Ketupat or packed rice is a type of dumpling from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.
It is made from rice that has been wrapped in a woven palm leaf pouch and boiled. As the rice cooks, the grains expand to fill the pouch and the rice becomes compressed. This method of cooking gives the ketupat its characteristic form and texture of a rice dumpling. Ketupat is usually eaten with rendang or served as an accompaniment to satay or gado-gado. Ketupat is also traditionally served by Malays at open houses on festive occasions such as Idul Fitri (Hari Raya Aidilfitri). During Idul Fitri in Indonesia, ketupat is often served with opor ayam (chicken in coconut milk), accompanied with rendang, sambal goreng ati (spicy beef liver), krecek (buffalo skin dish), and sayur labu siam (chayote soup). Among the Moro groups of the Philippines, ketupat is served with an array of dishes including tiyulah itum, rendang, kurma and satay. It is served during special occasions such as Eid'l Fitr, Eid'l Adha and weddings. Among Christian Filipinos, pusô, as ketupat is locally known, is also traditionally used as a pabaon or a packed lunch, traditionally brought by workers, served with any selection of stews. Pusô is also widely eaten in the side streets of Cebu with pork barbecue, chicken skewers, and other grilled selections.
There are many varieties of ketupat, with two of the more common ones being ketupat nasi and ketupat pulut. Ketupat nasi is made from white rice and is wrapped in a square shape with coconut palm leaves while ketupat pulut is made from glutinous rice is usually wrapped in a triangular shape using the leaves of the fan palm (Licuala). Ketupat pulut is also called "ketupat daun palas" in Malaysia.
Local stories passed down through the generations have attributed the creation of this style of rice preparation to the seafarers' need to keep cooked rice from spoiling during long sea voyages. The coco leaves used in wrapping the rice are always shaped into a triangular form and stored hanging in bunches in the open air. The shape of the package facilitates moisture to drip away from the cooked rice while the coco leaves allow the rice to be aerated and at the same time prevent flies and insects from touching it.
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Ketupat Recipe, www.asianonlinerecipes.com
Ketupat of Pahang, www.pahang-delights.com