Rice cooked in bamboo container is a traditional way of cooking this staple food. The process of cooking it is quite simple. A bamboo, with a good diameter is cut to form a cylindrical container. The inside is washed thoroughly to ensure that none of the white woolly thing inside gets into the food.
Banana leaves are then washed and formed into a tube and inserted into the bamboo. The leaves are to ensure that the rice doesn’t stick to the sides of the bamboo. The rice is washed and poured into the tube.
This cooking mode need an outdoor open fire where it s placed at a slightly slanted angle so that it will not spill. The top of the bamboo is closed with waded banana leaves. The rice should be fluffy when cooked and quite fragrant when scooped out to eat.
In the olden days this mode of cooking rice was practised by hunters and foragers who went into the jungle to collect food. This was a very convinent way to cook rice. They did not only cook rice in it but other food items as well, which include games and tubers and fish.
Nowadays, rice cooked in bamboo is synonymous with Lemang a traditional Malaysian food which consists of glutinous rice, coconut milk and salt.
This tube of fragrant glutinous rice is eaten with a variety of other dishes including curry and kurma. This rice dish is very popular during the Hari Raya celebration which comes after the fasting month of Ramadan.- Sayangsabah