Popular Festive Foods in Malaysia

Malaysia is a melting pot of culture and has a potpourri of cuisines. In a land so diverse with its ways, the food has to be equally diverse and enchanting.

Malaysians celebrate numerous festivals every year and all these festivals have one thing in common, and that is food. Festive food in Malaysia consists of dishes from all over the world and are to delicious.

Here are some of the popular festive foods in Malaysia


Lemang is a Malaysian favourite and is made from glutinous rice, coconut milk and salt. It is cooked in a hollow bamboo stick, and to prevent the rice from sticking to the bamboo sticks it is lined with banana leaves. Lemang is ubiquitous in Malaysia and is generally eaten during Ramadan. Lemang is cooked over an open fire and takes about 4-5 hours to cook.

Lemang - Festive Foods Eaten During Different Festivals in Malaysia

Image Courtesy: Nurul Balqis used under the Creative Commons Licence


Ketupat is a dumpling made in a beautiful diamond shaped woven in young palm leaf container. Ketupat is eaten with curries like Rendang, Sambal Goreng, or served with Satays or Gado-Gado. This dish is popularly eaten during Eid-ul-fitr. Ketupat is nothing but a bundle of joy that should be dipped into a piping hot rending or curry.

ketupat - Festive Foods Eaten During Different Festivals in Malaysia

Image Courtesy: Sham Hardy used under the Creative Commons Licence


Yusheng is also known as Yeesang, a raw fish salad, that is only available during the Chinese New Year and is never eaten alone. Yusang comprises of shredded vegetables, kaffir lime leaves, cucumbers and a variety of other condiments. The combinations of making this dish are endless, but the fish used is always salmon or mackerel.

Yusheng - Festive Foods Eaten During Different Festivals in Malaysia

Image Courtesy: Alpha used under the Creative Commons Licence


Rasam is popularly made by the Indian Malaysians that reside in Malaysia. It is a tangy soup made with tamarind and tomatoes as a base, Chilli, Pepper and cumin are added for the spicy taste. Rasam is usually served with steamed rice or sometimes taken as a soup. It is popular for its digestives qualities too.

Rasam - Festive Foods in Malaysia

Image Courtesy: Darya Pino used under the Creative Commons Licence


Payasam is an Indian dessert. It is a rich creamy pudding made with vermicelli, milk and sugar. Cardamom and saffron deepen the flavours of the payasam and a few dry fruits add a crunch to it. Payasam is served during all South-Indian ceremonies, feasts and celebrations. It is also said that no South-Indian wedding is complete without a serving of payasam.

Payasam - Festive Foods in Malaysia

Image Courtesy: Divya Kudua used under the Creative Commons Licence

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