You can tell that Raya is just around the corner when all the nibble-sized snacks and cookies start tempting us. These mouth-watering mini delights are offered to guests when they visit during Raya, but frankly most of it would probably end up in our tummies!
These 22 Raya kuihs are festive staples in case you need to be reminded about which tidbits to get before the feasting begins. Some of these have remained popular for generations, while others may be lesser known traditional bites. Which is your favourite?
1. London Almond
London Almond Cookies are roasted whole almonds baked with a crunchy layer of biscuit, followed by a coat of chocolate. You can bet chocolate lovers and sweet tooths would not be able to resist this all-time favourite!
2. Pineapple Tart
Pineapple Tart has a melt-in-the-mouth, buttery pastry topped with pineapple jam, which is usually homemade for a thicker consistency. This traditional cookie makes an appearance in many festive occasions in Malaysia, including Raya and Chinese New Year.
3. Biskut Suji
Biskut Suji, or Sugee Biscuit, is a light and crumbly pastry, with ghee as the main ingredient. Pale cream in appearance, the ghee gives it a rich and buttery flavour. Some recipes use semolina flour, which is coarser and gives the cookie an extra crunch.
4. Kuih Ros
Kuih Ros is a sweet, crispy and aromatic cookie made in the shape of a rose. The batter consists of flour, coconut milk and eggs, which is then poured into a special mould before being fried. Making this is time-consuming but it is a beloved Raya classic.
5. Sarang Semut
Sarang Semut, or Ant Nest Biscuit in English, sounds odd when you think of it, but it sure looks the part! Made from plain flour, custard flour and butter and sugar, the dough would be shredded and piled onto the mould like an ant nest. The biscuits would also be sprinkled with chocolate rice toppings.
6. Biskut Mazola
Biskut Mazola consists of grounded peanuts mixed with wheat flour, then rolled into little balls of melt-in-the-mouth goodness, baked to perfection. The name came from a brand of corn oil called Mazola, but nowadays people can make it using any kind of cooking oil.
Semprit is a sweet custard cookie that crumbles in the mouth. This Malay version of butter cookie is best taken dipped in coffee or tea.
8. Biskut Dam
Biskut Dam is beautifully translated to Checkerboard Cookie because of its patterns. Vanilla and chocolate dough would be arranged in a particular sequence. After several minutes in the freezer, it is removed and cut to reveal the checkerboard design.
9. Biskut Nestum
Biskut Nestum has the delicious aroma and crunchy texture of Nestum. The ingredients are very simple too – just Nestum, sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla essence is needed to make it an addictive Aidilfitri affair.
10. Cornflakes Madu
Cornflakes Madu, or Honey Cornflakes, is a simple cookie that brings on the nostalgia! Its sweet and sticky crunch makes it a popular Raya kuih during the celebrations.
11. Popia Simpul
Popia Simpul is made with thin popia skin, traditionally wrapped with a beef jerky called serunding. It is then deep fried to can’t-stop-munching perfection. The trick is in the knot, as that’s how the snack gets its name!
12. Kuih Lidah Kucing
Kuih Lidah Kucing adds that pop of colour during Raya! It is oddly called Cat’s Tongue Cookie, presumably because it is shaped as such. Rainbow coloured batter is piped in turn onto the mould before the cookies are baked. The result? Eye-catching sweet treats that everyone loves.
Read next: 50 Desserts in Malaysia You Should Know
13. Biskut Mama Carey
Mama Carey Biscuit is a buttery pastry topped with white icing, elegantly designed using chocolate or sometimes sugar beads. Back then, it was very popular for festive occasions, but it is not baked as much now due to how complicated the process can be. Definitely a tasty scene stealer for Raya!
14. Kuih Putu Kacang
Kuih Putu Kacang is a traditional cookie made from mung beans. The mung bean flour is dry-fried until it has a tinge of yellow and mixed with icing sugar and a bit of water. The slightly brittle dough is compacted into little moulds and knocked out to give them the shape. It can be found during both Malay and Chinese festivites.
Rempeyek is quite different from other snacks! The savoury Javanese cracker is deep-fried with dried anchovies, peanuts and spices. Some variations use shrimps instead of anchovies.
16. Kuih Siput
Kuih Siput is a traditional Malay snack that may not be as common today, but is fondly loved across generations. Aptly shaped like snails (hence the name), the crunchy and spicy delight is great for snacking on while chatting with guests.
17. Kuih Buah Rotan
Kuih Buah Rotan is an old-school kuih commonly found in Terengganu, Malaysia and Jawa, Indonesia. The round dough is coated in sesame seeds and fried in oil till golden brown, giving it that satisfying crunch.
18. Kuih Karas
Kuih Karas is a flaky, hair-thin snack made from rice flour. This well-known traditional snack in Kedah is best taken with hot coffee. The sweet taste makes it a hit among both adult and kids!
19. Kerepek Bawang
You can tell that it is Kerepek Bawang from the swirls in the centre of each snack. These are made by rolling an onion-filled dough and margarine dough together before baking.
20. Batang Buruk
Batang Buruk is named as such because it looks like an old branch, though it is actually a cylindrical snack filled with green bean powder. The flaky and powdery kuih is usually only made during Hari Raya.
21. Kuih Sampan
Kuih Sampan is named and shaped after a boat, topped with shredded fried coconut and cherries. This is a heritage kuih that has been around since your grandmother’s generation, but it is hard to find it in regular stalls.
22. Biskut Makmur
Kuih Makmur is a popular sweet kuih especially in kampungs, made from wheat flour, grounded peanuts and icing sugar.
LokaLocal is all about connecting you to local activities, tours and workshops where you can experience Malaysia the way locals do. Check us out if you haven’t already done so.