Pitcher plant lemang goes abroad for Aidilfitri feast

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite the huge spread, such as lemang, ketupat and satay, normally served on Aidilfitri, the craving, among some people will still be for the special type of lemang cooked in a pitcher plant known as Nepenthes.

The lemang in pitcher plant has a unique shape. Its creamy taste and soft texture make it very appetising that even the first timers love it.

It is the sweet aroma of the lemang cooked in pitcher plant that makes it different from other types of lemang, including the ordinary lemang cooked in bamboo stems.

The pitcher plant enhances the flavour of the lemang. Photo: Bernama

The lemang, which is made from glutinous rice, can be eaten on its own, or with either beef or chicken rendang.

Due to the high demand for the lemang periuk kera or the “pitcher plant lemang”, Noor Syafri Abdul Malik, 48, from Kampung Sri Aman, Puchong, is having his hands full to meet the orders for the coming Aidilfitri, which is less than a week away.

Noor Syafri, also known as Atan, is a person with a disability (OKU). He has diabetes and had his left leg amputated because of that last year.

He now uses a prosthetic leg but said it was not a hindrance for him.

For this Aidilfitri, he has received orders for more than 200,000 pieces of the lemang periuk kera, including from Malaysians living abroad.

“I never expect a very good response for my lemang. My lemang is being taken abroad. Three days ago, someone took my lemang to Dubai and Melbourne. Prior to that, a customer took it to Perth,” he said when met by Bernama.

He hoped to get all the remaining orders ready three days before the Aidilfitri celebration with the help of his wife, Sharifah Raziah Mat, 32, their two children and a few neighbours.

On the process of making the lemang periuk kera, he said the pitcher plants, with the scientific name Nepenthes Mirabilis, have to be washed and cleaned thoroughly before they can be filled with the glutinous rice and coconut milk and then steamed for about 40 minutes.

“To make 100 pieces of lemang periuk kera, it will take me up to three hours. The steaming process takes only about an hour, it is the cleaning process that takes a longer time.

“Great care has to be taken when cleaning the pitcher plants because they tear easily and have to be cleaned properly as the pitcher plants are carnivorous plants,” he added.

Noor Syafri, from Bukit Ibam, Muadzam Shah, Pahang, said the pitcher plant lemang is sold for RM45 per kilogramme.

“For one kilogramme, you can get between 25 to 30 pieces of the lemang, depending on the size,” he said.

When asked on the supply of the pitcher plants, Nor Syafri said he got them from suppliers in Bera and Rompin, Pahang, as well as Labis in Johor. – Bernama