Ramamdan is currently being celebrated around the world and here at Singabites some of our local guides are currently taking part in daylight fasting. This can be quite a challenge when your job involves a lot of walking and being out in the heat all day so we asked our Muslim colleagues how they cope and what sort of food do they eat when the fast is broken.

Kathy was our first ever guide at Singabites and is one of the creators of our Geylang Serai tour.

“Normally I will wake up at 4am. The most important food I eat upon breaking of fast is dates. 3 to be exact. This helps regulate the sugar level in the body. A hot drink, preferably followed by fruits and rice porridge (usually cooked with meat and wheat or oats.) Following this we will do our prayers. We also need to drink lots of water so we are hydrated throughout the day. The whole fast is around 14 hours.”

Ayob has just joined the Singabites team and is also a believer in using fruits to replace any sugars lost.

“I definitely start the day with some dates and fresh milk. The healthy sugar from the dates can immediately replace sugar loss from the fast while the milk can provide some basic nutrients denied during the daytime.”

At the end of Ramadan everyone will come together and celebrate the day of triumphant which is known as Eid’ul Fitri. The day will start with prayers in the local mosque followed by a huge feast at the family home. Over the coming days and weeks open houses across Singapore allow not just Muslims but friends and neighbours to celebrate.

On Hari Raya day most households will have the ketupat, a rice cake made from soaked rice and cooked in woven palm leaves.  This is usually served with a coconut based gravy, cabbage and tofu. The cross weaving of the ketupat symbolises mistakes and sins committed by humans and the inner rice cake symbolises purity and deliverance of sins following Ramadan. Ketupat can also be kept for days and as a result  is useful for the home cooks as they can make them all in one batch and not have to worry about them throughout the week.

Kathy points out, “The ritual of eating ketupat originated from Indonesia and has been practised for thousands of years. It is Hindu in origin, glorifying the rice goddess.”

Chicken curry, beef rendang and other more common dishes are also popular as is a dish called Sambal Tumis Telor.

Ayob explains, “The Sambal Tumis Telor is a mixture of prawn and chilli paste cooked in oil and sugar. Hard boiled eggs are then mixed together towards the end of the preparation.”

If you want to find out more about Singapore’s muslim community and in particular the food they eat come along to one of our Geylang Serai tours and meet Kathy and Ayob in person.  www.singabites.com for more details.