah Selalu. Try Haji Kacang Pool at Larkin Bomba or at Larkin Central. Better still, drop me a line on your next trip to JB, I'll take you there. See my next post on this subject.

Don't buy the katira sold at bazar ramadan in KL. It's the pseudo stuff.

Oldstock said...

Alaa... Moira, itu baru satu dua keping je gambar makanan. Nanti bila aku gi bazar ramadan next week, aku amik lebih banyak gambo.

Oldstock said...

Pat,

No apologies needed. I hope your pc and broadband is up and running okay now.

Thanks for the wishes.

Oldstock said...

Zara,

Yes, I note that the muslim ministers of Singapore often pray at Masjid Ba'Alwie. I also saw a pic of our former minister Syed Hamid Albar praying there. Mungkin dia ada talian saudara dgn Habib Hassan Al-Attas kot...

Selamat berpuasa kepada anda dan famili. Hope that all is well.