One of the activities that the residents of Padang, West Sumatra, long await during Ramadhan is hunting for an array of foods to break the fast.
One might wonder why shopping for food to break the fast is something to look forward to? This is since a plethora of special foods are on offer exclusively during the fasting month.
It feels incomplete to break the fast with just a glassful of sweet beverage without any special appetizing treats.
During Ramadhan, the residents are spoilt for choice, as they do not have to venture to the market on various main roads in the city, as there are seasonal traders offering various items on their menu to break the fast.
One can easily come across a host of scrumptious and delectable items on the menus to be relished as part of the iftar menu since various corners of the city are brimming with such vendors.
The pabukoan market in Padang offers an array of irresistible items for breaking the fast that are available only during Ramadan.
No less than a dozen locations, starting from the city center to the edge of the highway, offer numerous dishes on their menus.
These locations range from the Pasar Raya Padang Area, Siteba Market, Alai Market, Ulak Karang Market, Bandar Buat Market, Simpang Haru Market, Morning Market, GOR Agus Salim, and Mata Air area, to the Greater West Sumatra Mosque area.
Moreover, the others comprise Lubuk Begalung, Tabing, and people facing time constraints to visit traditional markets can head to almost all the main roads in this area that are dotted with fast food vendors.
Pasar Raya Padang
One of the most frequented pabukoan markets is in the Pasar Raya Padang area.
The people of Padang can make their pick from the wide range of culinary delicacies to beverages to break their fast and are available from 14.00 WIB.
Heavier dishes, including rendang, dendeng, tunjang (kikil), grilled fish, and grilled chicken, to the typical Ramadan menu, such as banana compote, sweet potato compote, lamang tapai, fresh ice drink, cendol ice, and sea weed ice, are available.
At a market in front of the Inpres IV Market, dozens of vendors, under specially installed tents, offer a variety of dishes tempting to the eyes and stomach.
The aromas of fragrant food rafting through the air can be a trial for those who fast, especially during the day.
One of the mandatory items on fasting menus is banana compote. Brownish berkuah snacks are sold at various places and can be easily found.
"It feels incomplete if it's not compote," Amril, one of the residents of Padang, remarked.
Amril recalled that at home, it was a routine practice to eat compote as an appetizer during iftar owing to its sweet and delicious taste.
At this place, compote is sold with various fillings, ranging from bananas, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin to durian. Sweet treats are sold from Rp5,000 per serving.
The savory blend of the sweetness from palm sugar and coconut milk will leave a fresh taste in the mouth and allay thirst after fasting.
The compote tastes just as delicious when consumed hot or cold and turns out to be one of the most sold dishes at the pabukoan market.
Furthermore, ice cendol, teler ice, ice seaweed and ice papaya, to ice cincau are other drinks highly sought after by residents.
Undoubtedly, one should not miss out on cold beverages while breaking the fast, particularly in hot weather conditions.
Lemang tapai is one of the snacks that residents often enjoy eating while breaking the fast. The dish is made from glutinous rice mixed with a blackish purple sauce called yeast is an ideal blend of fresh sweet and sour taste.
Lemang cooked in bamboo mixed with coconut milk, with a savory and sweet taste, is served with sour yeast sauce.
Those looking to relish heavy dishes can head to Padang restaurants that serve various dishes.
The popular Kapau rice dishes are also available along with goat curry that is a typical item on the West Sumatra menu. Available side dishes comprise fish curry, jengkol curry, anyang papaya, rendang, balado jerky, green lado duck, and gulai chicken.
For the closing menu, sweet, bakwan, corn, and various types of onde-onde dishes can be ideal for breaking the fast.
Blessings of Ramadan
Numerous traders selling iftar menu items during the month of Ramadan at the Pasar Raya pabukoan market claimed to have been blessed.
Yanti, an ampera rice trader, was happy with the sales being quite good, particularly as it was a good alternative for residents not cooking at home. She remarked that several buyers bought side dishes for open and sahur, especially for workers, who did not have time to cook food.
Every year, Yanti always sells various typical Padang dishes owing to the high profits and sales.
"Not bad for spending Lebaran for families," she stated.
Moreover, the fresh taste of young coconut is preferred by many people to break the fast.
If on a regular day, young coconut sellers are only found at a few spots, during Ramadhan, seasonal young coconut traders hold their wares on the roadside.
Ties of newly harvested young heads are displayed on the roadside, and when a buyer places an order, the merchant immediately peels it and empties the water into plastic packaging.
A young coconut is currently sold at Rp8,000 or a rise of Rp1,000 from the earlier rate of Rp7,000.
Arif, a regular vendor of young coconuts during Ramadan, noted that demand during this period had risen and reached 50-80 young coconuts.
Since the demand for young coconuts has remained high for a long time, Arif has a fixed supplier, who routinely delivers them from Padang. He claimed to have earned a decent income, as the sales surged over 100 percent during Ramadan as compared to those recorded on other days.
He expressed gratitude that the noble holy month of Ramadan offered several blessings and abundance of sustenance.
Source: Antara News