Hari Raya is fast approaching and every Malaysians know that it is synonymous with lavish spreads and feasting. One month of fasting period has almost come to an end and finally we could fill our tummies with all these scrumptious traditional foods such as Rendang, lemang and many more! Hari Raya for this year is very unfortunate as most people are not allowed to return to their hometown and celebrate this festive season with family members as a result of this pandemic.
Although house visits are not allowed, but we can cook Raya traditional foods by ourselves at home or you can order online too! There will be a generous spread of food with dozens of mouth-watering delicacies to choose from, some of which you may only eat once a year during this festival are up for sell. While all these foods look tempting, please be mindful of your portion intake as most of the foods are high in calories.
If you are planning to cook by yourself. Follow these tips to help you to minimize your calorie intake. Try to replace ¼ to ½ the portion of your usual ingredients with healthier options.
1. Fats in main dishes:
Eg: Coconut milk, fatty meat, poultry skin, deep frying method
- Substitute coconut milk-based dishes (eg: nasi lemak, rendang) with light coconut milk or low fat milk
- Choose lean meat / trim off visible fats (eg: chicken skin)
- Opt for cooking method which uses lesser oils such as baking, grilling, steaming or air-frying instead of deep frying
- Choose unsaturated oil such as Olive oil/canola oil for stir frying instead of palm oil
2. Fats and sugar in cookies/cake
Eg : Butter, margarine, ghee, evaporated milk, castor sugar, condensed milk, honey
- Reduce amount of fats and substitute with healthier oil ( eg: olive oil or grape seed oil)
- Reduce amount of sugar. Replace with sweeteners (eg: Lakanto/Equal) or sweet fruits such as dates or raisins
- Substitute condensed milk with rice or soy milk
- Replace white flour with whole wheat flour or try to incorporate high fiber ingredients (eg: mixed fruits or oats) into the recipes
By making minor adjustments to the ingredients and cooking method, you can have healthier festive dishes and enjoy your favourite Hari Raya foods without the guilt.
In case you choose to take this Raya holiday as an opportunity to rest at home and just opt for ordering foods online. Here are the list of commonly eaten foods during the festive season to allow you to keep track of your calorie intake.
Chicken Soto (1 bowl /490g) – 520 kcal
Mee hoon soup (1 bowl /250g) – 150 kcal
Mee curry (1 bowl /410g) – 530kcal
Chicken Rendang (2 small pieces/50g) – 100kcal
Ayam masak merah (1 piece/90g) – 140kcal
Beef sate (5 cucuk /80g) – 190kcal
Chicken sate (5 cucuk /80g) – 200 kcal
Ketupat nasi (8 small pieces/50g) – 80 kcal
Peanut sauce (1 senduk /50g) – 120 kcal
Kelupis (1 piece/50g) – 120 kcal
Roti jala (3 pieces) + Curry gravy (1 bowl) – 150kcal
Pineapple tart (1 piece) – 50 kcal
Fruit pudding (1 piece/30 g) – 20kcal
Bahulu (1 piece/15g) – 60 kcal
Kuih makmur (1 piece/10g) – 50 kcal
Almond/ peanut cookies (1 piece/20g) – 90kcal
London Almond cookies (1 piece/20g) – 110kcal
Cornflake cookies (1 piece/20g) – 80kcal
Kuih siput (3 pieces /10g) – 30 kcal
Kek lapis Sarawak ( 1 piece/40g) – 160kcal
Butter cake (1 piece/40g) – 160kcal
Carbonated drinks (1 glass) – 130kcal
Cordial/Syrup drink ( 1 glass) - 40kcal
Hari Raya is a time of celebration, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Consume variety of foods in moderation and enjoy your day. When it comes to eating, it is the same whether fasting or normal, sick or well; we always use the same three principles: balance in diet, eating in moderation and consuming a variety of foods.