KUALA LUMPUR- A slight drizzle in the afternoon did not dampen the spirit of shoppers at Ramadan bazaars as they thronged the markets to buy their favourite "buka puasa" dishes.
On the first day of Ramadan yesterday, traders at the TTDI Ramadan bazaar began setting up as early as 3pm, to sell a range of food from traditional Malay kuih to a variety of rice-based dishes.
Several stalls were doing brisk business, attending to long lines of customers which never seemed to abate until just before time to break fast.
Trader Zakri Tomirin, 23, did not need to resort to any special marketing tactics to sell his pulut udang, judging by the queue at his stall.
"My recipe has been with the family and perfected over the decades since my grandfather's time.
"Although my family is based in Kuala Lumpur, the recipe is actually from the northern region of Malaysia," said Zakri.
He prepares the pulut udang at his home in Setapak by pre-steaming rolls of glutinous rice stuffed with a mixture of coconut shreds and spicy prawn sambal, wrapped in banana leaves.
After preparing about 700 pieces, he takes them to the stall where he grills them over a hot charcoal bed for five minutes and serves them fresh to customers.
Zakri's pulut udang has gained fame among Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents who frequent the night market every Sunday.
Sales manager Aliyah Zainuddin, 30, was among the many customers who was able to buy the limited stock of pulut udang.
"The shredded coconut he uses in the pulut is fresh and the sambal udang has just the right dose of spiciness," she said.
Housewife Zaleha Ishak, 55, said a relative who lived in TTDI had recommended Zakri's pulut udang to her.
"Since there are many people waiting in line, I should think it would be worth the wait," she added.