Making Raya favourites and enjoying it
Published on: Sunday, June 09, 2019
By: Lorena Binisol
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PENAMPANG: It is always the spread of sumptuous food that most people look forward to during the festive season be it Christmas, Chinese New Year, Hari Raya or any other occasion.

The ever popular Kuih Makmur is always on the table ready to be sampled by visitors during Hari Raya.

Ruzina Jacob, a converted Muslim from Kg. Sarapung, Kolopis in Penampang, makes Kuih Makmur every year without fail.  Not for sale but to be enjoyed by well wishers and guests.

After doing the same thing and practising it for more than 20 years, she could memorise some of the recipes and do it at her fingertips.

Apart from Kuih Makmur, other all-time favourites she makes when she has the time are pineapple tarts, Ulat Bulu, Kek Batik, and Kek Pelangi.

“But Kuih Makmur is always the favourite. That is why I make them more than other varieties,” said Ruzina.

She enjoys making the delicacies as her friends and relatives would always look forward to the moment.

Her assistant Daisy Andrew would be by her side helping her with the ‘tedious’ work from cleaning, moulding, mixing, baking and so on.

“I enjoy helping Ruzina, I have fun doing all the tasks.  After all, we are going to consume it anyway,” said Daisy.

Ruzina said ever since she knew all the technique of making Kuih Raya from her mother in law, she does not buy from outside anymore.

“The best food is always from our own kitchen,” she said.

She is grateful that her friend Daisy is always around to help her with the preparation.

“It makes the task lighter when there is a helping hand.  I could do it all by myself too but with some help, we can produce more Kuih Makmur,” she laughed.

Some of her friends do make orders from her but Ruzina could only meet their demand when she has the time to do so.

Another sought-after comfort food is called the Lihing Ice-cream.  Lihing is a traditional beverage made from rice, fermented with yeast and after a period of time it produces a kind of liquid ready to be consumed.

With some ‘modification’, ice-cream nowadays is given a twist by adding some percentage Lihing into it to give it a boost.

Perhaps, this Raya season, Lihing ice-cream would be one of the items on the table.

The inventor of Lihing ice-cream is Jenifer Lasimbang who has great idea in ‘innovating’ or enhancing certain menu.

She said making your own ice-cream and add a bit of Lihing into it would definitely be satisfying.  

Making kuih for sale helps in offsetting the family’s expenses, as Sapran Mirin and Kamisah Matusup found out.

The husband and wife work as a team to make simple local cakes to cover some of their daily expenses.

Armed with knowledge in making certain type of local delicacies such as Kuih Linggang, Panggang Pulut, Kuih Kosui Pandan and some other items, she decided to make and sell them in her vicinity.

Both can be found selling at a nook in Rimba park, a popular jogging track for public.

Preparing the delicacies as early as 1am, Kamisah and Sapran, who live in Penampang, do not mind doing it as it also keeps them occupied.

With their three daughters having married and with families of their own, Kamisah shared her joy and relief that they are independent now, and decided not to burden their children financially.

Sapran, who retired from RTM  in 2006, was originally from Papar said it is impossible to depend solely on the pension.

“As long as we have the means and ability we should not sit and do nothing.  Nothing comes to you for free.  We need to do something to earn something,” said Kamisah.

After her morning sale is done, she would go home and take a nap.  

Before her husband retired, Kamisah from Sandakan had been housewife all the while and just concentrating with her three children and husband’s needs.

She also shared her secret of making delicious and “safe to consume cakes. 

“I do not use any colouring for my kuih.  If you see the colour of my kuih, they are all pale green (instead of bright green) as I only use Pandan juice.  

“I never like to see our local cakes being spoilt by adding some sort of artificial foreign things, as it tastes really fake and not even healthy to consume,” she said. 



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